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Title: Subaltern lives : history, identity and memory in the Indian Ocean world
Authors: Anderson, Clare
First Published: 4-Jul-2013
Publisher: Wiley Blackwell Publishing
Citation: History Compass, 2013, 11 (7), pp. 503–507
Abstract: In this paper, I will explore some of the methodological challenges of writing subaltern histories of the Indian Ocean. I will argue that the intense mobility that underpinned society and social transformation on water, land, littoral and river rendered subaltern peoples targets of colonial management and surveillance, within and across European empires. Though productive of a rich disciplinary archive, that archive is scattered across cities, states and nations, and this has had important implications for the production of national or imperial-centred ‘history.’ I will try to suggest some of the ways in which we can work ‘along the archival grain,’ to bring histories of continents, islands and empires into dialogue with histories of slavery, migration and forced labour. Drawing on the rich possibilities of ethnographic and anthropological research with the descendants of slaves, indentured labourers and convicts, I will also argue for a specifically feminist methodological approach to the study of people's sense of history and identity in the world today. As genealogical resources proliferate, I will urge in particular productive engagement with family historians, as well as with community associations and their everyday material sites of historical memory.
DOI Link: 10.1111/hic3.12058
eISSN: 1478-0542
Version: Pre-print
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website.
Description: This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: History Compass, Volume 11, Issue 7, July 2013, Pages: 503–507, which has been published in final form at
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Historical Studies

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