Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Narrativ föreställningsförmåga: ett spivakianskt ”hopp i den andres sjö”?: Nussbaum, Spivak och att (med skönlitteratur) skapa förståelse för den Andra
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Teacher Education.
2014 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Narrative imagination: a spivakian ”leap into the others’ sea”? : Nussbaum, Spivak and to create (with literature) understanding for the Other (English)
Abstract [en]

This survey is a theoretical analysis concerning didactics of literature, in which I problematize what Martha C. Nussbaum describes as ”narrative imagination”. By using postcolonial theory, more specific: Gayatri Spivaks essay ”Can the Subaltern Speak?” and her theoretical formula ”a leap into the other’s sea”, I try to answer the following question: Can ”narrative imagination” be understood as a manifistation or concretisation of ”a leap into the other’s sea”?

The answer that is given concerning my general question is simply: No. Nussbaums’ reader is far to active, whereas Spivak strongly argues that hearing and/or listening to the subaltern requires a state of self-suspendedness. Nussbaum also shows a great belief in literature as a representation of something truly real, but also as a representation of the Other. Drawing on Spivaks critique of Deleuze and Foucault, I have suggested that representation of this kind should, from a poststructuralistic and Marxist point of view, be seen as a theoretical misstake, for: representation postulates objectiveness or/and transparentness. Finally Nussbaums goals, in terms of cultivating the humanity, has been problematized. Her cosmopolitan and democratic approach is based upon – a form of – universalism and an ambition towards consensus, which – again: from a poststructuralistic perspective – is highly debatable.

With this background I have concluded two implications concerning didactics of literature: Firstly, there are plenty of voices not represented by literature, a fact that needs to be considered. Thus, to base a world citizenship, a democracy or an understanding of the Other on works of literature is to restrict ”the world” or ”the Other” to the fictional, literary characters that has been written. Secondly Spivak urges us to reflect on the reader as an interpreter. A total suspension of the self is a naive statement – but she is right to point to the occidental subject as a member and reproducer of postcolonial discourse.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 45 p.
Keyword [en]
Didactics of literature, Nussbaum, Spivak, narrative imagination, postcolonial theory, the subaltern, representation
Keyword [sv]
Litteraturdidaktik, Nussbaum, Spivak, narrativ föreställningsförmåga, postkolonial teori, den subalterna, representation
National Category
Languages and Literature
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-24100OAI: diva2:725583
Subject / course
Education Studies
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2014-06-17 Created: 2014-06-16 Last updated: 2014-06-17Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

Narrativ föreställningsförmåga: Niklas Öhman(586 kB)280 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 586 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

By organisation
Teacher Education
Languages and Literature

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 280 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 742 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link