"Pursuing her uncompromising quest for the invisible or unthinkable traces of our colonial past, Ann Laura Stoler questions and complicates self-evident genealogies. Extending her critical reflection to multiple scenes across continents, she offers a beautifully written book on how people and societies endure this everlasting yet occluded or silenced presence of imperial debris." — Didier Fassin, Professor of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
"Duress is an extraordinary excavation of colonialism’s recurrent conceptualizations of massive zones of ecological ruination, human vulnerability, and affective disregard. Ann Laura Stoler is laser-like in the forensics of those imperial pursuits—global and across centuries—whose accumulating sedimentations have all but naturalized unremitting states of emergency, eternal war, and perpetual exceptions to the rule of law. This book’s comprehensive clarity about the histories of our present is a gift of vision that, if heeded, might point the distance toward reckoning and repair." — Patricia J. Williams, author of, The Alchemy of Race and Rights: Diary of a Law Professor
"Concept-work, as performed by Ann Laura Stoler, is always concerned with very concrete objects and situations. However, the stakes are highly speculative and ethical: to reform our understanding of time, as it tacitly inflects the common perception of things 'postcolonial,' under the premise of a past that was fatal, or should never have been. Tracking the duress of the colony within our present experience becomes an injunction to proceed from occlusion to insecurity, to transform our historical selves." — Etienne Balibar, author of, Citizen Subject: Foundations for Philosophical Anthropology
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