Spectrum Logo
A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

Spivak keynote speaker

For International Week,
Global Issues Forum

By Clara B. Cox

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 26 - April 4, 1996

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, the Avalon Foundation professor in the humanities at Columbia University and a leading postcolonial critic who closely follows the lessons of deconstruction, will fill the dual role of keynote speaker for International Week and speaker for the third Global Issues Forum with an address on April 8, at 6:30 p.m. in Squires Colonial Hall. She will address the topic "Global, International, Transnational."

"Dr. Spivak is one of the most provocative speakers on issues dealing with globalization and multiculturalism. We are fortunate to get her to speak on campus," said Rose-May Guignard, president of the International Club, which is sponsoring the talk with the Council of International Student Organizations in cooperation with the University Office of International Programs (UOIP).

In 1976 Spivak published Of Grammatology, her translation of the French philosopher Jacques Derrida's De la grammatologie. Derrida developed the form of philosophical critique known as deconstruction, which Spivak incorporates, along with feminist and Marxist critique, in her work. She has been called one of "the foremost feminist critics who have achieved international eminence, and one of the few who can claim to have influenced intellectual production on a truly global scale."

Born in Calcutta, Spivak graduated from Presidency College of the University of Calcutta with a first-class honors degree in English, including gold medals for English and Bengali literature. After receiving a master's degree in English from Cornell and spending a year at Girton College, Cambridge, under a fellowship, she worked as an instructor at the University of Iowa while completing her doctoral dissertation on Yeats. She has held visiting university appointments in France, India, and Saudi Arabia and has lectured extensively throughout the world.

In addition to her Derrida translation, she has published four books, a volume of interviews, and numerous theoretical and critical articles. Among her books are Outside in the Teaching Machine, a volume of essays in which she offers analyses of and strategies for improving higher education in a global context, and In Other Worlds, a book of essays that has been reprinted five times.

For more information, call Guignard at 1-6167 or the UOIP office at 1-6452.