Outside in the Teaching Machine

PDF EBook by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

EBook Description

I have always struggled with Spivak's work. Outside in the Teaching Machine PDF EBook Her post- PDFdeconstructionist tendencies towards skepticism and obscurantism both frustrate and challenge me as a thinker. Writers like Spivak - by the very method of their presentation -seem to repeatedly face certain inevitable contradictions and obstacles that doom their very criticisms to inefficacy. Terry Eagleton articulates this well when he writes:

"Post-colonial theory makes heavy weather of a respect for the Other, but its most immediate Other, the reader, is apparently dispensed from this sensitivity. Radical academics, one might have naively imagined, have a certain political responsibility to ensure that their ideas win an audience outside senior common rooms. In US academia, however, such popularising or 'plumpes Denken' is unlikely to win you much in the way of posh chairs and prestigious awards, so that left-wingers like Spivak, for all their stock-in-trade scorn for academia, can churn out writing far more inaccessible to the public than the literary é download; litists who so heartily despise them."

Sorry for the lengthy quote, but Eagleton has a gift for clear, to-the-point expression. It is ironic that thinkers like Spivak attempt to critique the history of Western 'arrogance' and elitism by way of more lofty, academic language that significantly narrows its audience to a marginal group of academics.

I haven't reviewed the book - once again, sorry - But I say all this to express my frustration for Spivak's 'more original' work. However, as an academic, I have found Spivak's more exegetical work (her 'readings' of other texts) profoundly helpful and beneficial. Her essay "More on Power/Knowledge" helped me understand the perplexities of Foucault's thought more than any other secondary text on the French thinker. I recommend this book with enthusiasm just for that essay. She explains the workings of power in relation to the subject in a way more accurate (I think) than most English texts on the topic. This is because she takes serious Foucault's claim to be a 'Nominalist' and because she reads Foucault in the context of the European continental tradition of philosophy. Specifically, she cleverly reads his notion of power/knowledge against the work of Heidegger and Derrida.

I would say that this text assisted my understanding of Foucault in a way similar to how her famous 'preface' to Of Grammatology has helped so many students understand the significance of Derrida as a 20th century thinker. Once again, this is ironic - her ability to simultaneously make other thinkers so comprehendible while making her own thought so obscure.

My recommendation of this essay does not warrant purchasing this over-priced academic book. But if one is reading Foucault -especially his work on power- I recommend finding this book in the library and reading "More on Power/Knowledge." Like this book? Read online this: Academic Encounters Level 2 Student's Book Reading and Writing Create eBook, Hilda Hopkins, El Asesinato que Ella Tejió #1 (Hilda Hopkins, Machine Knitting Serial Killer-Espanol) (Hilda Hopkins, Machine Knitting Serial Killer-Espanol) (Spanish Edition).

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