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Episode 307             Episode 309
Episode 308

Subaltern (postcolonialism)
Thu, 2018-Mar-08 00:37 UTC
Length - 3:01

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Welcome to random Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of a random Wikipedia page every day.

The random article for Thursday, 8 March 2018 is Subaltern (postcolonialism).

In critical theory and postcolonialism, the term subaltern designates the populations which are socially, politically, and geographically outside of the hegemonic power structure of the colony and of the colonial homeland. In describing "history told from below", subaltern was coined by Antonio Gramsci, notably through his work on cultural hegemony, which identified the groups that are excluded from a society's established institutions and thus denied the means by which people have a voice in their society.

The terms subaltern and Subaltern Studies entered postcolonial studies through the works of the Subaltern Studies Group, a collection of historians of the Indian Subcontinent who explored the political-actor role of the men and women who constitute the mass population, rather than the political roles of the social and economic elites, in the history of the Indian Subcontinent. Marxist historians had already been investigating colonial history as told from the perspective of the proletariat, using the concept of social classes as being determined by economic relations. In the 1970s, subaltern began to denote the colonized peoples of the Indian subcontinent and described a new perspective of the history of an imperial colony as told from the point of view of the colonized rather than that of the colonizers. In the 1980s, the scope of enquiry of Subaltern Studies was applied as an "intervention in South Asian historiography".

As a method of intellectual discourse, the concept of the subaltern is contentious because it originated as a Eurocentric method of historical enquiry for studying the non-Western people of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. From its inception as an historical-research model for studying the colonial experience of the peoples of the Indian Subcontinent, subaltern studies transformed from a model of intellectual discourse into a method of "vigorous post-colonial critique". The term "subaltern" is used in the fields of history, anthropology, sociology, human geography, literary criticism, musicology, and art history.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:37 UTC on Thursday, 8 March 2018.

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