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Author Spieler, Miranda Frances, 1971-
Title Empire and underworld : captivity in French Guiana / Miranda Frances Spieler.
Imprint Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2012.

Author Spieler, Miranda Frances, 1971-
Series Harvard historical studies ; 174
Harvard historical studies ; v. 174.
Subject Captivity -- French Guiana -- History.
Power (Social sciences) -- French Guiana -- History.
Political violence -- French Guiana -- History.
Minorities -- French Guiana -- History.
Marginality, Social -- French Guiana -- History.
French Guiana -- Politics and government -- To 1814.
French Guiana -- Politics and government -- 1814-1947.
French Guiana -- Social conditions.
French Guiana -- Colonial influence.
Description 1 online resource.
polychrome rdacc
Bibliography Note Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents Leaving the republic -- Strange dominion -- Free soil -- Missing persons -- Idea for a continent -- Local arrangements -- The enormous room -- Metastasis -- Appendix: Tables.
Summary In the century after the French Revolution, the South American outpost of Guiana became a depository for exiles--outcasts of the new French citizenry--and an experimental space for the exercise of new kinds of power and violence against marginal groups. Miranda Spieler chronicles the encounter between colonial officials, planters, and others, ranging from deported political enemies to convicts, ex-convicts, vagabonds, freed slaves, non-European immigrants, and Maroons (descendants of fugitive slaves in the forest). She finds that at a time when France was advocating the revolutionary principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity, Guiana's exiles were stripped of their legal identities and unmade by law, becoming nonpersons living in limbo. The French Revolution invented the notion of the citizen, but as Spieler shows, it also invented the noncitizen--the person whose rights were nonexistent. Empire and Underworld discovers in Guiana's wilderness a haunting prehistory of current moral dilemmas surrounding detainees of indeterminate legal status. Pairing the history of France with that of its underworld and challenging some of the century's most influential theorists from Hannah Arendt to Michel Foucault, Spieler demonstrates how rights of the modern world can mutate into an apparatus of human deprivation.
The French Revolution invented the notion of the citizen, but it also invented the noncitizen--the person whose rights were nonexistent. The South American outpost of Guiana became a depository for these outcasts of the new French citizenry, and an experimental space for the exercise of new kinds of power and violence against marginal groups.
Note In English.
Print version record.
ISBN 9780674062870 (electronic bk.)
0674062876 (electronic bk.)
9780674057548
0674057546
ISBN/ISSN 10.4159/harvard.9780674062870
OCLC # 777266069
Additional Format Print version: Spieler, Miranda Frances, 1971- Empire and underworld. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2011 9780674057548 (DLC) 2011017838 (OCoLC)709670277


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