What Good are the Humanities for Development Studies

The proper training of the Humanities is our best weapon for producing problem-solvers rather than solving problems. If they are acknowledged as imaginative activism, rearranging desires, building the possibility of constructing self and world differently as objects of knowing, producing the intuitions of democracy outside of the demands of electoral politics; the power and difficulties of the task emerge.  To implement this is an uphill road, since the priorities for developing societies seem to be located elsewhere. My paper will consider this problem as practically as possible, considering, along the way, such typical criticisms as individualism, mere liberalism, etc. I will be attentive to the fact that this Center has successfully studied “Development” for half a century.

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is University Professor at Columbia University. Her latest books are Other Asias and An Aesthetic Education in An Era of Globalization. She has 5 honorary doctorates. She is the 2012 laureate of the Kyoto Prize in Art and Philosophy. She trains teachers and guides ecological agriculture in western Birbhum district in West Bengal, India.

Rajeev Bhargava is Director of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

Date & Time: 5 August 2013, 6pm
Venue: CSDS Seminar Hall