Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

Research Interests



Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is University Professor, and a founding member of the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society.  B.A. English (First Class Honors), Presidency College, Calcutta, 1959.  Ph.D. Comparative Literature, Cornell University, 1967. D. Litt, University of Toronto, 1999; D. Litt, University of London, 2003; D. Hum, Oberlin College, 2008; D. Honoris Causa, Universitat Roveri I Virgili,  2011; D. Honoris Causa, Rabindra Bharati, 2012; Kyoto Prize in Thought and Ethics, 2012; Padma Bhushan 2013; D.Honoris Causa, Universidad Nacional de San Martin, 2013; D. Litt, University of St. Andrews, 2014; D. Honoris Causa, Paris VIII, 2014; Presidency University, 2014; D. Hum, Yale University, 2015; D. Litt, University of Ghana-Legon, 2015; D. Honoris Causa, Universidad de Chile, 2016; Lifetime Scholarly Achievement Award, Modern Language Association of America, 2018; Doctor Honoris Causa, Babes-Bolyai University, 2021. Honorary faculty, Tsing-hua University, Beijing; "Inaugural Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award, Columbia University Asian Faculty Association, 2023; Doctorado Honoris Causa, International Center for Latin American Studies in Inclusive Education, 2023; Doctorat Honoris Causa, Université Paris Nanterre, 2024.

Fields: The long 19th century (1789-1920) in British, French and German literary production; politics of culture; feminism; Marx, Derrida; globalization, post-Kantian literary theory, and climate change  

Books: Myself Must I Remake: The Life and Poetry of W. B. Yeats (1974), Of Grammatology (translation with critical introduction of Jacques Derrida, De la grammatologie, 1976), In Other Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics (1987; Routledge Classic 2002), Selected Subaltern Studies (ed., 1988), The Post-Colonial Critic: Interviews, Strategies, Dialogues (1990), Thinking Academic Freedom in Gendered Post-Coloniality (1993; much reprinted), Outside in the Teaching Machine (1993; Routledge classic 2003), Imaginary Maps (translation with critical introduction of three stories by Mahasweta Devi, 1994), The Spivak Reader (1995), Breast Stories (translation with critical introduction of three stories by Mahasweta Devi, 1997), Old Women (translation with critical introduction of two stories by Mahasweta Devi, 1999), Imperatives to Re-Imagine the Planet / Imperative zur Neuerfindung des Planeten (ed. Willi Goetschel, 1999; 2d ed. forthcoming), A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Towards a History of the Vanishing Present (1999), Song for Kali: A Cycle (translation with introduction of Ramproshad Sen, 2000), Chotti Munda and His Arrow (translation with critical introduction of a novel by Mahasweta Devi, 2002), Death of a Discipline (2003), Other Asias (2005), An Aesthetic Education in the Age of Globalization (2012), Readings (2014), My Brother Burghardt: Globalizing Enslavement (forthcoming from Harvard), Gramsci and the Schucht Sisters (first translation of Gramsci’s conversation with wife and sister-in-law from prison, with critical Afterword in collaboration with Ursula Apitzsch et al., forthcoming from Fordham.)  Various publications of Marxist cultural theory in Bengali.

Significant articles: "Subaltern Studies: Deconstructing Historiography" (1985), "Three Women's Texts and a Critique of Imperialism" (1985), "Can the Subaltern Speak?" (1988), "The Politics of Translation" (1992), "Moving Devi" (1999), "Righting Wrongs" (2003), "Ethics and Politics in Tagore, Coetzee, and Certain Scenes of Teaching" (2004), "Translating into English" (2005), "Rethinking Comparativism" (2010), "A Borderless World" (2011), "General Strike" (2012),  "Crimes of Identity" (2014), "Our World" (2014). (2014), “Can there be a Feminist World?” (2015).

Activist in rural education and feminist and ecological social movements since 1986.  Activist in the sphere of Development through subordinated language intervention, with an African focus, since 2000. 2000; Chief advisor, relationship between statistics and narrative in reporting feminized poverty in the rural-urban interface in West
and East Africa, with colleagues at Columbia and the Universities of Ghana-Legon and Nairobi; Series Editor and fundraiser, Bengali Library, Columbia University Press, 2019.

Selected Publications