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Gramsci in and beyond resistances

The search for an autonomous political initiative among a subaltern group in the Beninese savanna

Riccardo Ciavolella

-Marxist and libertarian critical theorists now emphasize local, spontaneous, everyday, and immanent forms of resistance not only as the sign of the agency of subaltern people but also as the sole popular political action to effectively transform reality in the

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Silence against Political Rape

Arab Women's Subalterniy During Political Struggles

Ola Abdalkafor

Arab Spring movements in many Arab countries revealed a gap at the heart of Arab society and politics: the large-scale subalternity of Arab women in such movements. In this essay, I hypothesize that, with few exceptions, Arab women have always avoided participation in social and political activism because of their fear of political rape – raping women as punishment during political turmoil. The essay traces the history of political rape through different stages of Arab history. The examples are taken from history, literature and international reports and they mainly cover three countries: Syria, Egypt, and Libya. These examples prove that vulnerable women’s horror at any possibility of their being sexually abused and then rejected by their families and society has always haunted them, preventing them from struggling or protesting. The essay concludes that subalternity is the only stance from which Arab women can encounter political rape. Then, the essay discusses the subalternity of Arab women in the light of the thought of the postcolonial critic Gayatri Spivak. This argument leads to the contention that the silence of Arab women vulnerable to political rape should not be considered passive and that feminist theories and actions cannot be successful in supporting subaltern Arab women without the ethical responsibility theorized by Spivak as the most appropriate approach to the subaltern female. This approach entails respecting subaltern Arab women’s culture and fears and avoiding any attempt to make them copies of the European feminist self. Subaltern Arab women who are afraid of being sexually abused have the right to protect their bodies and stick to their culture while still participating in public life.

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Ravi K. Raman

Through a case study of an anti-cola struggle in a south Indian village, this paper promotes the conceptual treatment of subaltern cosmopolitanism in the contemporary context of anticorporate social movements. In this situation the multiple issues raised by a local movement, such as livelihood, sustainability, and human rights, sensitize each of the new social agencies involved, within and outside the borders of the local state, and help forge a solidarity network across borders with their universally relevant concerns of environmental ethics and livelihood rights. It is further suggested that it is precisely the new politics of ecology and culture articulated by the subalterns that constructs an enduring and viable future for social movements.

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Jennifer Ruth Hosek

The West Berlin anti-authoritarians around Rudi Dutschke employed a notion of subaltern nationalism inspired by independence struggles in the global South and particularly by post 1959 Cuba to legitimate their loosely understood plans to recreate West Berlin as a revolutionary island. Responding to Che Guevara's call for many Vietnams, they imagined this Northern metropolis as a Focus spreading socialism of the third way throughout Europe, a conception that united their local and global aims. In focusing on their interpretation of societal changes and structures in Cuba, the anti-authoritarians deemphasized these plans' potential for violence. As a study of West German leftists in transnational context, this article suggests the limitations of confining analyses of their projects within national or Northern paradigms. As a study of the influence of the global South on the North in a non-(post)colonial situation, it suggests that such influence is greater than has heretofore been understood.

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Who Can Save the Subaltern?

Knowledge and Power in Amitav Ghosh's The Circle of Reason

Sujala Singh

In recent times, the position of the Indian writer writing in English has undergone something of a transformation. The celebrations of post-colonial marginality have come to be replaced by allegations of what Graham Huggan has termed ‘strategic exoticism’. Even though the publication of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children (1981) is hailed as a turning-point, much contemporary criticism has tired of Rushdie’s chutnified histories and East–West fusions. By the time Arundhati Roy won the Booker in 1997, the 1980s era of welcoming post-colonial ‘difference’ had been replaced by an unease that postcolonial writers, rather than being marginal ‘others,’ had become the shrewd profiteers of a global economy. The rhetoric of globalisation since the mid-1990s has increasingly situated the post-colonial writer as beneficiary (and not always an inadvertent one) of the global market-place rather than as the under-represented, under-taught, noncanonical ‘other’ who must be studied if only under the rubric of Fredric Jameson’s well-intentioned ‘national allegories’.

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Beyond citizenship

Adivasi and Dalit political pathways in India

Nicolas Jaoul and Alpa Shah

contentious aspects of citizenship while overcoming the duality of people’s movements versus the state. Based on a dialectical approach of institutional processes and their creative uses by emerging subaltern forces, Holston shows that “the dominant historical

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Bridges or Walls? Or Bridges are Walls?

Hegemony, Situational Selection and Counter Narratives at the Boundaries of Spain and Europe

Elaine McIlwraith

the dominant narrative ( Johnson and Dawson 1982: 207 ). These narratives are instead determined by the struggle between groups that have the power to shape dominant power structures and related hegemonic narratives, and the subaltern groups that

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“Real, practical emancipation”?

Subaltern politics and insurgent citizenship in contemporary India

Alf Gunvald Nilsen

instructive point of departure for a critical investigation of subaltern politics in contemporary India. The context in question is one in which dominant and subaltern groups engage in complex processes of struggle, negotiation, and contention over the

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Commentary

Uneven development, the politics of scale, or global austerity?

Ida Susser

the importance of a broad and in-depth analysis of fragments of belief and particular subaltern groups (such as those characterized by language, race, and other difference) in the construction of a politics of position for the Left. The adoption of an

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Anti-social security

The changing contours of the hegemonic field in the twenty-first-century United States

Jeff Maskovsky

to the ways in which different subordinated and subaltern groups respond to these moves. This is, of course, a well-established line of inquiry. Yet, in Intellectuals , Smith breathes new life into an intellectual project that has been sidelined in