• Cloth: $94.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-3836-9
  • Paperback: $26.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-3889-5
  • Quantity
  • Add To Bag
  • Acknowledgments xi

    Empires of Love: An Introduction 1

    1. Rotten Worlds 27

    2. Spiritual Freedom, Cultural Copyright 95

    3. The Intimate Event and Genealogical Society 175

    Notes 237

    Bibliography 257
  • The Empire of Love has much to offer, not least of which is a vision of how an anthropologist might keep vigil with the wounds that liberalism inscribes on bodies and minds. . . . [A] brave and useful book.”

    The Empire of Love is a remarkable book which is theoretically ambitious as it is compelling. It makes a very significant critical contribution to thinking sexuality in the operations of liberal governance, to open up and reinvigorate this field of analysis and theoretical intervention.”

    “[A] lively and engaging style. . . . [T]he final chapter of the book is absorbing reading and should be a set text for students in women’s and queer studies.”

    “[A] unique work by a unique author.”

    “[A]n important contribution to understanding how 'heterotopias', or spaces of otherness, continue to be constructed and performed (sometimes even despite agents' intentions) by those who resist all imperial hegemonizing of the social field—in this case one which aims to solve the 'problem' of difference and equality through the production of identical liberal agents with intimate selves that are immanently governable. It will be important reading for all those interested in liberal colonial governance, post-colonial theory, queer theory or studies in biopolitics.”

    “[T]here are some great insights and vivid examples . . . and the whole project is animated by a passionate concern about the real dilemmas and material consequences of life and lobe. In these ways, Povinelli amply demonstrates the virtues of transcending ‘sexuality studies’ as a think unto itself—a ghettoized scholarly domain.”

    “Elizabeth Povinelli's new book, The Empire of Love, elaborates a stronger way of understanding what goes by the name of identity.”

    “The great strength of Povinelli’s work is the introduction of a way of thinking about the interconnectedness of individual experiences and indeed the contingency of one’s experience on the existence of another.”

    “This is a fresh, original and compelling text from an author with a diverse cultural and academic background. . . . [A] text of originality, insight and considerable charm. Decades of close engagement with individuals and groups from hidden, suppressed, misunderstood and frequently maligned cultures (and subcultures) have served Povinelli well.”

    Reviews

  • The Empire of Love has much to offer, not least of which is a vision of how an anthropologist might keep vigil with the wounds that liberalism inscribes on bodies and minds. . . . [A] brave and useful book.”

    The Empire of Love is a remarkable book which is theoretically ambitious as it is compelling. It makes a very significant critical contribution to thinking sexuality in the operations of liberal governance, to open up and reinvigorate this field of analysis and theoretical intervention.”

    “[A] lively and engaging style. . . . [T]he final chapter of the book is absorbing reading and should be a set text for students in women’s and queer studies.”

    “[A] unique work by a unique author.”

    “[A]n important contribution to understanding how 'heterotopias', or spaces of otherness, continue to be constructed and performed (sometimes even despite agents' intentions) by those who resist all imperial hegemonizing of the social field—in this case one which aims to solve the 'problem' of difference and equality through the production of identical liberal agents with intimate selves that are immanently governable. It will be important reading for all those interested in liberal colonial governance, post-colonial theory, queer theory or studies in biopolitics.”

    “[T]here are some great insights and vivid examples . . . and the whole project is animated by a passionate concern about the real dilemmas and material consequences of life and lobe. In these ways, Povinelli amply demonstrates the virtues of transcending ‘sexuality studies’ as a think unto itself—a ghettoized scholarly domain.”

    “Elizabeth Povinelli's new book, The Empire of Love, elaborates a stronger way of understanding what goes by the name of identity.”

    “The great strength of Povinelli’s work is the introduction of a way of thinking about the interconnectedness of individual experiences and indeed the contingency of one’s experience on the existence of another.”

    “This is a fresh, original and compelling text from an author with a diverse cultural and academic background. . . . [A] text of originality, insight and considerable charm. Decades of close engagement with individuals and groups from hidden, suppressed, misunderstood and frequently maligned cultures (and subcultures) have served Povinelli well.”

