Dipesh Chakrabarty and the Global South: Subaltern Studies, Postcolonial Perspectives, and the Anthropocene, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Dipesh Chakrabarty and the Global South

Subaltern Studies, Postcolonial Perspectives, and the Anthropocene, 1st Edition

Edited by Saurabh Dube, Sanjay Seth, Ajay Skaria


304 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367189990
pub: 2020-01-02
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Over the last four decades, Dipesh Chakrabarty’s astonishingly wide-ranging scholarship has elaborated a range of important issues, especially those of modernity, identity, and politics – in dialogue with postcolonial theory and critical historiography – on global and planetary scales. All of this makes Chakrabarty among the most significant (and most cited) scholars working in the humanities and social sciences today. The present text comprises substantive yet short, academic yet accessible essays that are crafted in conversation with the critical questions raised by Chakrabarty’s writings.

Now, Chakrabarty holds the singular distinction of making key contributions to some of the most salient shifts in understandings of the Global South that have come about in wake of subaltern studies and postcolonial perspectives, critiques of Eurocentrism together with elaborations of public pasts, and articulations of climatic histories alongside problems of the Anthropocene. Rather than exegeses and commentaries, these original, commissioned, pieces – written by a stellar cast of contributors from four continents – imaginatively engage Chakrabarty’s insights and arguments, in order to incisively explore important issues of the politics of knowledge in contemporary worlds.

This book will be of interest to scholars and graduate students interested in a wide variety of interdisciplinary issues across the humanities and social sciences, especially the interplay between postcolonial perspectives and subaltern studies, between man-made climate change and the human sciences, between history and theory, and between modernity and globalization.

Table of Contents

1. Engaging Dipesh Chakrabarty

An Introduction

Saurabh Dube, Sanjay Seth, Ajay Skaria

Part 1: Affect and Intellect

2. Between Critique and Creativity

Some Other Politics of Writing History in Aotearoa New Zealand

Miranda Johnson

3. Rethinking Indian Constitutional History

Arvind Elangovan

4. The Significance of Provincializing Europe

Memory, Argument, and the Life of the Book

Dwaipayan Sen

5. Labor History and "Culture" Critique

Reflections on an Idea

Arnab Dey

Part 2: Critical Conversations

6. Writing the Void

Homi K. Bhabha

7. Histories, Dwelling, Habitations

A Cyber-Conversation with Dipesh Chakrabarty

Saurabh Dube

8. A Correspondence on Provincializing Europe

Amitav Ghosh and Dipesh Chakrabarty

Part 3: Global Pasts and Postcolonial Differences

9. Rights and Coercion

Adivasi Rights and Coal Mining in Central India

Devleena Ghosh

10. When Victims Become Rulers

Partition, Caste, and Politics in West Bengal

Partha Chatterjee

11. The Cold War as a Rule of Experts

A View from India

Arvind Rajagopal

12. Historical Wounds and the Public Life of History

The Stolen Generations Narrative

Bain Attwood

Part 4: Historical Disciplines and Modern Universals

13. Memory, Historiography and Trauma

The Limits of Representation

Sanjay Seth

14. Thinking Freedom with Gandhi

Ajay Skaria

15. Western Thought as "Indispensable and Inadequate"

Dipesh Chakrabarty and the Paradox of Postcolonial Historiography

Alf Lüdtke

16. Translating the Other

Lessons from the World of Medieval Japan

Rajyashree Pandey

Part 5: The Anthropocene and Other Affiliations

17. History, Anthropogenic Soil and Unbecoming Human

Ewa Domańska

18. Art in the Time of Tricksters and Monsters

Reflections on the Anthropocene

Bernd Scherer

19. Indigenous Histories and Indigenous Futures

Stephen Muecke

20. Figures of Immanence

Saurabh Dube

About the Editors

Saurabh Dube is Professor-Researcher, Distinguished Category, at the Centre for Asian and African Studies, El Colegio de México; and holds the highest rank in the National System of Researchers (SNI), México. His authored works include Untouchable Pasts (1998, 2001); Stitches on Time (2004); After Conversion (2010); and Subjects of Modernity (2017, 2019). Dube has also written a quintet (2001-2017) in historical anthropology in the Spanish language as well as authoring the critical anthology El archivo y el campo (2019), all published by El Colegio de México. Among his more than fifteen edited volumes are Postcolonial Passages (2004); Historical Anthropology (2007); Enchantments of Modernity (Routledge, 2009, 2019); Modern Makeovers (2011); Crime through Time (2013); and Unbecoming Modern (second edition: Routledge, 2019). Dube is Series Editor of "Routledge Focus on Modern Subjects."

Saurabh Dube has been Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, New York; the Institute of Advanced Study, University of Warwick; the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla; the Stellenbosch Institute of Advanced Study, South Africa; and the Max Weber Kolleg, Germany. He has also held visiting professorships, several times, at Cornell University, the Johns Hopkins University, and Goa University (where he presently occupies the DD Kosambi Chair).

Sanjay Seth is Professor of Politics at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he is also Director of the Centre for Postcolonial Studies. He has written extensively on postcolonial theory, social and political theory, and modern Indian history, including Subject Lessons: The Western Education of Colonial India (Duke University Press 2007, and Oxford University Press India 2008), Marxist Theory and Nationalist Politics: Colonial India (Sage, 1995) and essays in a variety of journals including The American Historical Review, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Social Text, Positions, Cultural Sociology, International Political Sociology and Journal of Asian Studies. A number of these have been translated into Spanish and Portuguese, and a collection of his essays in Portuguese translation has been published as História e Pós-colonialismo (History and Postcolonialism), Edições Tinta-da-china, Lisboa, 2019. He is a founding editor of the journal Postcolonial Studies, and is currently completing a book tentatively titled "Beyond Reason?: Postcolonial Theory and the Social Sciences".

Ajay Skaria is Professor in the Department of History and Institute for Global Studies at the University of Minnesota. His research till the early 2000s focused primarily on environmental history, Adivasi history and historical theory; more recently, his research interests have been in twentieth century Indian intellectual history, modern caste politics, postcolonial studies, and political theory. In addition to articles in these fields, he is the author of Hybrid Histories: Forests, Frontiers and Wildness in Western India (1999) and Unconditional Equality: Gandhi’s Religion of Resistance (2015). He is currently working on a book on Ambedkar. He was a member of the Subaltern Studies editorial collective from 1995 till its dissolution, and coedited Subaltern Studies Vol XII: Muslims, Dalits and the Fabrications of History (2006). He is currently working on two books—a short essay, What is Secularism, and a longer monograph tentatively titled Ambedkar’s Religions: Between Secularism and Navayana Buddhism.

About the Series

Postcolonial Politics

‘Postcolonial Politics’ is a series that publishes books that lie at the intersection of politics and postcolonial theory. That point of intersection once barely existed; its recent emergence is enabled, first, because a new form of ‘politics’ is beginning to make its appearance. Intellectual concerns that began life as a (yet unnamed) set of theoretical interventions from scholars largely working within the ‘New Humanities’ have now begun to migrate into the realm of politics. The result is politics with a difference, with a concern for the everyday, the ephemeral, the serendipitous and the unworldly. Second, postcolonial theory has raised a new set of concerns in relation to understandings of the non-West. At first these concerns and these questions found their home in literary studies, but they were also, always, political. Edward Said’s binary of ‘Europe and its other’ introduced us to a ‘style of thought’ that was as much political as it was cultural as much about the politics of knowledge as the production of knowledge, and as much about life on the street as about a philosophy of being, A new, broader and more reflexive understanding of politics, and a new style of thinking about the non-Western world, make it possible to ‘think’ politics through postcolonial theory, and to ‘do’ postcolonial theory in a fashion which picks up on its political implications.

Postcolonial Politics attempts to pick up on these myriad trails and disruptive practices. The series aims to help us read culture politically, read ‘difference’ concretely, and to problematise our ideas of the modern, the rational and the scientific by working at the margins of a knowledge system that is still logocentric and Eurocentric. This is where a postcolonial politics hopes to offer new and fresh visions of both the postcolonial and the political.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / General