Interior Frontiers: Dangerous Concepts in Our Times
Ann Laura Stoler
Willy Brandt Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology and Historical Studies
The New School for Social Research
"Interior Frontiers: Dangerous Concepts in Our Times"
Thursday, November 2, 2017
Reception to follow the lecture
Co-sponsored by the Department of History
The lecture is free and open to the public
This project is part of an extended effort to identify some of the conditions that produce ways of thinking and being about what is rendered inside and outside the circumferences of comfort and the circumscribed parameters of care. It explores how those demarcations, and what Clifford Geertz once called the“delicacies of distinction,” are drawn. The paper makes a case for thinking about what Etienne Balibar once called the “astonishing” term “interior frontiers,” touching on some chilling features of the relationship between personal and polity, as well as on why closure, confinement, and removal from the “interior” are made to make ‘common sense.’ Professor Stoler looks at the polyvalence of a term “interior frontiers” that both promises comfort and, even in its most seemingly benevolent strains, invests in the distinctions of human kinds and appraisals of inequitable worth.
Ann Laura Stoler is Willy Brandt Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology and Historical Studies at The New School for Social Research. Stoler is the director of the Institute for Critical Social Inquiry. Her research focuses on the politics of knowledge, colonial governance, racial epistemologies, the sexual politics of empire, and ethnography of the archives. Her books include Capitalism and Confrontation in Sumatra’s Plantation Belt, 1870–1979 (1985; 1995) Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault’s History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things (1995), Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule (2002, 2010), Along the Archival Grain: Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial Common Sense (2009) and the edited volumes Tensions of Empire: Colonial Cultures in a Bourgeois World (with Frederick Cooper, 1997), Haunted by Empire: Geographies of Intimacy in North American History (2006), Imperial Formations (with Carole McGranahan and Peter Perdue, 2007), Imperial Debris: On Ruins and Ruination (2013), and Duress: Imperial Durabilities in Our Times (2016).
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