written by kanishka sikri

Disrupting the Spatial & Temporal
Scope of Oppression

What are the tools of oppression?

We live in a system of power relations and oppressor/oppressed dynamics. These power and relational dynamics are exercised through and by adherence to the logic of our colonial capitalist supremacist patriarchy; injustices, inequalities, and exploitation expand as processes out of this system. These technologies (processes) of oppression refer to the manifestation of power relations and hierarchies of superordinate/subordinates in everyday social systems including but not limited to, modern states, social norms, “common sense”, education infrastructure, media representations/symbolic discourse, and police/legal institutions.

In this regard, the processes of oppression—technology, surveillance, policing, discipline, violence—have flowed, moved, and been manipulated for the different social and political climates they are expressed in. The preceding surveillance and technologies of oppression are changing even when the systems of oppression have stayed in tact. This system—colonial capitalist supremacist patriarchy—determines a social order which then changes over time as there are technological improvements, migration and transnational developments, and infrastructure and institutional changes, thus determining different social processes. Our social order is then a racist colonial capitalist patriarchal one because it is based on a colonial capitalist supremacist patriarchal system.

Utilizing a postcolonial feminist and transnational intersectionality frame, I interrogate the socio-political processes through which oppression is reproduced, and elucidate the birth of these systems including the ways in which they have been transformed by, for, and throughout the various historical periods they find themselves in. Critical of analyzing these regimes as homogeneous one dimensional systems of either or, I do not wish to reify purely economic, technological or scientific understandings of current structures but to re-conceptualize and trace their evolution throughout history from this postcolonial feminist praxis. This mapping then serves to situate contemporary history into four major regimes/periods which showcase how and through which mechanisms the tools and technologies of oppression have manifested in the form of our colonial capitalist supremacist patriarchy.

These tools of oppression, and the systems they birth from, originated from the general advancement of society from a natural, primitive state to a civil one (Locke 1963; Tilly 1975). The agreement of individuals to band as a collective, adhering to certain laws, norms, and doctrines they have willingly chosen to engage in, marks the beginning of contemporary oppression. The process through which citizens entered this social contract is marked by two key characteristics: a) the agreement to abide by certain laws and doctrines thereby sacrificing some individual freedom for collective freedom, and b) the hunt not only for individual (which was already present in a state of nature) but collective power—social, economic, and physical—as a nation state (Parsons 1966; Weinstein 2005; Dussel 1995). Without the entry of Europe into a civil society, power would have been confined to the individual and familial level, not to a nation state. In this capacity, individual power would be isolated to their respective locales, and external expansion would not have occurred in the capacity it has (Williams 1994; Marzec 2002). This hunt for power, backed by both ideology and technological capacity of the time, brought society into the space of coloniality, which paved the path for other oppressive systems to embed themselves in modern society (Jennings 1971; Pulido 2017; Mignolo 2015).

Economic gain at this stage of technology, which was very little, was possible only through the physical control of land, resources and people (Gilroy 1993; Silva 2007). This justified physical expansion to the Americas which would provide Europeans the necessary power they were hunting for as they bond themselves as a nation—this was the beginning of colonialism in the civil world. Beyond just economic gain, Europeans needed some reason to justify this domination to themselves and their collectives—this led to the social stratification of society by race which was indicated on the basis of skin colour and differences in physical characteristics; whereby Indigenous peoples were placed at the bottom, right before the lowest of the low: black peoples (Williams 1994; Baptist 2014; Cooper 2006). This was to maintain white as virtuous, pure, and clean compared to those of darker skin tones—maintaining the white saviour and superiority complex (Dubois 2004; Gilroy 1993). 

However, racial stratification was not enough as male Europeans wanted to dominate Indigenous women as well. This cultivated in the stratification and eventual gendered divide alongside and through racial hierarchies (Afshar & Mary 1994; Chant 2016). Indigenous men were placed on top of their fellow women but below white women who were dominated by white men (Gandhi 1998; Jackson 1996). The patriarchal society of Europe which placed men over women, during the feudal age, gave European men the necessary hierarchy to impose along with differences imposed through stratification based on skin colour. This enabled a different dimension of oppression to women of colour by the white man—sexual (McClintock 1995; Mohanty 1991). Simultaneously, through the forced labour of Indigenous peoples, and the exploitation of their lands and resources, the accumulation of wealth from colonial labour flowed to the hands of Europeans who invested majority of that economic surplus into technological advancement (Frank 1970; Lall 1975). This advancement gave way to the creation of advanced ships and archival/record keeping technology which could supply labour transnationally, thus enabling the slave trade to take place (Fischer 2004; Genovese 1976).

Social stratification by race and sex ultimately placed black peoples, and black women in particular, at the very bottom of the social hierarchy (Weinstein 2005; hooks 1995). Since technology was now available and advanced enough through Indigenous exploitation to begin importing and exporting labour transnationally, the slave trade was both justified by white supremacist ideals and had the means to be exercised (Lorde, 1966; Spivak 1982). The mass upheaval of Africans from their homes to the Americas and Europe was characterized by a new type of colonization—one that did not have to operate in the locale of those being exploited (Lughones, 2002). Instead, it could be conducted on a global scale. This gave way to division between people of colour communities who were being exploited, allowing Indigenous peoples to hold rights over black Africans who were forced into work in the Americas (Fanon 1993; Fanon 1982; Lorde 1976). Thus, even though colonization gave way for the social order necessary for the slave trade, Europeans still utilized racial hierarchies to dismantle solidarity and collective resistance between people of colour who were being subjected to the white man’s rule (Spivak 2006; Dubois 2004; Mohanty 1988). 

Furthermore, the slave trade predicating itself on the gendered hierarchies established during the time of initial colonization enabled the sexual and physical exploitation of black women. The dynamic of the slave-slave owner, particularly in the sexual sense, allowed for some black women to survive through utilizing sexual appeal as a mechanism to gain power over their oppressors (Williams 1994; Baptist 2014; Cooper 2006). These powers, while giving them an edge in relational power to other fellow black women, did not change the hierarchy that placed them at the bottom. Instead, the slave trade and the commodification of certain bodies performing labour relied on women—particularly women of colour’s reproductive labour to sustain the future labouring populations—the slaves (hooks 1998; hooks 2008; Lorde 1978). Black women were not just placed below for social and ideological justification, but were economically necessary to be placed at this level so they would not gain any power that would hinder their ability to be readily available for social and physical reproduction for the white man’s economic gain (Fischer 2004; Genovese 1976). 

Additionally, the enclosure and co-opting of the fruits of black people’s labour led to a massive accumulation of wealth in Europe and the Americas which provided white peoples the capacity to invest in technology and begin the development process and transition from a feudal society to an industrial one (Gandhi 1998; Jackson 1996).This accumulation of wealth during slavery is what made Europe and the Americas the industrial power houses they are today. The necessary industrial and technological advancements for capitalism to operate was done through the labour and backs of people of colour, and in particular women of colour (Merlo 1995; Baptist 2014). Capitalism, and the advancement of the “First World” could not rise in the capacity it had without the institution of colonialism, white supremacy, and patriarchy—these systems are then embedded into one another for their collective and individual survival (Drescher 1990; Connell 2014). For example, James Watts, the innovator of the steam engine, acknowledged and heavily thanked his fellow slave owners in the West Indies for their economic investment and funding into his technological projects (Watts 1768). These mechanisms—the accumulation of wealth during slavery and the exploitation of Indigenous communities gave way and paved the path for the Industrial Revolution to take place, and for capitalism to come into existence; which employed a new type of slavery, one that began and ended within the workplace (Lawson 2014; Cesaire 1972). 

The rise and continuation of capitalism and the industrial revolution in the western world produced economic gain for capitalists in unprecedented capacities. At the same time, as abolition politics were fighting against slavery and the continued colonization of Africa, the upkeep—both social and economic—of slaves began to increase while the cost of hiring “consensual” labour from populations who were ready, willing, and able to supply labour was decreasing as unemployment started soaring (Toruillot 2004; Anderson 1679; Lawson 2011). This employment scarcity was also in line with the displacement of peoples from their labour through the introduction of machinery and technology. This pushed the wages labourers were willing to accept quite low, to the point where slavery was contradictory to economic prosperity for capitalists and slave owners. This began a shift in thinking of labour away from that of lived slavery to that of slavery that began and ended in the workplace (Abel 1993, Lorde 1978; Fanon 1966; Said 1976). 

