Who is Partha Chatterjee?

Dr Philip Holden, University Scholars Programme, National University of Singapore


Chatterjee is Professor of Political Science at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, India, and simultaneously Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University, U.S.A. He was a founding member of the subaltern studies group of historians. The subaltern studies collective began as a group of historians of India who felt, in the early 1980s, that Indian history was limited because it adopted a nationalist perspective. While this perspective claimed to be comprehensive the collective agued that it took the perspective of an elite, the nationalist bourgeoisie. The perspectives and voices of those outside the centres of power-peasants, workers, tribal peoples and women-were neglected. The subaltern studies collective attempted to listen to these subaltern voices and utilize the radically different ways of seeing history they represented.
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Last Modified: 19 April, 2002