Can the Subaltern Speak?, an essay first delivered in 1983, established Spivak among the ranks of feminists who consider history, geography, and class when thinking about women. In all her work, Spivak’s main effort has been to try to find ways of accessing the subjectivity of those who are being investigated. She is hailed as a critic who has feminized and globalized the philosophy of deconstruction, considering the position of the subaltern, a word used by Antonio Gramsci as describing ungeneralizable fringe groups of society who lack access to citizenship. Since then Spivak is not only a pioneer in literary theory in non-Western women, she also plays and immense and influential role in feminist, political, ethical, educational and post-colonial theories.
«Great Thinkers» has a simple set-up: The invited guest philosopher talks about a topic, discusses a question that he/she can chose. What concerns him/her most? What does he/she consider to be his/her greatest intellectual achievement? How does he/she develop a thought, an argument and a theory? After his/her lecture we have the possibility to talk and discuss with him/her on his/her thesis and thoughts.