Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationVirginia, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9769
Approve DateOctober 25, 2018
Project TitleFavini, Jonathan P., U. of Virginia, Charlottesville,VA - To aid research on 'Diasporic Indigeneity: Jamaican Maroons and the Politics of Identity in the Contemporary Caribbean,'supervised by Dr. James Igoe
JONATHAN P. FAVINI, then a graduate student at University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, received a grant in October 2018 to aid research on ‘Diasporic Indigeneity: Jamaican Maroons and the Politics of Identity in the Contemporary Caribbean,’ supervised by Dr. James Igoe. This research centers on claims to indigenous status by Jamaican Maroons — a community often conceived of as emblematically diasporic. While many in the Caribbean hold indigeneity and diaspora, and thus Blackness, in opposition, Maroons tend to position the two as overlapping modes of negotiating oppression. This research investigated the cultural and political work Maroons undertake to become recognized as indigenous, specifically inquiring into how an intensifying collaboration with conservationists, exemplified in the co-management of a recently inscribed World Heritage Site, features in this process of articulation. Research methods included interviews, attendance at various sorts of conferences and events, quotidian participation in Maroon community life, and the curation of a large archive of writings about Maroons from diverse parties. Ultimately the project argues that Maroons conceive of indigeneity as a matter of entanglement with a natural landscape not a simple matter of long residence in place. It finds that Maroons’ identification as both Black and indigenous contradicts the particular ways race and place are narrated by Jamaica bureaucrats. Conservation and ‘heritage management’ become productive avenues of advocacy for Maroons claims to indigeneity for their international connections, allowing Maroons to circuit around Jamaica’s racialized national politics.