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Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power : Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule

ISBN: 9780520262461 | 0520262468
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Univ of California Pr
Pub. Date: 2/10/2010

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This landmark book tracks matters of intimacy to investigate matters of state in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Indonesia, particularly the critical role played by sexual arrangements and affective attachments in creating colonial categories and distinguishing the ruler from the ruled. Arguing that social classification is not a benign cultural act but a potent political one, Ann Laura Stoler's essays focus on parents and parenting, nursing mothers, servants, orphanages, and abandoned children to reveal why they were understood as so essential to imperial governance and why they have been so consistently absent from its historiography. In a new preface, Stoler takes up a broad range of problematics raised in the first edition, including the analytics of comparison, the treatment of the intimate, and our reading of colonial documents and the displaced histories folded within them. She explores how these issues bear on our treatment of colonial pasts, the debris they leave behind, and how we might think differently about the intimate frontiers of imperial formations in the colonial and post-colonial present.


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