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GOLDBERG-MOSSE SEMINAR SERIES ON INTERNATIONALIZING HISTORY

BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR DIPESH CHAKRABARTY'S SEMINAR:  

SUBALTERN STUDIES -- AN INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE

Nominated:

Chakrabarty, Dipesh, “Translating Life-Worlds into Labor and History,” in idem, Provincializing
Europe:  Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference
(Princeton:  Princeton University Press, 2000), 72-96.

________. “Minority Histories, Subaltern Pasts,” in idem, Provincializing Europe:  Postcolonial
Thought and Historical Difference
(Princeton:  Princeton University Press, 2000), 97-113.

Cooper, Frederick, “Conflict and Connection:  Rethinking Colonial African History,” American
Historical Review
99, no. 5 (1994):  1516-1545.

Mallon, Florencia E., “The Promise and Dilemma of Subaltern Studies:  Perspectives from Latin
American History,” American Historical Review 99, no. 5 (1994):  1491-1515.

Prakash, Gyan, “Subaltern Studies as Postcolonial Criticism,” American Historical Review 99,
no. 5 (1994):  1475-1490.

Background to Subaltern Studies:

Chakrabarty, Dipesh, "A Small History of Subaltern Studies," in Habitations of Modernity:
Essays in the Wake of Subaltern Studies
(Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 2002), 3-17.

Possible Alternatives:

Appadurai, Arjun, “Introduction:  Commodities and the Politics of Value,” in The Social Life of
Things:  Commodities in Cultural Perspective
, ed. Arjun Appadurai (New York:  Cambridge University Press, 1986), 3-63.  Abstract:  According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s review in Contemporary Sociology 17, no. 2 (1988):  223-224, “The intention of the book is to do for consumption what Marx did for production:  to reveal the links between politics broadly construed as relations, assumptions, and contests pertaining to power, and the value and exchange of commodities” (p. 223).

Bhabha, Homi, “DissemiNation:  Time, Narrative, and the Margins of the Modern Nation,” in
idem, ed., Nation and Narration (London:  Routledge, 1990), 291-322.  According to Ian Baucom’s nine-page review in Transition no. 55 (1992):  144-153, the essays collected in this volume explore BhaBha’s notion of hybridity, which seems to connote appropriation of hegemonic narratives into subaltern narratives of national identity.

Chakrabarty, Dipesh, “Presence of Europe:  An Interview with Dipesh Chakrabarty,” South
Atlantic Quarterly
101, no. 4 (2002):  859-868.  Abstract: An interview conducted by Saurabh Dube meant to highlight the arguments of Chakrabarty’s recent book, Provincializing Europe, “ a multilayered and intriguing work, defying conventional summary” according the interviewer.   

________., “Radical Histories and Question of Enlightenment Rationalism:  Some
Recent Critiques of Subaltern Studies,” in Vinayak Chaturvedi, ed., Mapping Subaltern Studies and the Postcolonial (London:  Verso, 2000), 256-280.

Chatterjee, Partha, “Histories and Nations,” in The Nation and Its Fragments (Princeton:
Princeton University Press, 1993), 95-115.  According to David Kopf’s review in AHR 100, no. 4 (1995):  1281-1282, this is one of three chapters that traces the rise of Bengali historical consciousness as the essential component in the development of Bengali national consciousness.  It was unrelated to any other works on this list, but the review has some interesting biographical information on the social origins of several of the leading subaltern studies scholars.

Feierman, Steven, “Colonizers, Scholars, and the Creation of Invisible Histories,” in Beyond the
Cultural Turn:  New Directions in the Study of Society and Culture,
eds. Victoria E. Bonnell and Lynn Hunt (Berkeley:  University of California Press, 1999), 182-216.  Abstract:  Feierman, in the context of African colonial history, discusses the “invisible histories” that tend to be obscured by grand international/global perspectives, which tend to be centered around Europe.

Guha, Ranajit, “Introduction,” in idem., ed., A Subaltern Studies Reader (Minneapolis:
University of Minnesota Press, 1997), ix-xxii.  Abstract:  This essay means to introduce the reader to the origins of the Subaltern Studies collective in the postcolonial situation of the 1970s.  The generation which had matured in the last two decades of the Raj still hoped that the problems incumbent with the making of the nation-state in South Asia would be solved in the future, while the generation which had come to maturity in the 1970s felt disillusionment with the present situation like the older generation, but did not have the same hope.  This disillusionment without hope led the Subaltern Studies collective to problematize the monistic and hegemonic concepts and categories inherited from colonial powers in studying the colonial past.  The problematization of colonial concepts and categories led the collective to question the applicability of nationalist and colonialist perspectives in historiographies of colonized countries.

________. “The Prose of Counter-Insurgency,” in idem, Subaltern Studies II:  Writings on South
Asian History and Society
(Delhi:  Oxford University Press, 1983), 1-42.  Abstract:  Influenced by Roland Barthes, Guha identifies three levels of discourse on peasant insurrections, the primary level being the closest to the events and the tertiary being the farthest, the latter of which he calls the prose of counter-insurgency.  Guha argues that because of legal repression, inverting the tertiary level of discourse reveals what really happened. Early foundational for Subaltern criticisms of imperial historical narratives.   

Lazarus, Neil, “Introduction,” in idem., Nationalism and Cultural Practice in the Postcolonial
World
(Cambridge, UK:  Cambridge University Press, 1999), 1-15.  Abstract:  Lazarus argues that by putting post-colonial studies in dialogue with Marxist theory, post-colonial studies can return to its activist tradition of individuals like Frantz Fanon.

O’Hanlon, Rosalind, “Recovering the Subject:  Subaltern Studies and the Histories of Resistance
in Colonial South Asia,” Modern Asian Studies 22, no. 1 (1988):  189-224.  Abstract:  From a Marxist perspective, O’Hanlon criticizes, like Neil Lazarus, the idealistic  tendency in Subaltern studies, which leads many of the contributors to the collective to slide into descriptions of peasants in essentialist humanist terms derived from Enlightenment notion of the unified human consciousness.  O’Hanlon also criticizes Marxist historians for their weak critiques of Subaltern studies, and the collective for having no set of common suppositions.

Prakash, Gyan, “Writing Post-Orientalist Histories of the Third World:  Perspectives from
Indian Historiography,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 32, no. 2 (1990):  383-408.  Abstract: Examines the various interpretations of Indian history in post-Orientalist historiography. Historiographical Orientalism received its strength from its authoritative status, its treatment of the Orient in terms of immutable themes of Western history, and its relationship to the Western exercise of power over the "third world." What is now necessary is for post-Orientalist historiography to challenge these hegemonic structures and themes that have predominated, thus revealing new and truer histories of the area.  Reviews the impact of Said’s Orientalism on western and South Asian historiography on Third World histories.

Sangari, Kumkum and Sudesh Vaid, ed., Recasting Women:  Deconstructing Historiography (New
Brunswick, N.J.:  Rutgers University Press, 1990).  With a deep empirical ground and from a feminist perspective, this volume addresses many of the issues raised by scholars associated with Subaltern studies and post-colonial scholarship.

Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty, “Can the Subaltern Speak?,” in Cary Nelson and Lawrence
Grossberg, eds., Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture (Urbana, Ill.:  University of Illinois Press, 1988),.   This volume is a collection of papers delivered at a conference held at the University of Illinois, in which the participants developed ways of superceding Marxian theories of culture.  The critique revolved around Marx’s notion of culture as being too totalistic, which made it difficult to speak about local communities whose culture might be lost in Marxian theories of culture.  The book was related to none of the works in this list.

