Gayatri Spivak: Ethics, Subalternity and the Critique of Postcolonial Reason
January 2007, Polity
In this book Stephen Morton offers a wide-ranging introduction to and critique of Spivaks work. He examines her engagements with philosophers and other thinkers from Kant to Paul de Man, feminists from Cixous to Helie-Lucas and literary texts by Charlotte Bronte, J. M. Coetzee, Mahasweta Devi and Jean Rhys. Spivaks thought is also situated in relation to subaltern studies. Throughout the book, Morton interrogates the materialist basis of Spivaks thought and demonstrates the ethical and political commitment which lies at the heart of her work.
Stephen Morton provides an ideal introduction to the work of this complex and increasingly important thinker.
* Chapter One Postcolonial Criticism and Beyond
* Chapter Two Deconstruction
* Chapter Three Marxism and Post-Marxism
* Chapter Four Subaltern Studies and the Critique of Representation
* Chapter Five Transnational Feminism
* Chapter Six From a Postcolonial Critique of Reason to A Critique of Postcolonial Reason
* Conclusion: Transnational Literacy, Subaltern Rights and the Future of Comparative Literature
Homi K. Bhabha, Anne F. Rothenberg, Harvard University
"Gayatri Spivak’s refusal to settle for the quick fix, the empty piety, the mere abstract calculus, or the language of expediency has never appeared more salutary than it does today. As violence counters violence in the name of moral righteousness, this lucid book, like Spivak’s own critique of postcolonial studies, is a timely reminder of the complicity between imagined liberal benevolence and the ruthless pursuit of global hegemony at any cost. If one slogan emerges from Stephen Morton’s analysis it is the ever more pressing need to 'learn to learn from the subaltern'. This is a task requiring patience and the learning of subaltern languages as 'active cultural media', not as mere instruments. Never has comparative literary and cultural studies beckoned so urgently."
Donna Landry, University of Kent at Canterbury