The Conditions of Subalternity: Reflections on Subjectivity, Experience and Hegemony
This paper uses Gayatri Spivak's discussion of Sati and Ranajit Guha's interpretive account of Chandra's death in colonial India in order to critically re-examine the concept of subalternity that runs through various postcolonial theories. It is argued that there is a major tendency in postcolonial theory to conflate hegemony with domination. By introducing the concept of experience, enabled by a reading of Antonio Gramsci's theory, the paper relates subalternity to hegemony and discusses that the success or failure of hegemony involves the degree to which hegemonic re-grounding can succeed in maintaining the existential continuum of the subject.
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