At the cusp of the new millennium, Gayatri Spivak proposed the concept of planetarity to overwrite the “global,” which she sees as enmeshed in and unable to offer an ethical alternative to contemporary globalization. Her intervention seeks to reclaim human agency and reimagine collectivity by harnessing the imaginative resources of a humanities education toward the creation of a just world. If the capitalist vision of the globe projects an earth that can be known and controlled, planetarity renders it uncanny or unhomely: “The planet is in the species of alterity, belonging to another system; and yet we inhabit it, on loan. . . . If we imagine ourselves as planetary creatures rather than global entities, alterity remains underived from us; it is not our dialectical negation, it contains us as much as it flings us away.” The concept of planetarity challenges disciplines to retool cross-cultural instruction for a changing world where “Europe is shrinking and the world is expanding” (de Sousa Santos). Simultaneously, planetarity provides a frame for engaging the failure of revolutionary postcolonial and socialist nation states to combat globalization and deliver liberation. Above all, planetarity conjures new modes of collectivity, internationalism, and (e)co-habitation grounded in radical alterity.
The Sun Ra Arkestra, led by Marshall Allen, will perform at the Virgina Theatre on March 25, 2022. The concert will start at 7:30 pm CST. Tickets are free but required for entry.