Furthermore, racial hierarchies manufactured and imposed during the time of colonization and the slave trades had to be both restructured in this changing socio-political climate and implemented in various capacities to shift the changing perception of commodified labour from the locale to the global (Fanon 1966; Roy 2013; Rene 2004).  White supremacist ideals then began to shape hierarchies beyond racial divide, but into the divides of civility and othered, as had been slowly spewing during the times of slavery. Supremacy prescribed upon global structures the understandings of certain locales on the global as uncivilized and deemed worthy for extraction of labour and resources alone (Said 1977; hooks 1999; Lee 2016). This justified further colonization throughout the word beyond Africa and the initial Americas, into almost every locale in physical existence at the time. The “third word” emerged in this regard to justify the first world’s interventions and deliberate extraction of their physical land, resources, and peoples. Colonial expansion was both then justified by white supremacist ideals that were restructured by the “first world” through markers of civility, and the economic need of western capitalists to continue their prosperity and accumulate further wealth (Keri 2004; Danny 2014; Smith 1972). 

Concurrently, women in the third world were further stigmatized and othered in order to extract surplus from their reproductive labour and ability for social care. Capitalist and supremacist ideals necessary for colonial expansion predicated itself on the embedded disengagement of women from formal labour markets; which in itself is a consequence of a system that not only allows but depends on the unpaid social care and reproductive labour of women (Darby 1997; Fredette 2015). This unpaid labour of women in the third world is the foundation through which capitalism is able to assert itself as a tool to accumulate immense capital in the first world and has thus been built into the very logic of social realities (Hirsch 2019; Krishna 1993). 

Shifts in the process and mentality of western thought happened without regard to the necessities of capitalism for constant restructuring and the need to obtain more, which will always be done through enclosure, entrenchment and commodification of everyday life (Mahmoud 2011; Patil 2013). While all tools of oppression have a role and play out in the construction of each regime, we can see in this third regime that capitalism fueled by supremacy overtly manifested itself in the way coloniality and patriarchy played out and had been (re)structured.

As countries began to demand independence from the first world in its continuous exploitation and genocide of its populations, colonization began to replace itself with a new form of interference and surveillance—neoliberal development (Radcliffe 2015; Stoler 1995). In this merging of capitalism and colonialist oppression, countries of the south were bounded to the north through structural and institutional dependency both economic and political. This dependency was not as salient as during relations of colonization seen in the preceding regime(s), but latently exhibited through the deliberate manufacturing of colonialist institutions which would situate the south as forever dependent on the north (Tyler 2013). This included several different mechanisms from structural adjustment programs to the establishment of western hegemonic bodies such as the United Nations and the World Bank (Smith 2014; Stoler 1995). 

Coupled with the constant capitalist accumulation that is ever changing in its design, capitalism and white supremacist ideals began to insert themselves as a path for development the south to aspire to. Placing the north as the ultimate result of centuries of progress, the south was placed as a mere object in a race of advancement with the north as the end goal (Jay 2018; Lianne 1996). This justified development missions sanctioned by hegemonic entities to keep up the surveillance, policing and discipline of the south under the guise of aid and advancement (Moore 2016). The deliberate ignorance on the part of the north allowed for the maintaining of it’s supremacy by arguing forth that the third word has not the knowledge to dictate its own advancement but needs guidance in forming its “development”; a paradoxical form of aid in which the beneficiaries are not included in its process but as mere recipients of its actions (Wilson 2015; Gilroy 1993). 

These development missions also pursued and furthered the othering of third world women who were distinguished as needing saving from their male counterparts through separate development missions; which in the name of diversity and inclusion served to exclude women from the primary beneficiaries of development: men (Mohanty 1988; hooks 2004; Spivak 1998). Women’s needs and bodies were and are deemed as secondary, enabling the patriarchal development initiatives which further isolate women from progress whether it be through disengagement from development programs, dispossession from formal labour, continued political repression, and/or violence against women from development institutions and practitioners themselves (Baptist 2014; Cole 1985; Mollett 2018). 

Even without the term of colonized-colonizer which was replaced with independence, the north still has neo-imperial control of the south, whether it is through neoliberal economic policy, wars and political infringement including military bases, or infiltration into the social norms and orders the south should aspire to (Fischer 2004; Lall 1975). The north maintains its distinction and dominance as the oppressor in this new relationship, regardless of whether it follows the titles as traditionally prescribed by colonialism, capitalism, white supremacy, and patriarchy.

