Biography

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is a Professor at Columbia University whose core interest is humanities for social justice. She has taught globally and held permanent posts in several US universities, including at Iowa, Texas-Austin, Emory and Pittsburgh.

She is an activist in rural education, global feminism, language in the development sector and ecological agriculture. She is fully engaged on behalf of the humanities beyond the disciplines to achieve the epistemic change needed for a world in disaster and hopes to learn from her own mistakes.

She is a Member of the American Philosophical Society (2007), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2022), and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy (2021).

She is the author of many books, including An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization (Harvard University Press, 2013), Other Asias (Wiley-Blackwell, 2003) and A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present (‎Harvard University Press, 1999). Her book Can the Subaltern Speak? (2008) has become a worldwide classic.

She is the recipient of the Kyoto Prize (2012); Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian award (2013); Glocal Hero Award, Transatlantyk Film Festival, Poznan, Poland (2014); and Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France (2016).

She earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Calcutta (1959) and a PhD in Comparative Literature from Cornell University (1967). She holds honorary degrees from the University of Ghana-Legon, University of Chile, Yale University, Presidency University, Université de Vincennes à Saint-Denis, University of St. Andrews, Universidad Nacional de San Martín, Rabindra Bharati University, Universitat Rovira I Virgili, Oberlin College, University of London, the University of Toronto and Babes-Bolyai University.

Born in 1942 in Calcutta (now Kolkata), she currently lives and works in the US.

SAF participation: March Meeting 2022