June 8, 2023: Globalizing Feminism - Can the subalterns speak?
Excerpts from a keynote address to the US National Women’s Studies Association, by the world-famous scholar of deconstructionism Gayatri Spivak. She takes as her theme the question from her best-known essay: Can the subaltern speak? The related question embedded in the talk is: if she speaks, can she be properly understood, when the listeners superimpose their own context, language, and expectations on the messages of those they see as lowly. Global feminism is unfolding in a context of aggressive financialization of the whole world; to have any balance requires the agents of development learning to listen.Gayatri Spivak is Professor of Humanities at Columbia University and the co-founder of the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. She also runs four primary schools in India. She became famous early in her career for translating and commenting on Jacques Derrida’s seminal work Of Grammatology.