2004
Volume 27 Number 3
  • ISSN: 1384-5829
  • E-ISSN: 2352-118X

Abstract

Abstract

How are colonial violence and resistance entangled in Dutch plantation poetry? This article aims to answer this question through an analysis of Paul François Roos’ (1804), a collection of poems describing Suriname’s plantation culture. Previously, its representations of Suriname’s natural environment have been interpreted as exotic variations on pastoral conventions, offering a Eurocentric perspective on the colony. This article hypothesises that, even if literary conventions in the poems contributed to the concealment of colonial violence against the natural environment and the Afro-American population, an affective analysis can also reveal voices of dissent. To do so, it will combine ecocritical and postcolonial theory to demonstrate how ‘naturalised’ distinctions between ‘nature’ and ‘culture’, and between ‘harmony’ and ‘combat’, asserting colonial order. However, when this representation of Suriname’s plantation culture is conceptualised as an ‘affective economy’ in which human and non-human bodies are interrelated through economic and ecological affects, these distinctions start to blur, and order is destabilised. Using Monique Allewaert’s concept of ‘ecological personhood’ ecological affects become visible as Afro-American resistance against European notions of individuality and sovereignty.

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2022-12-01
2023-01-28
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