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Empire of LanguageToward a Critique of (Post) colonial Expression$
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Laurent Dubreuil

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450563

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450563.001.0001

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The Languages of Empire

The Languages of Empire

(p.83) Chapter 4 The Languages of Empire
Empire of Language

Laurent Dubreuil

, David Fieni
Cornell University Press

This chapter explores the theologico-political programming against indigenous speech and through language, this time setting the scene at the second colonial empire. With the structure of colonial possession in place, speech was made extremely difficult for the colonized. Under the ancien régime, slavery, by its very nature, denies even the possibility of black discourse. Yet in 1789, through alterations made to the theological and political control exercised by Catholic Missions, the unheard-of occurs. During the course of the Revolution, particularly in Saint-Domingue, black voices resounded in French. As a result, the censure of indigenous speech was accomplished chiefly by means of control over the national language, which was occasionally granted to the “primitives” by the advocates of the second colonial empire.

Keywords:   political theology, second colonial empire, black discourse, Saint-Domingue, indigenous speech

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