Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

Synopsis

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak offers an overtly political challenge to the way we think about literature and culture. As she highlights the many legacies of colonialism, she re-defines the ethical horizons of contemporary critical thought. This volume focuses on her key theoretical concepts, intellectual context and critical reception, providing an accessible introduction to one of the most important thinkers of our time. Stephen Morton introduces Spivak's crucial work through an analysis of such issues as: * methodology and Spivak's 'difficult' style * deconstructive strategies * third world women, the concept of the 'subaltern' and the critique of western feminism * re-reading Marx for the global capitalist era * Spivak's contribution to colonial discourse studies and postcolonial theory. Having examined the ways in which Spivak has transformed contemporary cultural theory, and in particular feminist and postcolonial thought, Morton concludes with a guide to reading Spivak's work and that of her critics. Essential for students of literature or cultural studies, this volume is the ideal companion for a first encounter with Spivak's remarkable texts.

Excerpt

The books in this series offer introductions to major critical thinkers who have influenced literary studies and the humanities. The Routledge Critical Thinkers series provides the books you can turn to first when a new name or concept appears in your studies.

Each book will equip you to approach a key thinker's original texts by explaining her or his key ideas, putting them into context and, perhaps most importantly, showing you why this thinker is considered to be significant. The emphasis is on concise, clearly written guides which do not presuppose a specialist knowledge. Although the focus is on particular figures, the series stresses that no critical thinker ever existed in a vacuum but, instead, emerged from a broader intellectual, cultural and social history. Finally, these books will act as a bridge between you and the thinker's original texts: not replacing them but rather complementing what she or he wrote.

These books are necessary for a number of reasons. In his 1997 autobiography, Not Entitled, the literary critic Frank Kermode wrote of a time in the 1960s:

On beautiful summer lawns, young people lay together all night, recovering from their daytime exertions and listening to a troupe of Balinese musicians. Under their blankets or their sleeping bags, they would chat drowsily about the gurus of the time… What they repeated was largely hearsay; hence my . . .

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