From Subaltern Studies 11 (2000), p. vii-viii.
THE ESSAYS COLLECTED in this volume were presented at the Fifth Subaltern Studies Conference held in Colombo in June 1995, under the auspices of the Social Scientists Association of Sri Lanka (SSA), the International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Colombo (ICES), and the Subaltern Studies Society.
The theme of the conference was 'Community, Gender and Violence': the present volume is held together by that theme. The essays have taken their present form after a fair amount of discussion and correspondence between the contributors. To that extent this volume is a result of collaborative effort.
We are grateful to Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak for giving us an expanded written version of the remarks she made at the conference; this has been included herein as a 'discussion' piece.
Readers of earlier volumes of Subaltern Studies will have noticed the entry of new subjects and themes into discussions of the subaltern condition. The Fourth and Fifth Subaltern Studies conferences held at Hyderabad (1993) and Colombo (1995) foregrounded the theme of gender. This volume continues that project. We thank the editorial collective of Subaltern Studies for entrusting us with the responsibility of editing this volume. We are especially grateful to Jennifer DeWan for her help in preparing the manuscript for press.
We are grateful to SSA and ICES for hosting the conference, and for their support in bringing out this volume. Additionally, Jayadeva Uyangoda, in his earlier capacity as Chairman, Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, was generous in his assistance in hosting the conference. Kumari Jayawardena's support has been constant and crucial through this entire process, and we are particularly indebted to her.
We note, finally, with a sense of profound loss and outrage, the assassination on 29 July 1999, in Colombo, of Neelakanthan Thiru chelvam, the founder-director of ICES, whose ability to catalyse and enable intellectual communities was boundless, and whose generous, gentle and astute scholarly presence was so central to our meetings in Colombo. In the difficult years ahead, we will miss him more acutely than words can tell.
Back to the top