Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak: Can the Subaltern Speak?

(3047 words)

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s essay “Can the Subaltern Speak?” is one of the key theoretical texts in the field of postcolonial studies, by one of its most famous figures. It was first published in the journal Wedge in 1985, as “Can the Subaltern Speak?: Speculations on Widow Sacrifice”; reprinted in 1988 as “Can the Subaltern Speak?” in Cary Nelson and Larry Grossberg’s edited collection, Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture; and revised by Spivak as part of her “History” chapter in A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present, published in 1999. It has also appeared in essay collections of and on Spivak’s work, …

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Munslow Ong, Jade. "Can the Subaltern Speak?". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 January 2014
[, accessed 05 July 2015.]

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  1. Poststructuralism and Deconstruction
  2. Postcolonial literature - Britain, The Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand
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