Colonialism: 

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Colley, Linda 1992. Britons: Forging the Nation 1707-1837. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Du Bois, WEB 1935. Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880. Various imprints

Dussel, Enrique D. 1995. The Invention of the Americas: Eclipse of “the Other” and the Myth of Modernity. New York: Continuum.

Gilroy, Paul 1993. The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness. Cambridge. Harvard University Press.

Locke, John, and Peter Laslett. 1963. Two treatises of government. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Parsons, Talcott 1966. Societies: Evolutionary and Comparative Perspectives. New Jersey: PrenticeHall Inc.

Silva, Denise Ferreira da 2007. Toward a Global Idea of Race. Minneapolis: University of Minneapolis Press.

Tilly, Charles 1975a. ‘Reflections on the History of European State-Making’ in Charles Tilly (ed.) The Formation of National States in Western Europe, pp3-83. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Trouillot, Michel-Rolph 2005. ‘The Power in the Story’ in Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History. Beacon Press. 

Weinstein, Barbara 2005. ‘History without a Cause? Grand Narratives, World History, and the Postcolonial Dilemma,’ International Review of Social History 50 (1): 71–93.

Williams, Eric 1944. Capitalism and Slavery. University of North Carolina Press. 

Capitalism:  

Césaire, Aimé 1972 [1955]. Discourse on Colonialism, translated by Joan Pinkham. New York: Monthly Review Press.

Frank, Andre Gunder 1970. Latin America: Underdevelopment of Revolution. Essays on the Development of Underdevelopment and the Immediate Enemy. New York: Monthly Review.

Franklin, Ursula M. 1990. The real world of technology. Montréal: CBC Enterprises.

Hochschild, Adam 1999. King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Central Africa. London: Macmillan. 

Jennings, Francis 1971. ‘Virgin Land and Savage People,’ American Quarterly 23 (4): 519-541.

Lall, Sanjaya 1975. ‘Is “Dependence” a Useful Concept in Analysing Underdevelopment?,’ World Development 3 (11-12): 799-810.

Lawson, Tom 2014. The Last Man: A British Genocide in Tasmania. I. B. Tauris.

Marzec, Robert P. 2002. ‘Enclosures, Colonization, and the Robinson Crusoe Syndrome: A Genealogy of Land in a Global Context,’ boundary 2 29 (2): 129-156.

Merlo, M. 1995. ‘Common Property Forest Management in Northern Italy: A Historical and Socioeconomic Profile,’ Unasylva, 46: 58–63

Neeson, J. M. 1993. Commoners: Common Right, Enclosure and Social Change in England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

White Supremacy:

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Beaumont, Gustave 1999 [1835]. Marie: or Slavery in the United States. John Hopkins Press.

Bhambra, Gurminder K and Victoria Margree 2010. ‘Tocqueville, Beaumont and the Silences in Histories of the United States: An Interdisciplinary Endeavour across Literature and Sociology,’ Journal of Historical Sociology 24 (1): 116-31.

Chatterjee, Indrani and Richard Eaton 2006. Slavery and South Asian History. Indiana University Press.

Cole, Jeffrey A. 1985. The Potosí Mita: Compulsory Indian Labor in the Andes. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Cooper, Anna Julia 2006. Slavery and the French and Haitian Revolutionists. Edited and translated by Frances Richardson Keller. Lanham: Rowman Littlefield.

Drescher, S 1990. ‘The Ending of the Slave Trade and the Evolution of European Scientific Racism,’ Social Science History 14 (3): 415–450.

Dubois, Laurent 2004. A Colony of Citizens: Revolution & Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787–1804. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Fischer, Sibylle 2004. Modernity Disavowed: Haiti and the Cultures of Slavery in the Age of Revolution. Durham: Duke University Press. 

Genovese, E. D. 1976. Roll Jordan Roll: The World the Slaves Made. New York: Vintage Books.

Gilroy, Paul 1993. The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Roediger, David R. 2008. ‘Slavery’s Shadow, Empire’s Edge’ in How Race Survived U. S. History: From Settlement and Slavery to the Obama Phenomenon. London: Verso. 

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Wilder, Craig Steven 2013. Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities. New York: Bloomsbury Press.

Williams, Eric 1944. Capitalism and Slavery. University of North Carolina Press. 

Patriarchy: 

Abu-Lughod, Lila (2002) ‘Do Muslim women really need saving? Anthropological reflections on cultural relativism and its others,’ American Anthropologist, 104(3), pp. 783-790.   

