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a John Hope Franklin Center Book

Duress: Imperial Durabilities in Our Times

Ann Laura Stoler
Ann Laura Stoler

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.

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Book Chapter

Racial Regimes of Truth

October 2016

This chapter challenges the notion that the “new racism” is rooted in culture, as opposed to the “purer” and earlier biological racism that was not. It questions what those who study the history of racism think we know about racial epistemologies and what might be considered the political consequences of thinking race is secured as a concept by knowing race or dismissing race in certain ways. It argues that the hardened assumptions about what colonialism and racism once looked like make little room for the mobile essentialisms that produce racism’s protean qualities. Racial essences are made up not of a fictively fixed and finite set of features but of an essentialized, malleable, and substitutable range. Racial formations combine elements of fixity and fluidity in ways that make them both resilient and impervious to empirical, experiential counterclaims

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