ANN LAURA STOLER /// The Colonial Administration of Bodies and Space




Ann Laura Stoler and I begin this conversation by introducing the political context lexicon (see below) that she co-curates and edits. We then discuss the work she had done around the colonial management of sexuality and reproduction. The existence of the métis (mix-blooded) child in the colony renders more complex the binary distinction between colon citizens and colonial subjects. Biology is nevertheless not merely the only site of recognition for the colonial administration, behavior is also extremely important in the access to citizenship. We examine how space, whether corridor or school, is built to accommodate the administrated behavior of the colony. Finally, Ann gives us a preview of her forthcoming book that attaches a strong importance to the notion of duress and the concepts we need to write new colonial histories of the present.

Ann Laura Stoler is Willy Brandt Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology and Historical Studies at the The New School for Social Research in New York City. She has worked on issues of colonial governance, racial epistemologies, and the sexual politics of empire. Her regional focus has been Southeast Asia. She was a visiting distinguished professor at the École des hautes études and at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris and is recipient of Fulbright, Guggenheim, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Science Foundation and Social Science Research Council fellowships.




– Ann Laura Stoler, Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault’s History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things, Duke University Press, 1995.
– Ann Laura Stoler, Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule, University of California Press, 2002.
– Ann Laura Stoler (ed), Imperial Debris, Duke University Press, 2013.
– Ann Laura Stoler, Imperial Duress, forthcoming, 2015.


– “The Desired Colonized Body” (December 2013)
– “The Law Turned into Walls” (February 2014)