Afshar, Haleh, and Mary Maynard, eds. (1994) The Dynamics of “Race” and Gender: Some Feminist Interventions, London: Taylor & Francis.  

Bastia, Tanja 2014. Intersectionality, Migration and Development. Progress in Development Studies, 14(3): 237-248.

Chandra Talpade Mohanty. 2013. “Transnational Feminist Crossings: On Neoliberalism and Radical Critique,” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 38(4): 967-991.

Chant, Sylvia. 2016. Galvanizing Girls for Development: Critiquing the Shift from “smart” to “smarter” economics. Progress in Development Studies, DOI:10.1177/1464993416657209.

Christian, M. and Namaganda, A., 2018. Transnational intersectionality and domestic work: The production of Ugandan intersectional racialized and gendered domestic worker regimes. International Sociology, 33(3), pp.315-336.

Connell, R., 2014. Rethinking gender from the South. Feminist Studies, 40(3), pp.518-539.

Cornwall, A. and Rivas, A.M., 2015. From ‘gender equality and ‘women’s empowerment’ to global justice: reclaiming a transformative agenda for gender and development. Third World Quarterly, 36(2), pp.396-415.

Dagistanli, Selda and Grewal, Kiran (2016) ‘Perverse Muslim masculinities in contemporary  Orientalist discourse: The vagaries of Muslim immigration in the West’, in George 

Dahinden, Janine, Kerstin Duemmler, and Joëlle Moret (2014) ‘Disentangling religious, ethnic and gendered contents in boundary work: How young adults create the figure of “The oppressed Muslim woman”,’ Journal of Intercultural Studies, 35(4), pp. 329-348.

Darby, Phillip (ed.) (1997) At the Edge of International Relations: Postcolonialism, Gender and Dependency, London and New York: Printer.  

Falcon, S.M. and Nash, J.C., 2015. Shifting analytics and linking theories: A conversation about the “meaning-making” of intersectionality and transnational feminism. In Women’s Studies International Forum (Vol. 50, pp. 1-10). Pergamon.

Faria, C.V. and Jones, H., 2018. A Darling® of the beauty trade: race, care, and the imperial debris of synthetic hair. cultural geographies, p.1474474019864987.

Fredette, Jennifer (2015) ‘Examining the French Hijab and Burqa Bans through Reflexive Cultural Judgment,’ New Political Science, 37(1): 48-70. DOI: 10.1080/07393148.2014.995396

Gandhi, Leela (1998) Postcolonial Theory: A Critical Introduction, New York: Colombia University Press.  

Hirsch, L.A., 2019. In the wake: Interpreting care and global health through Black geographies. Area.

Hossein, Caroline. 2015. Black women in the marketplace: The everyday gendered risks encountered by Haiti’s madan saras (women traders). Work Organisation, Labour and Globalisation, 9(2):36-50.

Jackson, C. 1996. Rescuing Gender from the Poverty Trap. World Development, 24(3): 489-504.

Jacobs, Jessica. 2009. Have sex will travel: romantic ‘sex tourism’ and women negotiating modernity in the Sinai. Gender, Place and Culture, 16(1): 43-61

Khoja-Moolji, S. S. (2017). The Making of Humans and Their Others in and through Transnational Human Rights Advocacy: Exploring the Cases of Mukhtar Mai and Malala Yousafzai. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 42(2), 377-402.

Khoja-Moolji, Shenila. 2019. “Death by benevolence: Third world girls and the contemporary politics of humanitarianism.” Feminist Theory, https://doi.org/10.1177/1464700119850026

Krishna, Sankaran (1993) ‘The importance of being ironic: A postcolonial view on critical international relations theory,’ Alternatives 18(3): 385-417.   

Lugones, Maria. 2007. Heterosexualism and the Colonial/Modern Gender System. Hypathia, 22(1): 186-219.

Mahmood, Saba (2011) Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject, Princeton: Princeton University Press.   

Marhia, N., 2013. Some humans are more human than others: Troubling the ‘human ’in human security from a critical feminist perspective. Security Dialogue, 44(1), pp.19-35.

McClintock, Anne (1995) Imperial Leather: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest, New York: Routledge.  

McEwan, C., 2003. Material geographies and postcolonialism. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 24(3), pp.340-355.

