In Wildness Is the Liberation of the World: On Maroon Ecology and Partisan Nature

in Historical Materialism
No Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



For good reasons, the green movement turned from wilderness to environmental justice as its central category in the 1980s and ’90s. Today, several leading wilderness advocates seem to compete for the most reactionary positions, particularly on the issue of migration. A case can, however, be made for a progressive, cosmopolitan, Marxist view of wilderness as a space less fully subjugated to capital than others. There is a long history of exploited and persecuted people seeking freedom in and through the wild. This essay focuses on two such groups – maroons and Jewish partisans – and asks what we lose in a rapidly warming world where the remotest and supposedly wildest corners of the world are among the first to be destroyed.

In Wildness Is the Liberation of the World: On Maroon Ecology and Partisan Nature

in Historical Materialism



AdornoTheodor W. 2013 [1970]Aesthetic Theory translated by Robert Hullot-KentorLondon: Bloomsbury.

AnguelovskiIsabelle and Joan Martínez-Alier 2014‘The “Environmentalism of the Poor” Revisited: Territory and Place in Disconnected Glocal Struggles’Ecological Economics102: 167176.

Anon. 1676Great Newes from the Barbadoes Or A True and Faithful Account of the Grand Conspiracy of the Negroes against the English and the Happy Discovery of the Same with the Number of those that were Burned Alive Beheaded and otherwise Executed for their Horrid Crimes: with a Short Discription of that PlantationLondon: L. Curtis.

AtwoodThomas 1791The History of the Island of DominicaLondon: J. Johnson.

BarnetMiguel 1994 [1966]Biography of a Runaway Slave translated by W. Nick HillWillimantic, CT: Curbstone Press.

BilbyKenneth M. 2005True-Born MaroonsGainesville, FL: University of Florida Press.

CallicottJ. Baird and Michael P. Nelson (eds.) 1998The Great New Wilderness Debate: An Expansive Collection of Writings Defining Wilderness from John Muir to Gary SnyderAthens, GA: University of Georgia Press.

CampbellMavis C. 1988The Maroons of Jamaica 1655–1796: A History of Resistance Collaboration and BetrayalGranby, MA: Bergin & Garvey.

ChamoiseauPatrick 1998 [1992]TexacoLondon: Granta.

CNN 2017 news report from Dominica by Michael Holmes 22 September.

ColeTim 2014‘“Nature Was Helping Us”: Forests, Trees, and Environmental Histories of the Holocaust’Environmental History194: 665686.

ColeTim 2016Holocaust LandscapesLondon: Bloomsbury.

CowanWilliam Tynes 2005The Slave in the Swamp: Disrupting the Plantation NarrativeNew York: Routledge.

CratonMichael 1982Testing the Chains: Resistance to Slavery in the British West IndiesIthaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

DallasR.C. 1803The History of the Maroons Volumes I–IILondon: T.N. Longman & O. Rees.

DelanyMartin R. 2017 [1859–1862]Blake: Or the Huts of America edited by Jerome McGannCambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

DioufSylviane A. 2014Slavery’s Exiles: The Story of the American MaroonsNew York: New York University Press.

DuffyPeter 2003The Bielski Brothers: The Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis Built a Village in the Forest and Saved 1200 JewsNew York: HarperCollins.

EpsteinBarbara 2008The Minsk Ghetto 1941–1943: Jewish Resistance and Soviet InternationalismBerkeley: University of California Press.

EttingerLiza 1984‘From the Lida Ghetto to the Bielski Partisans’survivor testimony held by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives RG-02: *133.

FerrerAda 2014Freedom’s Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of RevolutionCambridge: Cambridge University Press.

FickCarolyn E. 1990The Making of Haiti: The Saint Domingue Revolution from BelowKnoxville, TN: The University of Tennessee Press.

ForemanDave with Laura Carroll 2014Man Swarm: How Overpopulation Is Killing the Wild WorldSecond EditionLondon: LiveTrue Books.

GlissantÉdouard 2001 [1964]The Fourth Century translated by Betsy WingLincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.

GuhaRamachandra and Joan Martínez-Alier 1997Varieties of Environmentalism: Essays North and SouthLondon: Earthscan.

HailwoodSimon 2015Alienation and Nature in Environmental PhilosophyCambridge: Cambridge University Press.

HansenMagnus Boding 2017‘Hurricane-hit Dominica Holds Fast, for now’IRIN News 16 October available at: <>.

HartRichard 2002 [1985]Slaves Who Abolished Slavery: Blacks in RebellionBarbados/Jamaica/Trinidad and Tobago: University of the West Indies Press.

HendersonErrol A. 2015‘Slave Religion, Slave Hiring, and the Incipient Proletarianization of Enslaved Black Labor: Developing Du Bois’ Thesis on Black Participation in the Civil War as a Revolution’Journal of African American Studies192: 192213.

HigginsonThomas Wentworth 1870Army Life in a Black RegimentBoston: Fields, Osgood & Co.

HollstenLaura 2008‘Controlling Nature and Transforming Landscapes in the Early Modern Caribbean’Global Environment1: 80113.

HonychurchLennox 1975The Dominica Story: A History of the IslandBarbados: Letchworth Press.

HonychurchLennox 2017In the Forests of Freedom: The Fighting Maroons of DominicaLondon: Papillote Press.

HultgrenJohn 2015Border Walls Gone Green: Nature and Anti-Immigrant Politics in AmericaMinneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

JohnsonWalter 2013River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton KingdomCambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

KingsnorthPaul 2008‘Immigration: Truisms vs Cliches’October available at: <>accessed 1 October 2014.

