Ann Laura Stoler’s Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power is a must for all scholars late I98os and early IS, concerns that Stoler has been working with and. Ann Stoler. Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule. Berkeley: University of California Press, xi + pp. $ . Review of Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule by Ann Laura Stoler.
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Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule by Ann Laura Stoler
Return to Book Page. Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: 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 imperiwl were absolutely central to imperial politics. It 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?
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 carmal rule, and European supremacy was asserted in terms of national and racial virility. Poser 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 nineteenth and early twentieth centuries yields insights that translate to a global, comparative perspective. Paperbackpages. Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule.
To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Powerplease sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Each of these articles focuses on life in the Dutch East Indies, particularly Java, from the late 19th century through the s, although she includes several moments of comparison with other imperialistic powers.
Stoler relies heavily on notions of Foucauldian biopolitics for the theoretical basis of her work. This largely seems to be done not only through policy, but also gender and, Stoler adds, racial norms that control the types of intimacy that are acceptable.
Carnal knowledge and imperial power | Modernism and Empire
It should be noted that this means that gender and race are intimately intertwined with sexuality, and that all of them are subsequently intertwined with power.
Each chapter focuses on a different element of intimate life in the colonies. Stoler claims that the other historians have attributed the hardening of racial division in the colonies to the arrival of more racist white women. Although the book is relatively recent, her insights feel dated. Moreover, that sexuality, gender, race, and nationality are linked in very complicated ways seems to be commonly understood.
Also, I am really confused about where Stoler thinks the economy fits into her framework. In that chapter, Stoler presents oral histories gathered from former Indonesian servants of Dutch colonizers. In this chapter, Stoler not only used her Foucauldian framework to criticize previous studies of colonialism, but actually allowed the interviews to show the cleavages in her own prior work.
The interviews themselves question the hegemony of colonialism in the lives of those colonized, particularly as Western historians understand it. Their sparse accounts defy a typical understanding of historical narrative, and their unwillingness to discuss the intimate whether for privacy or because of a genuine marking of its unimportance begs the question of who exactly intimate spaces were most important to.
The question that remains is to what extent it matters how subjects understood and interpreted the actions of regimes based on biopower. Oct 20, morning Os rated it really liked it Shelves: It’s funny how so few people write a review on this here although many have read this.
This one is more historical and substantial than her “Race and the Education of Desire. Jan 18, DoctorM rated it really liked it Shelves: Stoler’s “Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power” is less one monograph than several essays put together as chapters.
Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule
The individual chapters recycle a basis theme, but the theme is worth considering: She addresses the issue of mixed-race marriages when and how and where mixed offspring where classified as “European” or “native” as well as the d Stoler’s “Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power” is less knoweldge monograph than several essays put together as chapters. She addresses the issue of pwer marriages when and how and where mixed offspring where classified as “European” or “native” as well as the deep concern colonial authorities had for the problem of poor whites, a class whose existence not only drained government funds but undermined the “prestige” considered so vital to maintaining colonial rule.
Stoler also looks at the intimate spaces of colonial households– at the child-rearing practices designed to keep European children from succumbing to the cultural lures and “degeneracy” of the tropics, at the way in which a hyper-masculinised version of maleness was promoted in order to keep up the belief in white prestige and invincibility.
Sometimes repetitive, but well-researched and knowldege. Jul 21, Rachael Rose added it Shelves: Drawing on research from the s to the early s, Ann Stoler argues that colonization in the Dutch East Indies imperiaal the private and public spheres in the cafnal of the family and the home. According to her reasoning, intermarriage and concubinage between the Dutch and the Natives served to widen the rifts between children of mixed marriages, poor whites, the Natives, and the Dutch.
Basing her arguments on generalizations and including information about countries involved in contemporary Drawing on research from the stkler to the early s, Ann Stoler argues that colonization in the Dutch East Indies blurred the private and public spheres in the context of the family and the home. Basing her arguments on generalizations and including information about countries involved in contemporary conflicts, she conflates the histories of many major colonizing powers such as England, Germany, and the Ottoman Empire in the nineteenth century with the ongoing politics of countries such as France, Israel, and the United States today.
