Chapter

Subalterns in the Academy

Vinay Lal

in The History of History

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780195672442
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081929 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195672442.003.0005
Subalterns in the Academy

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This chapter discusses the emergence of subaltern history and offers an interpretive history and critique of the subaltern school of historians in India. It offers some clues about how the achievements and shortcomings of Subaltern Studies might be viewed in general. In detailing the circumstances under which subaltern history arose, the role of the Cambridge School, which subaltern history set out to contest, cannot be ignored. Ranajit Guha, the founding father of the Cambridge School, instituted an assault upon ‘elitist’ histories. This chapter also examines the more influential contributions to Subaltern Studies in the early years, namely Guha's analysis of ‘The Prose of Counter-Insurgency’, Gyanendra Pandey's study of the colonial construction of communal riots, and Shahid Amin's interpretation of ‘Gandhi as Mahatma’.

Keywords: subaltern history; Subaltern Studies; Cambridge School; India; Ranajit Guha; Gyanendra Pandey; Shahid Amin; communal riots; counter-insurgency

Chapter.  19516 words. 

Subjects: Methods and Historiography

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