This article proposes that the commons is best understood as a relation among people, land, water, flora, and fauna that requires performance. The “performative commons” takes place in opposition to the alienating and disentangling work of the plantation machine and the systemic disarticulation of lifeworlds that marked the onset of racial capitalism and an epochal transformation of the earth identifiable as the Plantationocene.
The Plantationocene and the Performative Commons: A Brief History of Uncommoning
Elizabeth Maddock Dillon is distinguished professor of English at Northeastern University. She is the author of New World Drama: The Performative Commons in the Atlantic World, 1649–1849 (2014) and The Gender of Freedom: Fictions of Liberalism and the Literary Public Sphere (2004). She is the co-founder and co-director of the Early Caribbean Digital Archive (ecda.northeastern.edu), a digital archive that explores decolonial strategies of knowledge creation.
Elizabeth Maddock Dillon; The Plantationocene and the Performative Commons: A Brief History of Uncommoning. the minnesota review 1 November 2019; 2019 (93): 83–93. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00265667-7737297
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