Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is widely recognised as one of the most influential voices to fearlessly advocate for the marginalised and shape the discourse of comparative literature. The writer of the seminal text "Can The Subaltern Speak?" and translator of Jacques Derrida’s Of Grammatology has taken bold, unusual ways to defy dominant narratives of Western academia, and challenge existing power structures to make space for the voiceless. In this conversation, she sits down with academic Chitra Sankaran and writer and artist Shubigi Rao to discuss speaking up, being out of turn, and leaving no stone unturned in striving for a more equitable world.
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is a Professor at Columbia University. She has received 15 honorary doctorates, a Kyoto Prize, a Padma Bhushan award, a Chevalier des Arts, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and a fellow of the British Academy. She is an obsessive hands-on activist for holistic humanities education, ecology, and feminism.
Chitra Sankaran (PhD, London), has served as (acting) Head of Department, Deputy Head and as Chair of Literature in the Department of English, Linguistics and Theatre Studies, National University of Singapore. She is the Founding and Current President of the Association for the Study of Literature and Ecology in ASEAN (ASLE-ASEAN) and the founding and chief editor of the Journal of Southeast Asian Ecocriticism (JSEAE). Her recent publications (2022) include Women, Subalterns and Ecologies in South and Southeast Asian Women’s Fiction (University of Georgia Press, USA) and a co-authored volume, Revenge of Gaia: Contemporary Ecofictions from Vietnam (Penguin Random House). She is currently working on a book on Asian ecomaterialism.