Spivak’s new book: An Aesthetic Education

| April 2, 2012

spivak: an aesthetic educationFor those of you interested in the work of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, I suggest checking out her most recent publication, An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization.  The book gathers together a number of her most influential essays and reframes them through her critical analysis of what she calls an aesthetic education. She writes that “this book is about productively undoing another legacy of the European Enlightenment–the aesthetic” (1). In doing so, she traces out a particular vantage through the work of Kant, Schiller, Marx, Gramsci, De Man, and Bateson–the latter being a critical source for “learning the double bind” (ibid). In addition to the better known ideas in the accompanying essays, there are a number of enlightening thoughts sprinkled throughout the introduction. Here are just a few of them:

“The most pervasive double bind undoes the individual-collective dichotomy” (3).

“In an important comment on Marx, Gramsci distinguishes between the psychological, the moral, (our word would perhaps be ‘ethical’), and the epistemological” (8).

“I would like to propose that the training of the imagination that can teach the subject to play–an aesthetic education–can also teach it to discover (theoretically or practically) the premises of the habit that obliges us to transcendentalize  religion and nation (as Bateson and Freud both point out” (10)

For further information see:

Spivak’s faculty profile

Glossary of Spivak’s terms