Writer’s Discussion Series and African Diaspora Lecture by Daniel O. Sayers | A Desolate Place for a Defiant People: The Archeology of Maroons, Indigenous Americans, and Enslaved Laborers in the Great Dismal Swamp
In the 250 years before the Civil War, the Great Dismal Swamp of Virginia and North Carolina was a brutal landscape–2,000 square miles of undeveloped and unforgiving wetlands, peat bogs, impenetrable foliage, and dangerous creatures. It was also a protective refuge for marginalized individuals, including Native Americans, African-American maroons, free African Americans, and outcast Europeans.
In the first thorough archaeological examination of this unique region, Daniel Sayers exposes and unravels the complex social and economic systems developed by these defiant communities that thrived on the periphery. He develops an analytical framework based on the complex interplay between alienation, diasporic exile, uneven geographical development, and modes of production to argue that colonialism and slavery inevitably created sustained critiques of American capitalism.
Daniel O. Sayers is associate professor of anthropology at American University.
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