Locating Guyane

BookLocating Guyane

Locating Guyane

Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures, 53


May 1st, 2018



Other Formats



Overseas department of France in Amazonia and ‘ultraperipheral region’ of the EU, Guyane (French Guiana) is at the juncture of Europe, the Caribbean and South America. This collection of essays explores historical and conceptual locations of Guyane, as a relational space characterised by dynamics of interaction and conflict between the local, the national and the global. Does Guyane have, or has it had, its own place in the world, or is it a borderland which can only make sense in relation to elsewhere: to France and its colonial history, for example, or to African and other diasporas, or as a ‘margin’ of Europe?
This edited collection is the first volume to study Guyane from multiple perspectives. It subjects the enduring clichés and negative stereotypes regarding Guyane to critical examination, exploring how discourse on this DOM is, and has been, formed and how it may evolve. Chapters discuss geographical, literary and cultural ‘locations’ of Guyane, past and present, challenging its relegation to the ‘periphery’, whilst also historicizing the production of its marginal status. Finally, the collection aims to outline possible future challenges to the conceptual location of Guyane and possible directions for continued research.

'The book is a fascinating challenge to historiographies of Guyane as it peels off the layers of its changing relationships with France and other places in the world, detangles its history of contact, reveals the actors involved in its many transitions from place of forced exile to high-tech center, highlights the role its penal past has played in making it “periphery”, and explains what being Guyanais today entails in a globalized world of flows where local Kreyol traditions and Maroon narratives get reinvented and shaped in the context of cultural commercialism and global art markets.'
Hélène B. Ducros, Europe Now Journal

‘This valuable interdisciplinary volume offers wide-ranging essays that examine stereotypes about France’s Amazonian outpost that go beyond simple images of the country as a ‘green hell.'

Robert Aldrich, French History

‘Overall, with Locating Guyana Wood and MacLeod have achieved a milestone in the study of French Guyana.’
Fabio Santos, PERIPHERIE

'English-language works on Guyane are comparatively few and far between, and Locating Guyane rectifies a lacuna in the wider scholarship by exploring what makes it distinct from its fellow “old colonies” of Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Réunion. Given the volume’s interdisciplinarity and the essays’ breadth, the short volume speaks to a wide range of academic disciplines, and consequently it serves as an excellent scholarly primer on Guyane, its colonial legacy, and its place in an increasingly global, modern world.'
Christopher M. Church, H-France Review


Author Information

Dr Catriona MacLeod is Lecturer in French Studies at the University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP). Dr Sarah Wood is Visiting Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies at the University of Connecticut.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
List of Illustrations7
Part I: Imagining the Tropics: Writing on and from Guyane23
1. The Oldest Daughter of Overseas France25
2. Grand Reporters in Guyane: Bringing the Exotic Back Home41
3. Kor and Karnival, the Carnal Road of Léon-Gontran Damas: 'Evidence of Things Not Seen'56
Part II: Colonial Locations: Imperialism and the Production of Place75
4. Frontier Politics: French, Portuguese and Amerindian Alliances between the Amazon and Cayenne, 1680–169777
5. Producing the Periphery99
6. A School in Boniville? Political Skills and ‘Primitives’ in Guyane (1930–1969)113
7. Reclaiming Félix Éboué: Departmentalization and the Politics of Commemoration in Guyane, 1944–2012134
Part III: Relocating Culture: Language, Art and Identity159
8. Palikur, a Language between Two Worlds161
9. Maroon Art in Guyane: New Forms, New Discourses176
10. Performing and Parading Gender in Guyane’s Carnival191
11. Equality and Difference: Queering Guyane?209
Conclusion: Remaking Guyane?227