Postcolonialism and the History of Anti-Colonial Nationalism


  • Sanjay Seth Goldsmiths College, Universidade de Londres



Postcolonial theory had drawn attention to the fact that the colonial encounter was one with enduring effects not only in terms of economic exploitation, but in other domains, including culture and knowledge; and that that precisely because colo- nialism was a relationship of power, these other domains were not the ‘outside’ or ‘remainder’ of a relationship of power, but were themselves permeated with power and inequality. Briefly mapping the questions that have animated postcolonial theory, this article examines postcolonial analyses of anti-colonial nationalism, focusing on those undertaken by the historians of the Subaltern Studies group, who collaboratively produced 12 edited volumes of historical essays on India from 1982 to 2005. Engaging with this body of work, it argues that anticolonial nationalism was at once a challenge to the dominance of the West, and yet, inasmuch as the sovereign statehood and the modernity that anticolonial nationalism sought was intimately tied to the knowledge and culture of the West, it also repro- duced that dominance.



How to Cite

Seth, S. (2021). Postcolonialism and the History of Anti-Colonial Nationalism. Práticas Da História. Journal on Theory, Historiography and Uses of the Past, (7), 45–75.