Key aspects of the plantation economy, centered in the early Caribbean, include the theft of Indigenous land, agricultural monocropping, and racial capitalism as well as an epistemological effort to separate out humans, animals, and plants into discrete species. This essay identifies the current pandemic as a crisis in knowledge—one in which assumptions such as Linnaean categories and species boundaries need re-examining—and explores historical and disciplinary means of challenging the limited and often deadly knowledge regime of the Plantationocene. Turning to the historical revolutionary figure of François Makandal, the essay explores alternative knowledge systems that help us to understand modes of human-environmental connection, semiotics of relation, and text networks of literature and oral history. These alternative ways of knowing the world are fugitive from, and revolutionary with respect to, racial capitalism and the plantation project and are traceable within a line of literary Makandal texts.

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