Fugitivity as Method 1

Type: Virtual Paper
Theme: Black Geographies Specialty Group Curated Track
Sponsor Groups: Caribbean Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM (PST)
Room: Virtual 10
Organizers: Alex Moulton, Leslie Gross-Wyrtzen
Chairs: Alex Moulton


Studies on fugitivity, marronage, and other forms of flight from the racial violence and dehumanization of chattel slavery have increased in recent years. Situating examples from the Caribbean, Latin America, and southern U.S. through multiple academic disciplines, these studies have mapped a historical and spatial archipelago of freedom struggles. For example, taking the case of Jamaica, Neil Roberts (2015) has argued that marronage is an ongoing performance of freedom that emerges from and produces liminal geographies between enslavement and freedom. Among geographers the concept of fugitivity has been taken up to explore the (ecological and cultural) contours of maroon spatialities (Wright 2020), the counter-production of space through armed resistance and political struggle by maroon communities (Moulton 2020), and storytelling as a means of preserving the place-making of forgotten or erased fugitive communities (Roberts 2018).

The papers in this session will explore what fugitivity—as a historical phenomenon and theoretical concept—adds to our understanding of the production of both subjects and spaces today. As we grapple with the violent afterlives of slavery and colonialism, we ask what promise fugitivity holds for imagining and enacting “more humanly workable geographies” (McKittrick 2006). In other words, what does fugitivity as method offer to the study of racial and anti-racist geographies? How does fugitivity as method propose a praxis that seeks emancipatory futures? We envision this session as the first step toward producing an edited volume published by a university press.

We welcome an interdisciplinary, historical and contemporary, and diverse geographic engagements with the concept of fugitivity. The papers in this session will engaged in themes, including but not limited to:

-Historical accounts of fugitive slaves and maroons
-Fugitive geographies and abolition geographies
-Comparative studies of resistance to enslavement and colonial expropriation
-Fugitivity and the Black Radical Tradition
-Poetics and/or aesthetics of fugitivity
-Conceptual linkages or tensions between fugitivity, agency, and resistance
-Relationship between fugitivity and property (or land, or territory)
-The gender or sexualities of fugitivity
-Fugitivity and global capitalism
-Fugitivity and global racism/anti-blackness
-Fugitive climates/fugitive ecologies
-Fugitivity’s conceptual mobility- other sites, contexts, histories


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Johnathan Favini*, , Fugitive Ecologies: Nonhuman Flight and Maroonage in Jamaica 15 8:00 AM
Presenter Justin Dunnavant*, Vanderbilt University, Steven Wernke*, Vanderbilt University, Lauren Kohut*, Bowdoin College, Locating Maroon Settlements in Colonial-era St. Croix 15 8:15 AM
Presenter Cooper Weissman*, , Inhabiting the Earth/earth: U.S. Marronage, Fungible Fugitivity, and Insurgent Modes of Being Human 15 8:30 AM
Presenter Morgan P. Vickers*, University of California, Berkeley, Reservoir Noir: Black Placemaking, New Deal Infrastructure, and Social Swampification 15 8:45 AM

To access contact information login