Other:

de Alva, J. Jorge Klor, “The Postcolonization of the (Latin American Experience:  A
Reconsideration of ‘Colonialism,’ ‘Postcolonialism,’ and ‘Mestizaje,’” in Gyan Prakash, ed., After Colonialism:  Imperial Histories and Postcolonial Displacements (Princeton:  Princeton University Press, 1995), 241-275.  Offers a reading of colonial elite discourse in the Latin American world.  De Alva advances an “idea of a mestizo appropriation of anticolonialism against Indians.”

Chakrabarty, Dipesh, “Postcoloniality and the Artifice of History:  Who Speaks for ‘Indian’
Pasts?,” in Ranajit Guha, ed., A Subaltern Studies Reader (Minneapolis:  University of Minnesota Press, 1997), 263-293.  Abstract:  This essay means to critique the notion of “Indian” in Subaltern studies as too informed by European concepts to be capable of describing an “Indian” in “Indian” terms, and suggests that unself-conscious use of categories like “Indian” keeps Subaltern histories from liberating their subjects from colonial hegemony.  Chakrabarty draws on Spivak’s critique of Marxist theory to analyze the concepts of Subaltern history.

Dirks, Nicholas B., “History as a Sign of the Modern,” Public Culture 2, no. 2 (1990):  25-33.
Abstract:  Mentions Chakrabarty, Chatterjee and Cohn in passing in a brief essay that calls for the decolonization of historical narratives, by which he means that the nation should no longer uncritically constitute the subject of history.

Fanon, Frantz, “Spontaneity:  Its Strengths and Weakness,” in The Wretched of the Earth (New
York:  Random House, 1968), 107-147.  Revolutionary leader in Algeria who served in the French army and was educated in medicine there.  Jean-Paul Sartre thought that every European had to read this book to understand colonialism.  Reviewed by Grant Kamenju in Transition no. 26 (1966):  51-52.

Prakash, Gyan, “Introduction,” in Prakash, ed., After Colonialism:  Imperial Histories and
Postcolonial Displacements
(Princeton:  Princeton University Press, 1995), 3-17.  Thought by one reviewer to be overly ambitious and lacking in clear definitions of knowledge and agency, but still important as an introduction to the way postcolonial scholars are treating their subject.

________. “Secular Interpretation, the Geographical Element, and the Methodology of
Imperialism,” in Gyan Prakash, ed., After Colonialism:  Imperial Histories and Postcolonial Displacements (Princeton:  Princeton University Press, 1995), 21-39.  A good introduction to Said’s thinking, advancing little that is new.  Dense theory.

Scott, James, Weapons of the Weak:  Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance (New Haven:  Yale
University Press, 1985).  Problematizes dyadic ways of talking about peasant consciousness as either good or evil, and questions the notion that peasants had no agency in relations with those in power.

Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty, “Subaltern Studies:  Deconstructing Historiography,” in Ranajit
Guha, ed., Subaltern Studies IV (Delhi:  Oxford University Press, 1985), 338-363.  Abstract:  Influenced by post-modern deconstruction theorists like Derrida and de Man, Spivak suggests that the Subaltern collective semi-unwittingly deploys an essentialized humanistic notion of consciousness in their search for subaltern agency through consciousness.  Spivak suggests that this strategy makes the Subaltern collective’s work open to the anti-humanist critiques that Derrida and de Man have made of the same notion of consciousness in European texts.

Stern, Steve J., “New Approaches to the Study of Peasant Rebellion and Consciousness:
Implications of the Andean Experience,” in Stern, ed., Resistance, Rebellion, and Consciousness in the Andean Peasant World, 18th to 20th Centuries (Madison:  University of Wisconsin Press, 1987), 3-25.  Abstract:  This essay suggests that studies of the Andean peasants should be incorporated into a general theory of peasants across national boundaries.  Other elements to this theory include:  long-term frames of reference, the assumption of a political consciousness and continuous political participation, and the treatment of peasant consciousness as problematic rather than predictable. 

 


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