The Official Blog for ENGL 41416.

Jackie Torres

          Gayatri Spivak the writer of “Can the Subaltern Speak”? is a feminist who is questioning the acts of the western culture.  Subaltern is a term used to describe the Marxist theorist. The Marxist theorist delineates the act of someone who is not allowed for social reasons to express themselves or write about their own cultural experiences and politics. When reading Spivak’s essay it was a bit difficult to understand her stance. Towards the middle of her essay I realized what her discussion was about. Spivak says, “The first part of my proposition-that the phased development of the subaltern is complicated by the imperialist project-is confronted by a collective of intellectuals who may be called “Subaltern Study Group”.

 In this passage I was able to understand that Spivak wonders why  Western culture or civilization want to write about or describe practices of her own culture. She uses the example of hegemony, she says, ” he is concerned with the intellectual’s role in the subaltern’s cultural and political movement into the hegemony”. Here Spivak explains how the role’s are being given out depending on your societal and economical role. As she goees on explaining in detail her point of view she crtitizes some of the works of some theorist. However, her ending view and conclusion does not seem to be cohesive with her essay and in some ways seem to be contradicting to many other previous points made.


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