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

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Subaltern Studies and Capital

Vivek Chibber's critique (Postcolonial Theory and the Spectre of Capital) of the Subaltern Studies school deals largely with the early work of three authors - Ranajit Guha, Dipesh Chakrabarty and Partha Chatterjee. This note critically examines Chibber's arguments.

This is the text of a presentation made at a panel on “Marxism and the Legacy of Subaltern Studies” at the Historical Materialism Conference at New York University on 28 April 2013.

From the moment of its appearance in 1982, the series called Subaltern Studies and the works of scholars associated with it have come in for criticism from many quarters. Vivek Chibber’s 2013 book Postcolonial Theory and The Spectre of Capital is the latest in that line. It is a critical study devoted entirely to the early work of three Subaltern Studies historians, namely, Ranajit Guha, Dipesh Chakrabarty and Partha Chatterjee. I examine below Chibber’s arguments against these scholars whose work he takes, rather inexactly, to be emblematic of postcolonial theory today.

Dominance without Hegemony

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