Subaltern Studies, a State of Play
This panel invites papers discussing the concepts and researches in the field of Subaltern Studies. We propose four topics for discussion: the boundary between history and anthropology, critics of Subaltern Studies, Subaltern Studies outside of India and new fields for the study of subalternity.
· Shalini Randeria Graduate Institute Geneva and Institute for Human Sciences (Geneva and Vienna, Switzerland)
Subaltern Studies have transformed South Asian studies since the 1970s firstly by bringing to the front stage studies of people whose history had been previously ignored (peasants, workers, women, tribals, low status castes, etc.) and, secondly, by highlighting the role of popular movements in anti-colonialism, and in the construction of the Indian nation and nationalism. This panel invites papers discussing the concepts and researches part of Subaltern Studies. We propose for discussion four topics in particular: the boundary between history and anthropology, critics of Subaltern Studies, Subaltern Studies outside of India and new fields of Subaltern Studies. Discussing the disciplinary boundary between history and anthropology concerns, among other things, the place of history in anthropology and of anthropology in history as well as the conceptualization of social and cultural dynamics or ‘constructionism’ today. Regarding the critics of Subaltern Studies, the strongest was probably that of the confinement of the Subalterns in the position of subalternity. We invite discussions on the redefinition or reconceptualization that critics of Subaltern Studies have allowed for the study of subalternity. Disciplinary ‘border-crossing’ concerns the opening towards new fields and new topics in Subaltern Studies: gender and, more recently, trans-gender, language and textuality of discursive power, state institutions, transnational flows and so. We also invite papers applying the approach of Subaltern Studies outside of India.