The Libertine Colony: Creolization in the Early French Caribbean

TitleThe Libertine Colony: Creolization in the Early French Caribbean
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsGarraway, Doris
Number of Pages408
PublisherDuke University Press
CityDurham, NC

In this book, Doris Garraway sheds new light on a significant chapter in French colonial history and makes a pathbreaking contribution to the study of the cultural contact, creolization, and social transformation that resulted in one of the most profitable yet brutal slave societies in history. Garraway's readings highlight how French colonial writers characterized the Caribbean as a space of spiritual, social, and moral depravity. While tracing this critique in colonial accounts of Island Carib cultures, piracy, spirit beliefs, slavery, miscegenation, and incest, Garraway develops a theory of "the libertine colony." She argues that desire and sexuality were fundamental to practices of domination, laws of exclusion, and constructions of race in the slave societies of the colonial French Caribbean. The Libertine Colony is both a rich cultural history of creolization as revealed in Francophone colonial literature and an important contribution to theoretical arguments about how literary critics and historians should approach colonial discourse and cultural representations of slave societies.

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