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.
Imperial Debris and Ruination
This chapter takes up Derek Walcott’s challenging definition of colonialism as the rot that remains when the men are gone to reckon with what endures in tangible and intangible forms. The focus is less on recognized ruins than on processes of ongoing ruination. It asks how the “slow violence” of imperial formations is dislodged from the politics that produced it, the toxic consequences of imperial debris and duress on matter and mind. It asks what is left and what people are left with that make up not a finite colonial past but a “colonial presence.”