  • “Elizabeth A. Povinelli’s Empire of Love is a stunning achievement, tracking the intricate connections between forms of liberal governance and forms of love in the contemporary world. Povinelli renounces any temptation to take the highway of thought and instead takes the reader on a journey in which worlds known and less-known are slowly and patiently explored and shared. This is a book that touches the soul.” — Veena Das, Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University

    “What a brilliant book. Elizabeth A. Povinelli strives to make all the intellectual moves that need to be made today: connecting studies of sexuality to other phenomena that seem to be unrelated, thus opening out what gets to count as ‘sexuality’; thinking about sexuality in relation to liberal governance; and moving us beyond the binary opposition of freedom versus constraint. These arguments are refreshing as well as pressing for our times.” — Lisa Rofel, author of Desiring China

    “Writing in this exquisite and courageous book of her experiences of community at opposite ends of the world, Elizabeth A. Povinelli meditates here on everything that both links and divides Australian indigenes from North American radical faeries—and, in so doing, provides us with an astonishing account of embodied intimacies caught between global discourses of individual freedom and social constraint.” — Andrew Parker, editor of The Philosopher and His Poor by Jacques Rancière

  • Permission to Photocopy (coursepacks)

    If you are requesting permission to photocopy material for classroom use, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center at copyright.com;

    If the Copyright Clearance Center cannot grant permission, you may request permission from our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Permission to Reprint

    If you are requesting permission to reprint DUP material (journal or book selection) in another book or in any other format, contact our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Images/Art

    Many images/art used in material copyrighted by Duke University Press are controlled, not by the Press, but by the owner of the image. Please check the credit line adjacent to the illustration, as well as the front and back matter of the book for a list of credits. You must obtain permission directly from the owner of the image. Occasionally, Duke University Press controls the rights to maps or other drawings. Please direct permission requests for these images to permissions@dukeupress.edu.
    For book covers to accompany reviews, please contact the publicity department.

    Subsidiary Rights/Foreign Translations

    If you're interested in a Duke University Press book for subsidiary rights/translations, please contact permissions@dukeupress.edu. Include the book title/author, rights sought, and estimated print run.

    Disability Requests

    Instructions for requesting an electronic text on behalf of a student with disabilities are available here.

    Rights & Permissions Contact Information

    Email: permissions@dukeupress.edu
    Email contact for coursepacks: asstpermissions@dukeupress.edu
    Fax: 919-688-4574
    Mail:
    Duke University Press
    Rights and Permissions
    905 W. Main Street
    Suite 18B
    Durham, NC 27701

    For all requests please include:
    1. Author's name. If book has an editor that is different from the article author, include editor's name also.
    2. Title of the journal article or book chapter and title of journal or title of book
    3. Page numbers (if excerpting, provide specifics)
    For coursepacks, please also note: The number of copies requested, the school and professor requesting
    For reprints and subsidiary rights, please also note: Your volume title, publication date, publisher, print run, page count, rights sought
  • Description

    In The Empire of Love anthropologist Elizabeth A. Povinelli reflects on a set of ethical and normative claims about the governance of love, sociality, and the body that circulates in liberal settler colonies such as the United States and Australia. She boldly theorizes intimate relations as pivotal sites where liberal logics and aspirations absorbed through settler imperialism are manifest, where discourses of self-sovereignty, social constraint, and value converge.

    For more than twenty years, Povinelli has traveled to the social worlds of indigenous men and women living at Belyuen, a small community in the Northern Territory of Australia. More recently she has moved across communities of alternative progressive queer movements in the United States, particularly those who identify as radical faeries. In this book she traces how liberal binary concepts of individual freedom and social constraint influence understandings of intimacy in these two worlds. At the same time, she describes alternative models of social relations within each group in order to highlight modes of intimacy that transcend a reductive choice between freedom and constraint.

    Shifting focus away from identities toward the social matrices out of which identities and divisions emerge, Povinelli offers a framework for thinking through such issues as what counts as sexuality and which forms of intimate social relations result in the distribution of rights, recognition, and resources, and which do not. In The Empire of Love Povinelli calls for, and begins to formulate, a politics of “thick life,” a way of representing social life nuanced enough to meet the density and variation of actual social worlds.

    About The Author(s)

    Elizabeth A. Povinelli is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Columbia University, where she is also Codirector of the Center for the Study of Law and Culture. She is the author of The Cunning of Recognition: Indigenous Alterities and the Making of Australian Multiculturalism, also published by Duke University Press. She is a former editor of the journal Public Culture.

Explore More
Share

Create a reading list or add to an existing list. Sign-in or register now to continue.


Contact Us

  • Duke University Press
  • 905 W. Main St. Ste 18-B
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • U.S. phone (toll-free): 888-651-0122
  • International: 1-919-688-5134
  • orders@dukeupress.edu