Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Studies in Comparative Literature, Cornell Univ.; 1974, PhD. Critical theorist in post-colonialism. Known for political use of critical theories to question colonialism and the way we have been conditioned to think about literature. Challenges ideas such as that the West is more democratic, civilized and so ultimately more developed than the rest of the world, or that the current post-colonial time is more progressive than earlier historical periods. Professor and Founding Member, Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, Columbia Univ. Active supporter of rural education as well as socio-ecological movements, both through theoretical research and philanthropy. Training teachers among the landless illiterate in Purulia and Birbhum for 30 years. Translator, Jacques Derrida's Of Grammatology, essentially the first text that introduced deconstruction theory to the United States (1976); many stories of Indian writer and social activist Mahasweta Devi. Co-Director, Selected Subaltern Studies, an anthology of texts by the Subaltern Studies Group (1988). Author and co-author of numerous publications.