Historiography

Along the Archival Grain: Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial by Ann Laura Stoler PDF

By Ann Laura Stoler

ISBN-10: 0691015783

ISBN-13: 9780691015781

Alongside the Archival Grain deals a special methodological and analytic starting to the affective registers of imperial governance and the political content material of archival types. In a chain of nuanced mediations at the nature of colonial records from the nineteenth-century Netherlands Indies, Ann Laura Stoler identifies the social epistemologies that guided belief and perform, revealing the challenging racial ontologies of that stressed epistemic area. Navigating normal and impressive paths in the course of the lettered lives of these who governed, she seizes on moments whilst good judgment failed and winning different types now not appeared to paintings. She asks no longer what colonial brokers knew, yet what occurred whilst what they idea they knew they discovered they didn't. Rejecting the suggestion that archival hard work be approached as an extractive firm, Stoler units her attractions on archival creation as a consequential act of governance, as a box of strength with violent impression, and never least as a shiny house to do ethnography.

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The Seductions of State Secrets Institutions create shadowed places in which nothing can be seen and no questions asked. They make other areas show in finely discriminated detail, which is closely scrutinized and ordered. History emerges in an unintended shape as a result of practices directed to immediate, practical ends. To watch these practices establish selective principles that highlight some kinds of events and obscure others is to inspect the social order operating on individual minds. —Mary Douglas, How Institutions Think Archivists are the first to note that to understand an archive, one needs to understand the institutions that it served.

Breen, “Foundations, Statistics, and State-Building,” Business History Review 68 (1994): 451–82. 31 On the use of the comparison as an instrument of statecraft, see my “Tense and Tender Ties,” in Haunted by Empire, ed. : Duke University Press, 2006), esp. 23–58. 32 Timothy Mitchell, “The Limits of the State,” American Political Science Review 85 (1991): 77–96. qxd 6/19/08 1:59 PM Page 32 32 • Chapter Two already been, back to the immediate here and now out of which we have created our present knowledge of the world.

Secret documents could have as their source native paid informants who were vertrouwensmannen (trustworthy men, who one took into one’s confidence); Eurasians who were charged—as was Pangemannan—to interpret native signs of discontent and distress; and, not least, purveyors of culture and psychology, anthropologists and others deemed Java experts. Secrets do more than limit access. They promise confidences and confidence in limited circulation about something others do not and should not know. Items about clandestine police maneuvers, military preparations, and deliberations about an impending revolt are what we expect to be marked as geheim, with an X.

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Along the Archival Grain: Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial Commonsense by Ann Laura Stoler


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