Blog post

Chibber book sparks debate on the legacy of postcolonial studies

Jisu Kim22 May 2013

Vivek Chibber's provocative challenge to the Subaltern Studies school, Postcolonial Theory and the Specter of Capital, was published in March of this year to wide attention, attracting both praise and controversy. In the new issue of Jacobin, Chibber discusses the arguments in his book with Jonah Birch, making a case for the continued relevance of Marxism as a paradigm for understanding the development of the Global South. Chibber also presented the arguments in his book at the Historical Materialism NY conference this year, and responded to remarks on a panel discussion with Michael Schwartz and Anwar Shaikh. Full audio from the talk is available here.

The discussion that started a firestorm, however, was the closing plenary at HM, in which Chibber appeared alongside Professor Barbara Weinstein and Subaltern scholar Professor Partha Chatterjee in a critical debate on the legacy of postcolonial studies and Marxism:

Following the event, a number of scholars and writers have weighed in on the discussion, including an analysis of the historical contextualization of Subaltern Studies at That Faint Light, Chris Taylor's critique of Chibber's "polemic" and Paul Heideman's response to Taylor on our website.