The Santhal family and the invention of a subaltern counterpublic

Morton, Stephen (2008) The Santhal family and the invention of a subaltern counterpublic. In, Dasgupta, Anshuman, Szewczyk, Monika and Watson, Grant (eds.) Santhal Family: Positions Around an Indian Sculpture. Antwerp, Belgium, Museum Van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerp, 56-61.


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With reference to the work of the South Asian Subaltern Studies historians, and to Mahasweta Devi's short fiction, this essay traces the place of the subaltern as a subject of representation in Ramkinkar’s Baij's 1937 public sculpture, Santhal Family. By visualising the plight of a subaltern group who have been excluded from the social and political life of the emergent postcolonial nation state in a style that articulates the aesthetic conventions of tribal art and European primitivism, the essay argues that Santhal Family supplements the emancipatory claims of elite nationalism from the historical perspective of the Santal, and gestures towards a subaltern counterpublic that remains to be invented.

Item Type: Book Section
ISBNs: 9072828321 (paperback)
9789072828323 (paperback)
Related URLs:
Keywords: ramkinkar baij, santal family, subaltern, subaltern studies, mahasweta devi, counterpublic
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
N Fine Arts > NB Sculpture
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Humanities > English
ePrint ID: 66095
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
31 January 2008Published
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2009
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:51

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