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Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power

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Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power

Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule



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Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule by Ann Laura Stoler
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Why, Ann Laura Stoler asks, was the management of sexual arrangements and affective attachments so critical to the making of colonial categories and to what distinguished ruler from ruled? Contending that social classification is not a benign cultural act but a potent political one, Stoler shows that matters of the intimate were absolutely central to imperial politics. It was, after all, in the intimate sphere of home and servants that European children learned what they were required to learn of place and race. Gender-specific sexual sanctions, too, were squarely at the heart of imperial rule, and European supremacy was asserted in terms of national and racial virility. Stoler looks discerningly at the way cultural competencies and sensibilities entered into the construction of race in the colonial context and proposes that "cultural racism" in fact predates its postmodern discovery. Her acute analysis of colonial Indonesian society in the late-19th and early-20th centuries yields insights that translate to a global, comparative perspective.

Table of Contents

Note on Illustrations 1. Genealogies of the Intimate: Movements in Colonial Studies 2. Rethinking Colonial Categories: European Communities and the Boundaries of Rule 3. Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Gender and Morality in the Making of Race 4. Sexual Affronts and Racial Frontiers: Cultural Competence and the Dangers of Metissage 5. A Sentimental Education: Children on the Imperial Divide 6. A Colonial Reading of Foucault: Bourgeois Bodies and Racial Selves 7. Memory-Work in Java: A Cautionary Tale Epilogue. Caveats on Comfort Zones and Comparative Frames Notes Bibliography Index

Author Biography

Ann Laura Stoler, Professor of Anthropology and History at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, is the author of Race and the Education of Desire (1995) and coeditor of Tensions of Empire (California, 1997).
Release date Australia
September 30th, 2002
Country of Publication
United States
42 b&w photographs
University of California Press
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