Study Guide

Mixers, Matchers, and Makers of Mash-Ups

Spivak has been highly critical of mainstream multiculturalism in the U.S., but she is nothing if not a committed mixer and matcher—of theoretical frameworks; literary genres, styles, and periods; wardrobe items; and more. Here are a few other seriously eclectic theorists who are right there with Spivak when it comes to welcoming wide-ranging influences.

This posse has had enough of traditional disciplines and thinks other academic rules and regulations are so last year. They're gonna mix things up whether the higher-ups like it or not!

Edward Saïd

Ever heard of this author of Orientalism? Well, we bet you didn't know he was a classically trained musician and super dedicated political activist. Multi-talented much?

Slavoj Zizek

Want a little Hitchcock with your Lacan, or a little slapstick with your Hegel? Then Zizek's just the man you're looking for. Compare his approach to Spivak's determination to make Derrida share space with Marx, and feminism with all kinds of other –isms.

Spivak and Zizek (literary theory's answer to Bonnie and Clyde?) have disagreed about a lot of things. But they do share a serious commitment to mixing and matching.

Avital Ronell

We doubt that Ronell and Spivak are on speaking terms, but we're sure that they're cut from the same intellectual cloth in this sense: they are tried-and-true troublemakers. Maybe that's because they're both so deeply influenced by dear Derrida, whose impish grin must surely have something to do with all the mischief he's sowed in theory circles over the past few decades.

Ronell's work spans philosophy, literature, psychoanalysis, feminism, high theory, low blows, and much more. Give her a try; you won't be disappointed.