KingsnorthPaul 2017aConfessions of a Recovering EnvironmentalistLondon: Faber & Faber.

KingsnorthPaul 2017b‘The Lie of the Land: Does Environmentalism Have a Future in the Age of Trump?’The Guardian18 March available at: < -environmentalism-in-the-age-of-trump>.

LanchesterJohn 2007‘Warmer, Warmer’London Review of Books296: 39available at: <>.

La Rosa CorzoGabino 2003 [1988]Runaway Slave Settlements in Cuba: Resistance and Repression translated by Mary ToddChapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press.

LevineAllan 2009 [1998]Fugitives of the Forest: The Heroic Story of Jewish Resistance and Survival during the Second World WarGuilford, CT: The Lyons Press.

LinnellJohn D.C.Arie TrouwborstLuigi BoitaniPetra KaczenskyDjuro HuberSlaven ReljicJosip KusakAleksandra MajicTomaz SkrbinsekHubert PotocnikMatt W. HaywardE.J. Milner-GullandBayarbaatar BuuveibaatarKirk A. OlsonLkhagvasuren BadamjavRichard BischofSteffen Zuther and Urs Breitenmoser 2016‘Border Security Fencing and Wildlife: The End of the Transboundary Paradigm in Eurasia?’PLoS Biology146: 113.

LockeJohn 2016 [1689]Second Treatise of Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration edited by Mark GoldieOxford: Oxford University Press.

Martínez-AlierJoan 2002The Environmentalism of the Poor: A Study of Ecological Conflicts and ValuationCheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.

McCune SmithJames 1841A Lecture on the Hayitien RevolutionsNew York: Daniel Fanshaw.

MerchantCarolyn 1990 [1980]The Death of Nature: Women Ecology and the Scientific RevolutionSan Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco.

NelsonMichael P. and J. Baird Callicott (eds.) 2008The Wilderness Debate Rages On: Continuing the Great New Wilderness DebateAthens, GA: University of Georgia Press.

NielsonErik 2011‘“Go In De Wilderness”: Evading the “Eyes of Others” in the Slave Songs’The Western Journal of Black Studies352: 106117.

PaperStephen 2003Voices from the Forest: The Story of Abram and Julia BobrowBloomington, IN: First Books Library.

PattersonOrlando 1996 [1970]‘Slavery and Slave Revolts: A Sociohistorical Analysis of the First Maroon War, 1665–1740’ in Price (ed.) 1996.

PattulloPolly (ed.) 2015Your Time Is Done Now. Slavery Resistance and Defeat: The Maroon Trials of Dominica (1813–1814)New York: Monthly Review Press.

PlumwoodVal 1998‘Wilderness Skepticism and Wilderness Dualism’ in Callicott and Nelson (eds.) 1998.

PokornyBoštjanKatarina FlajšmanLaura CentoreFelix Srečko Krope and Nikica Šprem 2017‘Border Fence: A New Ecological Obstacle for Wildlife in Southeast Europe’European Journal of Wildlife Research631: 16.

PriceRichard (ed.) 1996Maroon Societies: Rebel Slave Communities in the AmericasThird EditionBaltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

ReidVictor Stafford 1983Nanny-TownKingston: Jamaica Publishing House Ltd.

RosenDonia 1971The Forest My FriendNew York: Bergen-Belsen Memorial Press.

SayersDaniel O. 2015A Desolate Place for a Defiant People: The Archaeology of Maroons Indigenous Americans and Enslaved Laborers in the Great Dismal SwampGainesville, FL: University Press of Florida.

SkerrittRoosevelt 2017‘PM Roosevelt Skerritt of Dominica Speech to the General Assembly at the United Nations 2017’23 September available at: <>.

SmithNeil 1998‘Nature at the Millennium: Production and Re-enchantment’ in Remaking Reality: Nature at the Millennium edited by Bruce Braun and Noel CastreeLondon: Routledge.

SparksWilliam Henry 1870The Memories of Fifty YearsPhiladelphia: Claxton, Remsen & Haffelfinger.

StewartMart A. 2002‘What Nature Suffers to Groe’: Life Labor and Landscape on the Georgia Coast 1680–1920Athen, GA: University of Georgia Press.

TecNechama 2009Defiance: The True Story of the Bielski PartisansOxford: Oxford University Press.

ThoreauHenry David 1868‘Walking’ in ExercisesBoston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company.

TrollopeAnthony 1862The West Indies and the Spanish MainLondon: Chapman & Hall.

United Service Journal 1830‘The Maroon War’ in The United Service Journal and Naval and Military Magazine: 1830 Part ILondon: Henry Colburn & Richard Bentley.

VanniniPhillip and April Vannini 2016WildernessAbingdon: Routledge.

VazNeil C. 2016Dominica’s Neg Mawon: Maroonage Diaspora and Trans-Atlantic Networks 1763–1814PhD dissertation Howard University Department of History.

VogelSteven 2015Thinking Like a Mall: Environmental Philosophy after the End of NatureCambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Weiner WeberSuzanne 2008‘The Forest as a Liminal Space: A Transformation of Culture and Norms during the Holocaust’Holocaust Studies141: 3560.

WoodEllen Meiksins 2012Liberty and Property: A Social History of Western Political Thought from Renaissance to EnlightenmentLondon: Verso.

WoodNeal 1984John Locke and Agrarian CapitalismBerkeley: University of California Press.

WoodsMark 2005‘Ecological Restoration and the Renewal of Wildness and Freedom’ in Recognizing the Autonomy of Nature: Theory and Practice edited by Thomas HeydNew York: Columbia University Press.


Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 235 235 80
Full Text Views 259 259 108
PDF Downloads 65 65 33
EPUB Downloads 1 1 0