Why study the past? Because we must. The computer seems to offer us access to simultaneity. We must therefore study the past “broadly.” Primo Levi offers us an example. But the access to simultaneity is a simulacrum, for the computing (intending) subject is determined by computer programming. In earlier times theorists wrote of the determination of the intending subject. Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari offer us an example. Such elite theory has not disappeared. Programming does empirically what they talked about sociologically, historically, psychologically. Yet we must study history broadly. Like all practice, it must ground itself on specific errors.
Skip Nav Destination
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak; Why Study the Past?. Modern Language Quarterly 1 March 2012; 73 (1): 1–12. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00267929-1459697
Download citation file: