Hypatia 29 (1):59-74 (2014)

Namita Goswami
Indiana State University
This essay challenges the reduction of Gayatri Spivak's critique of postcolonial reason to functional and derivative identity politics. Such a reading neutralizes the philosophical nature of Spivak's conceptual contributions. Because Spivak is derided as preaching about subaltern victimhood, this essay discerns what is philosophical about the concept of the subaltern. I focus on Spivak's attempt at a space-clearing gesture that can create the possibility for breaking the frame of Eurocentrism. I argue that for this philosopher of the future, the concept of the subaltern is vital for making history and all its victims real. Rather than reiterating the dialectic of “Western philosopher” and “postcolonial critic,” our philosopher of the future knows how most philosophy begins with the commonplace of sorrow. In postcolonialism, she prays to be haunted by the ghosts of (our) history's victims. In other words, our philosopher of the future learns how we make (our) ghosts—as (this) history happens to us (right now). Because we are serious about philosophy, and not preserving our over-determined parts in The Great Game, this essay reads Spivak's critique of postcolonial reason to show how she prefigures “colonialism to come” in Euro-US epistemological training
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DOI 10.1111/hypa.12055
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Derrida From Now On.Michael Naas - 2008 - Fordham University Press.
Allegories of Reading: Figural Language in Rousseau, Nietzsche, Rilke, and Proust.Paul de Man - 1981 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 39 (3):337-341.
A Last Call for 'Europe'.Michael Naas - 2004 - Theory and Event 8 (1).

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