Prof. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Ph.D.

Winter Semester 2007/2008

Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University / New York:

Rethinking Comparativism

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s work on postcolonialism, multiculturalism, and interculturality has had a formative impact on feminism, deconstruction, and (post)-Marxism since she began publishing in the 1970s. With her theory of planetarity, Spivak has moreover intervened in the international debate on globality, globalization, and world society as well as on the role of the humanities, cultural studies, and comparative literature in the twenty-first century. The positions defended in her groundbreaking publications (which include numerous articles as well as works such as A Critique of Postcolonial Reason, 1999, and Death of a Discipline, 2003) are principally of interdisciplinary relevance and have also effected new perspectives in the fields of philosophy, film studies, sociology, political science, and translation studies. Spivak’s visiting professorship at Mainz University has been an opportunity to thoroughly connect with focal topics of research at the Center for Intercultural Studies and to extend current work on the intersection of interculturality and transculturality studies, which Spivak is also considered to have profoundly influenced.

Photographs: Gayatri Spivak lecturing at Mainz University, Alte Mensa (Jan. 10, 2008)