Theorizing Resistance in Spivak’s Deconstructive-Marxist Postcolonial Criticism

Zhaoguo DING


Resistance has been an important subject of debates in recent postcolonial studies. This paper discusses the problematic of resistance in Gayatri Spivak’s deconstructive-Marxist postcolonial writings by focusing on her critical concepts “the subaltern” and “strategic essentialism.” It concludes that though her deconstructive-Marxist postcolonial criticism is suspicious of valorizing the constitutive effect of the colonial discourse on colonized subjectivities and debilitating their power of initiating resistance, Spivak’s problematization of the colonized subjective agency in terms of imperial epistemic violence and its heterogeneity and the intellectual’s positioning helps interrogate the notion of identity as independent and self-sufficient consciousness, thus exposing the danger of reproducing the imperial power structures and re-silencing the subaltern involved in the process of postcolonial textual re-writing.Key words: Resistance; Spivak; Subaltern; Intellectual; Strategic essentialism

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