ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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HISTORY-Subaltern Studies at Crossroads

HISTORY 'Subaltern Studies' at Crossroads David Hardiman THE second Subaltern Studies conference was held in Calcutta in January 1986, three years after the first such conference in Canberra (for a report see EPW February 26, 1983). At the earlier conference the editorial group of the series of books known as "Subaltern Studies" set out and argued a position which is now well known. Themes such as the relative autonomy of subaltern consciousness and action, the need to make the subaltern classes the subject of their own history, the failure of the Indian bourgeoisie to speak for the nation, and the existence of two domains of politics have provided a fresh critical thrust to much recent writing on modern Indian history and society. In this conference, organised by members of the group based in Calcutta, the focus was less clear than it had been in Canberra, in large part because the group had not met together as a whole for the past three years. Individual members have developed their own directions of study and lines of thought, so that it became hard for participants in the conference to discern any very strong unity to the group.

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