b. 1986, HK.


Sarah Jessica Johnson

I am a PhD Candidate in the Department of English at the University of California, Berkeley. My dissertation, "Outlyers: Maroons and Marronage in Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century Literature," reads eighteenth and nineteenth-century fictional maroon narratives from the United States and Caribbean. I argue for the ways in which fiction can function as an archive of the powerful resistance practice of marronage. Organized around four maroon objects--portraits, fetishes, epaulettes and hatchets--"Outlyers" wrestles with the tangible and intangible in maroon narratives to chronicle alternative forms of flight and freedom from Atlantic slavery.

The necessity of trying to represent what we cannot, rather than leading to pessimism or despair must be embraced as the impossibility that conditions our knowledge of the past and animates our desire for a liberated future.
— Saidiya Hartman, "Venus in Two Acts"