Elsewhere Texts

Edited by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Hosam Aboul-Ela

The series takes as its charge radical new directions in the engagement with the literary culture of the non-European. The point of departure here is the scandalous notion that the literary figure of the Global South is as human as the European, complex, subject to the dynamism of history, fluid, unrepresentable, and impossible either to essentialize or reduce to any glib counter essentialism. As such, elsewhere texts emphasizes those aspects of this subject’s dynamism that have been radically de-emphasized in the stock metropolitan representations. So, the series centers the intellectual dimension of literary culture elsewhere. The regions that Orientalists represented as non-idea-producing areas are revealed to be the opposite. Furthermore, modernity of ideas is engaged by the series’ metatheoretical under-standing of the process of translation, the mechanism through which the unfixed nature of intellectual work may be most fully acknowledged. Finally, elsewhere texts understands theory as commitment, emphasizing that genre of theoretical discourse which through its engagement—its heightened sense of the social power of ideas and rhetorics—calls into question the supposed abstract transcendence of the god terms ‘theory’, ‘text’, ‘idea’. This engaged dimension of the elsewhere text insists on the historicism of theory at the same time as it forges a new intellectual globality embodied here in intellectual work translated for the critical traditions of Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America in all their diversity.

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