Our World

Lecture by Gayatri Spivak

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When we seem to have won or lost in terms of certainties, we must, as literature teachers in the classroom, remember such warnings—let literature teach us that there are no certainties,that the process is open, and that it may be altogether salutary that it is so. (Gayatri Spivak)

How do we understand the term «development» if we movebeyond the play of capital and colony? What happens if one,when interpreting our world, rather than the trivially true linear accounts, tries to see the immensely diversified persistent structures that construct ones knowledge of the world? What strategies and solutions to these problems are offered by intellectuals across the political spectrum?

Indian Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is a philosopher and Professor of literature at Columbia University in New York. Her works within critical theory are highly regarded internationally, and she is considered one of the pioneers within postcolonial thinking. Spivak is particularly well known for her application of a wide spectre of critical theories to politicise and problemize the West’s understanding of itself and the legacy of colonialism. She challenges the idea that the West is more democratic, civilized and developed than the rest of the world, and has focused her research on groups who are marginalized by this dominant Western culture, such as immigrants, labour class and women. Spivak won great reckognition for her seminar essay «Can the Subaltern Speak?» (1988), and amongst her recent works are Nationalism and the Imagination (2010) and An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization (2012).

Wergeland Litteraturhuset Lecture by Gayatri Spivak Universalisme 2014

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