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Visiting Fellow Archive (2020-2021)

2020-2021 Visiting Fellow: Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, University Professor at Columbia University Heading link

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak


See the YouTube recording of her lecture, here:

Registration information & Readings located below.

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is a critic, theorist, translator, and activist. She is University Professor at Columbia University and a founding member of Columbia’s Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. She is one of the world’s most prominent literary and cultural theorists, whose work continues to influence a broad range of fields, from literary criticism and philosophy to postcolonial theory and feminism. She is author of In Other Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics (1987), A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present (1999), and An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization (2012), among many other landmark books and articles. In 2012, she received the Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy; in 2013, she received the Padma Bhushan, one of the highest civilian awards given by the Republic of India.

Professor Spivak will be assisted in both programs by Surya Parekh, Assistant Professor of English, Binghamton University.


April 14, 2021; 4-6pm, Via Webinar

“Learning From Mistakes: How A ‘marxist-feminist-deconstructivist’ Confronts the Paradox of Democracy.”

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April 15, 2021; 3-5pm, Via ZOOM

SEMINAR: Currently full: Register for the waitlist by emailing 

“Confronting the Paradox of Democracy”



Seminar Readings Heading link

Professor Spivak suggests that we concentrate reading in particular on Devi’s “Pterodactyl,” “Looking Backward, Looking Forward,” “Global Marx,” as well as “Reading ‘Pterodactyl.'” Those unfamiliar with her essay “Can the Subaltern Speak” should read this as well, found in its revised form in A Critique of Postcolonial Reason in the “Teaching Kit.”

Mahasweta Devi, “Pterodactyl,” in Imaginary Maps, tr. Gayatri Spivak, p.95-195.

Derrida, Rogues, p.158-159.

Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, tr. Paul Guyer, p.603-604.

Spivak, “Global Marx,” in Knowledge, Class, and Economics: Marxism Without Guarantees, p.265-269.

Spivak, “Crimes of Identity,” in Juliet Mitchell and the Lateral Axis, p.207-227.

Spivak, “Law Is Not Justice”. EPLO 2021.

Spivak, “Abolition Democracy” (edit, w/additions on the Madrugada). 13/13 Seminar Series, (2020).

Spivak, “Reading ‘Pterodactyl’ (2021).

Spivak, “Looking Back, Looking Forward” in Can the Subaltern Speak?: Reflections on the History of an Idea. p. 227-236.

Coda (these readings to be supplied at the seminar):

Sankha Ghosh, “Come Let Us Bond Together” [আয় আয় বেঁধে বেঁধে থাকি]; “A Task of Many Centuries” [সে অনেক শতাব্দীর কাজ]; “Which Side Are You On?” [তুমি কোন দলে?]


Tushar Kanjilal, “Dinu”