Deploying the provocative idea of the ‘subaltern citizen’, this book raises fundamental questions about subalternity and difference, dominance and subordination, in India and the United States. In contrast to other writings on subordinated and marginalized people, the essays presented here devote deliberate attention to diverse locations of subalternity: in the conditions and histories of slaves, dalits, peasants, illegal immigrants, homosexuals, schoolteachers, women of noble lineage; in the Third World and the First; in pre-colonial, colonial and postcolonial times.
With contributions from a diverse group of distinguished scholars, the anthology explores issues of gender and sexuality, migration, race, caste and class, education and law, culture and politics. The very juxtaposition of different bodies of scholarship serves to challenge common perceptions of inherited histories – claims to American and Indian ‘exceptionalism’ – and promotes a new awareness, not only of shared histories and shared struggles in the making of the modern world, but of particularities and facets of our different histories and societal conditions that are assumed as being well understood, and hence often taken for granted.
Subaltern Citizens and Their Histories will be essential reading for scholars of colonial, postcolonial and subaltern studies, American studies, US and South Asian social science and history.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: The subaltern as subaltern citizen Gyanendra Pandey Part 1: Equal but Separate? 2. Can there be a subaltern middle class? Gyanendra Pandey 3. Race, power, and multipositionality: Examples from the lives of black schoolteachers Earl Lewis 4. Recasting the women’s question: the girl-child/woman in the colonial encounter Ruby Lal 5. Casual sex: towards a “prehistory” of gay life in Bohemian America Colin R. Johnson Part 2: Writing the Subaltern 6. The question of a pre-history Milind Wakankar 7. Writing ordinary lives M.S.S. Pandian 8. Subaltern city, subaltern citizens: New Orleans, urban identity, and people of African descent Leslie Harris 9. Culture/Politics: the double bind of the Indian adivasi Prathama Banerjee Part 3: The State and the People 10. Subordination, governance and the legislative state in early colonial India Sudipta Sen 11. Subaltern immigrants: Undocumented workers and national belonging in the United States Mary Odem 12. Could slaves enfranchise themselves? Rumours, narratives, and arenas of politics in the American South Steven Hahn 13. Democracy and subaltern citizens in India Partha Chatterjee 14. Afterword Jonathan Prude
Gyanendra Pandey is Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor in the Department of History, Emory University. A founding member of the Subaltern Studies collective and editor of the Intersections: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories book series at Routledge, he is one of the leading theorists and originators of the subaltern studies approach and has published widely in the field of colonial and postcolonial studies.