CriticaLink | Spivak: Echo | Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

Currently Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak was born in Calcutta in 1942 and studied at the University of Calcutta and Cornell University. She taught at the University of Iowa. Her PhD thesis on Yeats was directed by Paul de Man and published in 1974 as Myself I Must Remake: The Life and Poetry of W.B. Yeats.

Spivak's initially earned her international reputation with her 1976 translation of Jacques Derrida's Of Grammatology, for which she wrote an extended introduction. She has written numerous essays combining deconstruction with Marxism, feminism, and postcolonial studies, and cultural studies. Some of these essays have been collected in In Other Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics (1987), Outside In the Teaching Machine (1993), and The Spivak Reader (edited by Donna Landry and Gerald MacLean, 1996). A collection of interviews with Spivak edited by Sarah Harasym, The Post-Colonial Critic: Interviews, Strategies, Dialogues, appeared in 1990. A particularly important essay, "Can the Subaltern Speak?" can be found in Marxism and the interpretation of Culture, edited by Cary Nelson and Larry Grossberg (1988). Her most recent book, A Critique of Postcolonial Reason : Toward a History of the Vanishing Present (1999) returns to the issues she raises in "Can the Subaltern Speak?"

Spivak is also the translator of Imaginary Maps: Three Stories by the Bengali writer Mahasweta Devi (1994).