Monday, 10 March 2014

Idea Box (3 to 7 March): Energy, Education, Caste, Postcolonialism, Spivak

The last week was spent in two key activities, writing the thesis and teaching. Here's what might be relevant for others:

The Thesis: I had a discussion with my supervisors last week on the theme of energy and education with reference to the caste system in India. They pointed out that the works of Craig Jeffery may be a good source to understand and refer to for the relationship between caste and education in India. I wanted to share the links to some of his publications but he has done such extensive and thought provoking work on this topic that it is hard to pick the 'good ones'. So, I would just share the link to his staff profile on Oxford University website and you could pick your own picks. Here it is:

http://www.geog.ox.ac.uk/staff/cjeffrey.html#pubs

However, the connect between energy and caste, that is something that you and me would have to do on our own for now, unless some of you have some ideas that you could share with me.

Courtesy: Amazon
The Teaching: I was helping organise a practical on postcolonialism this week which involved the reading of a key milestone text of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. Many would be familiar with this particular Spivak paper/chapter, Can the Subalterns Speak? In this paper Spivak raised issues of voice, representation and ethic with two very interesting and powerful case studies from India. However, those who may have read this paper would already know (and those who haven't, be warned) that this is a very difficult to read paper, its a paper that many would call inaccessible. A few weeks ago we picked this paper for the development reading group that gets together by-weekly in the Durham Geography department. Some well timed advice from a few faculty members meant that we became aware of the tedious nature of this reading. So, based on the suggestions of those much wiser than us, we had two additional reading which engage with this particular work of Spivak and explain it in a easier way for the minor mortals. We used these same reading in the postcolonialism workshop this week too and I am glad that the students found them very helpful. So, here
are the additional readings:

Hyper-self-reflexive development? Spivak on representing the Third World 'Other' by Ilan Kapoor,

Postcolonialism and Development by Cheryl McEwan pgs 69-71

Here's the link to a recent lecture by Spivak as part of the castle lecture series here at Durham University:

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