The subaltern speak essay

Have you read these? She discourages and dismantles western centers and challenges there over history and prejudice.

The subaltern speak essay

Minu Vettamala 1 Can the Subaltern Speak? She uses deconstruction to examine "how truth is constructed" and to deploy the assertions of one intellectual and political position such as Marxism to "interrupt" or "bring into crisis" another feminism, for example. In her work, she combines passionate denunciations of the harm done to women, non- Europeans, and the poor by the privileged West with a persistent questioning of the grounds on which radical critique takes its stand.

Her continual interrogation of assumptions can make Spivak difficult to read.

Can the Subaltern Speak- Summary | Minu Vettamala - ashio-midori.com

But her restless critiques connect directly to her ethical aspiration for a "politics of the open end," in which deconstruction acts as a "safeguard" against the repression or exclusion of "alterities"-that is, people, events, or ideas that are radically "other" to the dominant worldview.

She writes against the "epistemic violence" done by discourses of knowledge that carve up the world and condemn to oblivion the pieces that do not easily fit.

Characteristically, she does not claim to avoid such violence herself; rather, she self-consciously explores structures of violence without assuming a final, settled position.

Can the Subaltern Speak? Postcolonial critics, like many feminists, want to give silenced others a voice. But Spivak worries that even the most benevolent effort merely repeats the very silencing it aims to combat.

After all, colonialists often thought of themselves as well-intentioned. Spivak points to the British outlawing of sati, the Hindu practice of burning a widow on her husband's funeral pyre. While this intervention saved some lives and may have given women a modicum of free choice, it also served to secure British power in India and to underscore the asserted difference between British "civilization" and Indian "barbarism.

Can today's intellectuals avoid a similar condescension when they represent the oppressed? A subaltern, according to the dictionary, is a person holding a subordinate position, originally a junior officer in the British army.

Can the Subaltern Speak? - Columbia University Press

But Spivak draws on the term's nuances. It has particularly rich connotations for the Indian subcontinent because the Anglo-Indian writer Rudyard Kipling so often viewed imperialism from the ambivalent position of the' subaltern functionary in the complex colonial hierarchy, caught between detested superiors and feared "natives.

In the s the Subaltern Studies Group a collective of radical historians in India with whom Spivak maintains ties appropriated the term, focusing their attention on the disenfranchised peoples of India.

The "subaltern" always stands in an ambiguous relation to power-subordinate to it but never fully consenting to its rule, never adopting the dominant point of view or vocabulary as expressive of its own identity.

Subalterns, in the Indian context are defined as those who did not comprise the colonial elite- such as the lesser rural gentry, impoverished lamdlords, rich peasants and upper middle class peasants. Can this difference be articulated? And if so, by whom?

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As poststructuralism would have it, human consciousness is constructed discursively. Our subjectivity is constructed by the shifting discourses of power which endlessly speak through us, situating us here and there in particular positions and relations.

In these terms we are not the authors of ourselves. We do not construct our identities, we have it written for us; the subject cannot be sovereign over the construction of selfhood.

Instead the subject is decentered, in that its consciousness is always being constructed from positions outside of itself. It follows then that the individual is not a transparent representation of the self but an effect of discourse. In addition they also assume that the writing of intellectuals such as themselves can serve as a transparent medium through which the voices of the oppressed can be represented.

Spivak can the subaltern speak essay on symbolism Sunday, November 18, Category:
Gayatri Spivak Research Papers - ashio-midori.com Spivak is in famous, notorious for her dense prose, and rightly so. Not only does she draw upon innumerable relevant theorists to eventually tease out her own amazing, brilliant, inter-disciplinary argument, she uses technical research terminology that requ Some of the most radical criticism coming out of the West today is the result of an interested desire to conserve the subject of the West, or the West as Subject.
Spivak uses the example of the Indian Sati practice of widow suicide, however the main significance of "Can the Subaltern Speak?

The intellectual is cast as a reliable mediator for the voices of the oppressed, a mothpiece through which the oppressed can clearly speak. Of course, no discourse succeeds in obliterating all alternative discourses.

Intellectuals have frequently tried to create counterdiscourses that contest the dominant discourses, with the hope of connecting with the oppressed's own acts of resistance. Spivak sees postcolonial studies as a new instance of this attempt to liberate the other and to enable that other to experience and articulate those parts of itself that fall outside what the dominant discourse has constituted as its subjecthood.

The subaltern speak essay

She asks whether such work can succeed. Can-with or without the intervention of well-intentioned intellectuals-the "subaltern" speak? Her blunt answer is no. Marxists speak of and for the proletariat, feminists of and for oppressed women, and anticolonialists of and for third world peoples.

In part, Spivak is reacting against the persistent tendency of radical political movements to romanticize the other, especially against the notion that third world peoples must lead the fight against multinational global capitalism. To assign them that role is to repeat colonialism's basic violence, which views non-Europeans as important only insofar as they follow Western scripts.

Furthermore, when most f the power resides in the West, why should the least powerful of those caught up in globalization be responsible for halting its advance?

Finally, Spivak points out that the suggestion that all third world peoples stand in the same relation to global capitalism and should respond to it in the same way is "essentialist. In the s, essentialism was the target of much feminist criticism because activists recognized that generalizations about "woman" inevitably exclude some women.Summary: Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak's essay Can the Subaltern Speak?

introduced questions of gender and sexual difference into analyses of representation and offering a profound critique of both subaltern history and radical Western philosophy. With the opening of the discourse came new problems, the most important being elucidated by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak () who asked a very good question in her groundbreaking essay, “Can the Subaltern Speak?”.

Can the Subaltern Speak? – Summary Gayatri Spivak Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is an unsettling voice in literary theory and especially, postcolonial studies. Her essay "can the Subaltern Speak?" (which exists in several forms--I'll be examining the longest version, which appears in Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture) displays a dazzling array of tactical devices designed to ward off or pre-emptively neutralize the attacks of critics.

The subaltern speak essay

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak Marx continues in his description of the conspirateurs de profession as follows: " They have no other aim but the immediate one of overthrowing the existing government, and they profoundly despise the more theoretical enlightenment of the workers as to their class interests.

1 Can the Subaltern Speak? – Summary Gayatri Spivak Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is an unsettling voice in literary theory and especially, postcolonial studies. She has describes herself as a “practical deconstructionist feminist Marxist” and as a “gadfly”.

Can the Subaltern Speak? Postkolonialität und subalterne Artikulation by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak