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Postcolonial Studies, Political Commitment and Anthropology: Gayatri Spivak as an Activist «in the Field»

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Keywords: Gayatri Spivak; Postcolonial Studies; Fieldwork; Cultural Anthropology; Subalternity.

Outside of postcolonial studies, Gayatri Spivak's work is best known for her reflections on the subalternity question. However, connections between these considerations and the field of cultural anthropology have received less attention. Consequently, this article proposes a comparison between her practical concept of open-plan fieldwork - a specific aspect of Spivak's works and political activism - with the contemporary debate on fieldwork in cultural anthropology, without losing sight of Spivak's subalternity question. This comparison provides further insight into Spivak's work: understanding what constitutes her so-called open-plan fieldwork, as well as who comprises the subaltern she speaks about, considering her approach to subalternity as ethnography. It also opens up connections within the complicated relationship between postcolonial studies and cultural anthropology.

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