intro    may/june    august    october    2016


gayatri chakravorty spivak
reading group 2017

(for more general introduction to spivak’s
work see 2016 page)

And what do I say about the post-colonials? I
say when we first began using the word we
used it descriptively … and ironically, because
it was a joke. Because we all knew that
post-coloniality meant this failure of
decolonisation and neo colonialism.

So for the post-colonials, especially if they’re
from the US, I would say ‘think it through’.
Think of yourselves as US colonialists, rather
than post-colonials in the United States.

in 1994 Spivak visited Melbourne for a
conference at Latrobe University, ending her
keynote address with the above provocation.

now more than 20 years later, the urgency of
her remarks remains — what does it mean to
speak and read these words in our local

sitting in the audience, and the first to ask a
question following spivak’s lecture, was
Patrick Wolfe — a writer and historian who
lived on Wurundjeri country near Healesville
and whose work was incredibly important in
the development and consolidation of settler
colonial studies

Wolfe’s work focused on intersections of race,
colonialism, imperialism and Aboriginal
resistance — writing extensively on the need
to consider invasion as a structure rather than
an event

and so what might it mean to run a Spivak
reading group in Australian settler colonial
society where the structural violence of
colonialism is ongoing?

this year we would like to ‘think it through’
together — to ask questions of Spivak’s work,
to put it in dialogue with local writers and
issues, to consider what it has to offer (or
where it falls short) in relation to this specific
time and place

and so to start the year (see may/june)
we would first like to make a momentary
diversion from Spivak's work to spend an evening
discussing Wolfe's conference paper Logics of
Elimination: Colonial Policies on Ingidenous
People in Australia and the United States

on sunday 28th may

following this, we will consider two
interviews, Culture Alive (which documents
the conference mentioned above) and an
interview between Spivak and Sneja Gunew
on the subject of Australian multiculturalism
and its relation to the project of
post-colonialism, on sunday 4 june

we have planned two other Spivak reading
groups across the year — in august and
october (dates and texts are below)

each session will include a 30 minute
introduction to the texts, followed by
discussion around relevant questions and
current issues — so please still come no
matter how much you have read!

we will send out updates on instagram and an
email closer to time (and if you would like to
suggest alternate texts please get in touch —
we are very happy to change the proposed
readings or to host additional reading group


*two sessions*

sunday 28th may
6 - 7:30pm
1 wall st richmond


Patrick Wolfe, Logics of Elimination: Colonial Policies
on Ingidenous People in Australia and the United States

sunday 4th june
6 - 7:30pm
1 wall st richmond


Spivak et al, Culture Alive (interview)

Spivak and Gunew (interview), The
Question of Multiculturalism


28th august
6 - 7:30pm

venue tbc

*more info posted closer to the event*

primary reading

Spivak, The Uses and Abuses of
Human Rights

secondary reading

Watson, There is No Possibility of
Rights without Law: So Until Then,
Don't Thumb Print or Sign Anything!

Barker and Puar, Feminist
Problematization of Rights Language
and Universal Conceptualizations of
Human Rights


16th october
6 - 7:30pm

venue tbc

*more info posted closer to the evnt*

primary readings

Spivak, excerpt from Outside in the
Teaching Machine

Spivak and Grosz (interview),
Criticism, Feminism and the

secondary reading

Chantal Mouffe, Feminism,
citizenship and radical democratic