Duress: Imperial Durabilities in Our Times
Ann Laura Stoler is Willy Brandt Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology and Historical Studies at The New School for Social Research and the author and editor of many books, including Imperial Debris: On Ruins and Ruination and Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault's History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things, both also published by Duke University Press.
Reason Aside: Enlightenment Projects and Empire’s Security Regimes
This chapter seeks to reorient how the political rationalities of imperial forms have been conceived. It considers how a focus on the “supremacy of reason” as the master trope of colonial government by which empire’s agents claimed their authority has displaced the affective work that such rationalities perform. It argues that such assumptions are not only unfounded; they occlude what constituted the practices of rule: the affective attachments encouraged, the sensibilities schooled, and the dark anticipatory fears engendered among those charged with colonial “defense.” The focus on reason displaces a crucial imperial genealogy and history of the present that forms the basis of contemporary imperial counterinsurgency, surveillance, security, and “preparedness” strategies. Here the concept work is around the sentiments and sensibilities that notions of security produce, on the subjects they endeavor to create, on the manipulations of space they condone, and on the objects of fear they nourish and reproduce.