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Author Spivak to examine importance of humanities research

January 16, 2009

Humanist and author, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak will track the role of humanities work both inside and beyond the university during a lecture at 5:30 p.m., Jan. 29 in Old Main, Carson Ballroom, on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus. Spivak will examine why it is important to support and protect humanities research in an era of globalization.

In her lecture – “Living with the Humanities” – Spivak will address the question of how globalization has affected humanities research historically and through the contributions of today’s public scholars. She also will address contemporary curtailments of academic freedom and their implications for the future of the humanities.

The Institute for Humanities Research in ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences brings Spivak to campus as its 2009 Distinguished Lecturer. She is a university professor and the director of the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University. Her research interests include feminism, Marxism, deconstruction and globalization.

In addition to many innovative articles, including “Can the Subaltern Speak?” and “The Politics of Translation,” she has written, translated or edited more than a dozen books, including “In Other Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics,” “The Post-Colonial Critic: Interviews, Strategies, Dialogues,” “Thinking Academic Freedom in Gendered Post-Coloniality,” “Outside in the Teaching Machine,” “Imperatives to Re-Imagine the Planet,” “A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Towards a History of the Vanishing Present,” “Song for Kali: A Cycle,” “Chotti Munda and His Arrow,” “Death of a Discipline,” “Other Asias,” and the forthcoming “Red Thread.”

Spivak has earned doctorates of letters from the University of London and the University of Toronto. She earned a doctorate in comparative literature from Cornell University anda bachelor’s degree in English from Presidency College.

The Institute for Humanities Research Distinguished Lecture is free and open to the public; reservations are required. For seating call 480-965-3000 or e-mail More information at A reception before the lecture will begin at 4:30 p.m. A book signing will follow the lecture where Spivak’s books will be available for purchase.