The Subaltern School

Mind Map by sophie_pollard, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by sophie_pollard about 6 years ago


The Subaltern School in India

Resource summary

The Subaltern School
1 What is it?
1.1 group of historians
1.1.1 Ranajit Guha, Gayatri Chakravorty Spirak
1.2 subaltern= taken from Antonio Gramsci. Italian marxist and communists imprisoned by Mussolini
1.2.1 the subjected underclass in a society, on whom the dominant power exerts it hegemonic influence
1.3 subaltern studies emerged around 1982 as a series of journal articles published by Oxford Universities Press in Inda
1.4 main goal is to retake history for the underclass, for the voices that had not been previously heard- hoped to break away from histories of the elites and eurocentric bias of current imperial history
2 How does it challenge understandings of the freedom movement?
2.1 In current imperial history, the Freedom movement is remembered and discussed as being run by political alites such as Gandhi, Nehru and Jinnah etc. Although these people did a lot for the movement this focus allows for the neglect of the peasants and common people who did contribute to the movement.
2.2 the lower classes are often only referred to very briefly, only in a few words, and usually about the threat the presented to non-violent protest, and how violet and unruly they were with reference to events such as Chauri Chaura in 1921.
2.3 Shahid Amin= it was the peasant rumours and myths about Gandhi which allowed for his success and the success of his movements.
2.4 Guha: 'historiography of Indian Nationalism - dominated by colonist elitism and bourgeoisie nationalist elitism' 'indigenous elite led the people form subjegation to freedom'
2.5 Challenged the obsession with Gandhi and the INC
2.5.1 Rosalin O'Haan: contributors have attempted to establish the specific rootedness in bourgeois political ambition and ideology of many of Congress and Gandhian campaigns and to show that far from leading movements of subordinate resistance, Congress activists frequently moved in and attempted to appropriate and divert movements which were generated outside and independent of it
3 What was the problem of historiography in India?
3.1 dominated by elites
3.2 Indian elites would lead to freedom
3.3 people are just in footnotes- just following
3.4 unable to grasp ideas of caste and religion
3.5 western-centric, Eurocentric: Europeans trajectory of progress is correct
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