Riya- Reading Subaltern Studies

Ludden, David. “Introduction, A Brief History of Subalternity”. Reading Subaltern Studies: Introduction. 1-27. 9 June 2016. http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~dludden/ReadingSS_INTRO. PDF File.


The Introduction of Reading Subaltern Studies gives an overview of the origin and the history of subalternity. The first part of the introduction focuses on the factors that have contributed to the historical origin of subalternity and the later influence of globalisation, politics and nations on the understanding and defining of the term ‘Subaltern Studies’.

Ludden quotes Peter Gran to distinguish Western and Indian reading of subaltern that “in India, Subaltern Studies is read against liberalism, Marxism, and ‘religious fascism’ whereas in the U.S, its principle novelty is its ability to represent India by being read into ideologies of difference and otherness”.

It also discusses Subaltern Studies as a site for ‘history from below’ and acknowledges the participation of reforming movements in shaping and becoming a platform for the rise of the nation of the Subaltern. Subaltern identity is identified with the theories of class struggle. The article deliberates how the study of Subaltern was influenced and inspired by the research on ‘history from below’ and on insurgency in colonial India.


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