Reading Subaltern Studies: Critical History, Contested Meaning and the Globalization of South Asia

Ludden, David
Anthem Press
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From Barnes and "In recent years, the most important and influential change in the historiography of South Asia, and particularly India, has been brought about by the globally renowned "Subaltern Studies" project that began twenty years ago. The present volume of critiques and readings of the project represents the first comprehensive historical introduction to Subaltern Studies and the worldwide debates it has generated among scholars of history, politics and sociology.The volume provides a reliable point of departure for new readers of Subaltern Studies and a resource base for experienced readers who want to revive critical debates. It includes: twelve essays on Subaltern Studies from early reviews to recent interpretive essays; a complete list of Subaltern authors; a bibliographic guide to literature in and around Subaltern Studies; and an extensive introduction that narrates the history of Subaltern Studies as a specific project within the wider field of historical studies "from below". In his introduction, David Ludden traces the intellectual history of subalternity and analyzes trends in the globalization of academic discourse that account for the changing character of Subaltern Studies as well as for the shifting debates around it. In doing so, he expands the field of discussion well beyond Subaltern Studies into broader problems of historical research methodology in the study of subordinate peoples and into problems of writing contemporary intellectual history. The book thus provides a general readers' guide to techniques for critical historical reading. It uses Subaltern Studies to indicate how readers can read themselves, their context, the text, the author, the author's sources, and the subject of study into a single, contentious field of historical analysis."