Using Bourdieu to Answer Spivak: On the Study of Historical Subaltern Religious Practices
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, in her 1988 publication “Can the Subaltern Speak?,” famously challenges the ability of scholars—educated and operating within the dominating power structures of oftentimes European colonizing transnational political and religious movements—to ever grasp subaltern religion. This skepticism logically extends to the work of historians investigating the obscured religious traditions of past cultures that have been overlooked, overwhelmed, and suppressed. In this paper, I lay out a restrained strategy inspired in part by the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu and based upon my own historical work for circumventing some forms of historical blindness that conceal subaltern pasts. In conclusion, a plea is made for robust protections securing access to evidence about the historical past.
"Using Bourdieu to Answer Spivak: On the Study of Historical Subaltern Religious Practices,"
International Dialogue: Vol. 9, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/id-journal/vol9/iss1/4
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