Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak Spivak states that history for the colonies were changed without consent, making false claims and false promises. Gayatri Spivak. A Critique of For this reason, Spivak’s work does not adhere rigorously Spivak claims to question. Yet, by inhabiting with the ethics of alterity, rather than the politics of identity, thus serves to .. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak at Goldsmiths College, University of after independence,” a more interesting perspective she claims, than that of.

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I cannot claim disciplinary expertise in remaking history in clsims sense of rewriting it. But I can be used as an example of how historical narratives are negotiated. Thus I am, in the strictest sense, a postcolonial. As a caste Hindu, I had access to the culture of imperialism, chakdavorty not the best or most privileged access. Let me, then, speak to you as a citizen of chakragorty India, and raise the necessary critical and cautionary voice about false claims to alternate histories.

False claims and false promises are not euphoric topics. I am also a feminist who is an old-fashioned Marxist and some of that will enter into this discussion of the cultural politics of alternative historiographies. How are historical narratives put together? In order to get to something like an answer to that question, I will make use of the notions of writing and reading in the most general sense.

We produce historical narratives and historical explanations by transforming the socius, upon which our production is written into more or less continuous and controllable bits that are readable.

How these readings emerge and which ones get spivxk have political implications on every possible level. The masterwords implicated in Indian decolonization offered four great legitimizing codes consolidated by the national bourgeoisie by way of the culture of imperialism: If the privileged subject operated by these codes masquerades as the subject of an alternative history, we must meditate upon how they we are alterith, rather than simply read chakdavorty masque as historical exposition.

It is altefity when we forget this that we can set aside class-analysis as essentialist. In the volumes of Capital, Marx asks the German worker to grasp, as a preliminary to the planned change involved in remaking history, the abstract determinations of what is otherwise merely suffered as concrete misery.

I think it is not excessive to see these general senses of reading and writing at work, for example, when Marx asks the worker to understand read? Capital is a writing, which we must not read merely in terms of producing objects for use, a few for ourselves and many more for others, and not being given enough money to get more for ourselves.


Reading the archives of capitalism, Marx produces a critique, not of cultural, but of economic politics — hence a critique of political economy, political economism. In the current global postcolonial context, our model must be a critique of political culturepolitical culturalism, aalterity vehicle is the writing of readable histories, mainstream or alternative.

I think it might be useful to write power in Marx this way: This does not involve allegiance to the narrative of the evolution of the modes of production as the only lexicon of readability, nor alterkty presupposition that class-analysis is the only instrument of readability. As for the strategy for dealing with the sexism of Marxists, it seems to me not very different from that for dealing with the sexism of non- or anti-Marxists. Yet this counterintuitive thought of value apivak not make us imagine that we can ourselves escape the codes inscribing the real.

We are obliged to deal in narratives of history, even believe them. It seems obvious to some of us that the disenfranchised female in decolonized space, being doubly displaced by it, is the proper carrier of a critique of pure class-analysis.

Separated from the mainstream of feminism, this figure, the figure of the gendered subaltern, is singular and alone. There is, however, a rather insidious fourth way. It is to obliterate the differences between this figure and the indigenous elite woman chakravorfy, and claim the subjectship of an as-yet-unreadable alternative history that is chakravirty written in the general sense I invoke above. It is counterintuitive to point at its repetitive negotiations.

Such graspings will allow us to perceive that neocolonialism is a displaced repetition of many of the old lines laid down by colonialism.

The diasporic postcolonial can take advantage most often unknowingly, I hasten to add of the tendency to conflate the two in the metropolis. Thus this frequently innocent informant, identified and welcomed as the agent of an alternative history, may indeed be the site of a chiasmus, the crossing of a double contradiction: Throw into this chiastic field a phenomenon I invoke often: Of course, changes in the mode of production of value do not bring about matching changes in the constitution of the subject.

But one is often surprised to notice how neatly the ruses change in that arena that engages in coding subject-production: Keeping the banal predictability of the cultural apparatus in transnational society firmly in mind, it can be said that the shift into transnationalism brought a softer and more benevolent Third Worldism into the Euramerican academy.

This was indeed ricorso from the basically conservative social scientific approach that matched the initial dismantling of the old empires. It is in this newer context that the postcolonial diasporic can have the role of an ideologue.


In fact, most postcolonial areas have a class-specific access to the society of information-command telematics inscribed by microelectronic transnationalism. And indeed, the discourse of cultural specificity and difference, packaged for transnational consumption along the lines sketched above, is often gayatrri by this specific class.

What is dissimulated by this broad-stroke picture is the tremendous complexity of postcolonial space, especially womanspace. As I must keep repeating, remaking history is a tall order, and we must not take collective enthusiasm or conviction as its sole guarantee.

Now, if one returns to the melancholy story of the years of Independence, whose shadow fell on my childhood, then one begins to see that cultural, communal religiousand class heterogeneity native to the subcontinent has been asserting itself in spite of the unifying hopes on assorted sides, based on those assorted concept-metaphors: Nationalism, Secularism, Internationalism, Culturalism.

Any extended discussion of remaking history in decolonization must take into account the dangerous fragility and tenacity of these concept-metaphors. Briefly, it seems possible to say that an alternative and perhaps equally fragile mode of resistance to them can only come through a strategic acceptance of the centrifugal potential of the plurality and heterogeneity native to the subcontinent.

Its direct manipulation for electoral or diplomatic results constitutes devastation.

Who Claims Alterity? – Gayatri Chakravorti Spivak

It is only in situations like this that institutionally placed cultural workers have the obligation to speak predictively. These scrupulous interventions are in fact our only contribution to the project of remaking history or sustaining ever-shifting voices with an alternative edge. In a sense our task is to make people ready to listen, and that is not determined by argument. Indirect claiks maddeningly slow, forever running the risk of demagogy and coercion mingled with the credulous vanity and class altfrity of teacher and student, it is still only institutionalized education in the human sciences that is a long-term and collective method for making people want to listen.

Alterity – Wikipedia

As far as I can see, remaking the discipline of history has its gayatrk chance on this unglamorous and often tedious register. A literary pedagogy, choosing texts carefully, can at least prepare another space that makes visible the fault lines in slogans of the European Enlightenment — nationalism, internationalism, secularism, culturalism — the bulwark of nativism, without participating in their destruction.

Like all good teaching in the humanities, it is hopeful and interminable. Envoyer la citation Annuler.