By broadening her scope too much in the preface, she leaves out the untold histories of those not involved in the Dutch colonization of the East Indies. Nevertheless, she focuses too much on colonialism in a global field in her preface. She singles out these particular countries. In the preface, she singles out the countries which have recently come under scrutiny by the UN and public opinion, as opposed to countries who had occupied more territory and may have been harsher colonizers.
Nevertheless in the poqer sections, she writes convincingly. Most often, the historically colonized and the historic colonizers saw one another in a different light.
Stoler mentions her intent to focus on purported racisms, and her intent to focus on the cultural framing of political categories in the style of Edward Said. She also draws on sentiments expressed in literature. She does not relate the relationship identifications to the global context she tries to include in her preface in this chapter.
In chapter two, Stoler focuses on post-colonialist theory. She draws on taxonomic classifications of people championed by Edward Said a criticism of familial love conflated with a nationalist agenda.
These include skin color and shared characteristics. Said had argued that what really matters has nothing to do with marginalization, rather it has to do with accepting his metaphor of the Middle East and the West as a sexual one which objectifies the Middle East. The underlying power relation between scholar and subject matter is never once altered: Study, understanding, knowledge, evaluation, masked as blandishments to “harmony”, are instruments of conquest.
Specifically, it does not counter her unrelated vilification of France, the United States, and Israel and it conflates history with political thought. In chapter three, Stoler places gender-specific sexual sanctions and prohibitions as something at the heart of the imperial agenda.
She mentions the subjection of women and the prominence of sex symbols in colonial culture. Stoler mentions that eugenics was a latecomer to the colonial discourse and assumes that therefore fear of racial degeneracy did not apply.
Of course, she does not mention German colonialism which may or may not have employed eugenics. She does not go into detail about the roles women played in the various European cultures and she does not go into detail about the emerging ideology of feminism.
She does not mention all the specific laws, what qualified them as racist, and which countries promulgated racist laws. In chapter five, Stoler focuses on the domesticating strategies of empire. She mentions the importance of state interest in harnessing sentiment.
The more nationalism prevalent and the more perceived opportunities and benevolence the state offered, the poaer likely knowledeg was to occur. Nationalism was a tool used by the state to promote empire. Again, she does not use specific examples from all the global powers of this time period. Stoler writes about how the inclusion of empire in the study of sexuality and racism can lead to a changed perception of how we view the history of European racism.
In the epilogue, Stoler re-contextualizes her argument. She again utilizes a taxonomy similar to that of Edward Said in framing her argument against racism juxtaposing idea of the family to the idea of colonialist era humanism.
She mentions the fact that uncertainties were prompted by those on the racial margins. Nevertheless, she rejects the fixity of racial categories. She argues that in a comparative frame, the state often categorized people using taxonomies for mnemonic purposes.
It was easier to classify people that way. She removes herself too much from the writing of history in so doing. Thus Stoler argues that taxonomic, community-based, and gendered orientations shaped the way the Dutch and other empires saw the natives. They were not afraid of being intimate with those that they sometimes fought against or oppressed or employed or married.
They sought to dominate and they did. Stoler leaves out a good deal of the global context.
By singling out some countries and not mentioning others, she makes somewhat unfair global generalizations about colonialism and empire. More information on this subject would be intriguing.
Feb 12, Julia Kott rated it liked it. A foundational text, said my professor a couple times. There were definitely issues with the book, but I think it was useful in that it draws out the changing int A foundational text, said my professor a couple times. Her approach is to look from the top downlooking at laws and official statements in order to interpret how things were changing on the ground.
The books reads like a literature review of scholarly work on European colonialism and the organization of intimate relations during the 18thth century. A czrnal deal of theory woven in and some unusual insight that contrasts with previous thought on sexuality among colonizers and native women. Interesting criticism impfrial Foucault’s “History of Sexuality”.