Decolonizing the Plantation Machine as the Curse of Coloniality in Caribbean Theory and Fiction

Rebecca Fuchs

University of Mannheim


Starting with the machine concept by Deleuze and Guattari, the Cuban critic Antonio Benítez-Rojo develops a Caribbean machine concept that he calls the ‘plantation machine.’ It designates the diverse plantation economies across the Caribbean that have strongly influenced its different societies. Manifesting itself in the plantation machine, coloniality is not a matter of the past but still influences the present in the Caribbean and beyond. Based on Aníbal Quijano’s concept of colonialidad and Walter D. Mignolo’s border thinking, this paper links these theoretical conceptions with Junot Díaz’s novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and examines its strategies to decolonize this oppressive machine’s manifestation in the dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo in the Dominican Republic.

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