The Subaltern and Representation
Symposium Open PEI with the participation of John Beverley and Benita Parry
Beginning in the 1980s, the Subaltern Studies Group presented a series a questions that Ranajit Guha, Dipesh Chakravarty, Homi Bhabha, Gayatri Spivak, Walter Mignolo and many others in postcolonial geopolitics have been working on ever since: producing a anti-hegemonic historiography—different from the winners' and/or colonizers' version— having the subaltern speak starting from the difficulty or impossibility that they do so; or achieving a type of discourse that permits their visibility in different humanistic or scientific registers; revealing the political unconscious of intellectuals' exercise.
Is it possible to rethink forms of artistic and cultural activism that articulate, in a politically effective way, the relationship between anti hegemonic subaltern practices and spaces where critical knowledge is produced-- in the museum, in academia, or in new network-based media? How can we articulate a politics of the aesthetic that is not derived from the mere discovery of a factual reality or by strengthening dominating institutions? How should the political potential of subaltern groups or cultures be thought about— in the framework of postcolonial practice or through new categories such as "the multitude" or "the anonymous"? How should we re-think the re-politicalization of artistic and cultural practices in the face of the society of the spectacle and the cultural industry's new forms of exclusions?
Simultaneous translation will be available.
30 October, from 6 to 9 pm
The Subaltern and the State
John Beverley is Professor of Spanish and Latin American literature and cultural studies at the University of Pittsburgh. He was a founding member of the Latin American Subaltern Studies Group. He is currently working on the relation between cultural theory and politics in the contemporary governments of the Latin American "red tide."
Transcending Subalternity: Cognitive Challenges to Prevalent Critical Practices
Benita Parry is Professor of Postcolonial Studies in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick. Her recent publications include: 'The New South Africa: A Revolution Deferred', Journal of Postcolonial Writing;'Peripheral Modernities', in Beyond the Black Atlantic: Relocating Modernization and Technology; 'Countercurrents and tensions in Said's Critical Practice', in Emancipation and Representation forthcoming, 2008.
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