This article proposes to re-examine the origins of the Indian historiographical project known as Subaltern Studies by following the work and the intellectual development of its founder, Ranajit Guha. Subaltern Studies, which are now assimilated to post-modern analysis, remain little known in France, where they are all too often reduced to the most recent and visible works on the international academic scene. Hence, it is interesting, twenty years after the project was launched, to come back and take another look at the context, sources and ideas that gave rise to it. The article gives an account of the stakes involved and the limits of an “intellectual adventure” that sought to achieve a radical reversal of the usual perspective adopted in Indian historiography by placing subalterns at the centre of its study. This re-examination reveals the foundations of a project that was initially and fully a social history project
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