Mishra, Smeeta, and Faegheh Shirazi (2010) ‘Hybrid identities: American Muslim women speak,’ Gender, Place & Culture, 17(2): 191-209.  

Moghadam, Valentine M. (2002) ‘Islamic feminism and its discontents: Toward a resolution of the debate,’ Signs, 27(4): 1135-1171. 

Mohanty, Chandra (1991) ‘Introduction: Cartographies of struggle,’ in Chandra Mohanty, Ann Russo and Lourdes Torres (eds.), Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, pp. 1-47.

Mohanty, Chandra Talpade. 1986. Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses. Boundary 2-12 (3):333-58

Mollett, S. 2017. Irreconcilable Differences? A feminist postcolonial reading of Gender, Development and Human Rights in Latin America, Gender, Place and Culture, 1-17.

Mollett, S. and Faria, C. 2013.  Messing with Gender in Feminist Political Ecology. Geoforum, 45:116-125    

Morgan, Jennifer. 2004. Laboring Women, Reproduction and Gender in New World Slavery. University of Pennsylvania Press. Ch. 1. 12-49.

Morgan and Scott Poynting eds., Global Islamophobia: Muslims and Moral Panic in the  West, London: Routledge, pp. 119-142.

Nayak, Meghana (2006) ‘Orientalism and “saving” US state identity After 9/11’, International  Feminist Journal of Politics, 8(1): 42-61.

Őzcan, Esra (2013) ‘Lingerie, bikinis and the headscarf: Visual depictions of Muslim female migrants in German news media,’ Feminist Media Studies, 13(3): 427-442.

Patil, V., 2013. From patriarchy to intersectionality: A transnational feminist assessment of how far we’ve really come. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 38(4): 847-867.

Philipose, Elilzabeth (2008) ‘Decolonizing the racial grammar of international law,’ in Riley, Robin L., Chandra Talpade Mohanty, and Minnie Bruce Pratt, eds., Feminism and War: Confronting U.S. Imperialism, London: Zed Books, pp. 103-116. 

Piedalue, A. and Rishi, S., 2017. Unsettling the South through postcolonial feminist theory. Feminist Studies, 43(3), pp.548-570.

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Radcliffe, S.A., 2015. Gender and postcolonialism. In The Routledge Handbook of Gender and Development (pp. 59-70). Routledge.

Rivers-Moore, M., 2016. Gringo Gulch: Sex, tourism, and social mobility in Costa Rica. University of Chicago Press.

Smith, C.A., 2014. Putting prostitutes in their place: Black women, social violence, and the Brazilian case of Sirlei Carvalho. Latin American Perspectives, 41(1), pp.107-123.

Stoler, A.L., 2010. Carnal knowledge and imperial power: Race and the intimate in colonial rule. Univ of California Press. 41-78

Stoler, Ann Laura (1995) Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault’s History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things, Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Stoler, Ann Laura (2002) Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule, Berkeley: University of California Press.

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Van Sant, L., Hennessy, E., Domosh, M., Arefin, M.R., Hennessy, E., McClintock, N., Mollett, S. and Van Sant, L., 2018. Historical geographies of, and for, the present. Progress in Human Geography

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Where are we now? Where will we go?

This mapping attends to the way oppression has unfolded throughout history, and how it has been legitimized by and through different relations of power. Through a postcolonial and transnational intersectionality frame, this mapping does not serve to explain what oppression is so much as to attend to how it has been manufactured, and why it exists in the capacity it does today. The specificity of the technologies of oppression—referring to the capacities in which oppression manifests in different structures, such as technology, education, legal infrastructure, etc can now be analyzed by and through the systems and tools that prescribe it legitimacy. 

We currently live in a colonial capitalist supremacist patriarchy which has been “relationally solidified” (Christian & Namaganda, 2018) through and by the social-political-economic fabrics of individual regimes which have differed, deepened, and extended upon the foundations of their preceding regime(s). Our current regime, the fourth as I have posited, has built upon the structures, institutions, and technologies structured in the preceding three regimes, but has been restructured and manifested within different capacities to both define and refine specific power and surveillance relations. As we can see, each individual system has a flow, a woven string that connects and builds off of the imprints of the last. The connectivity of these four systems—colonialism, supremacy, capitalism, and patriarchy—is such that through their individual flows, they begin to embed one in another into their backbones. Each system depends on the others for survival and their institution. We can never dismantle one system of oppression without demanding the restructuring of the others.