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Comparative Literature versus World Literature

Comparative Literature versus World Literature Dorothy m. Figueira Recent theories and pedagogies of alterity such as multiculturalism and postcolo- nialism have had a signic fi ant impact on the discipline of Comparative Literature and the teaching of World Literature. e Th y have, in many institutions, taken over the activity of comparative analyses between cultures and literatures and have achieved this importance in venues that preempt the traditional role of Compara- tive Literature. Goethe’s call to form a Weltliteratu ar nd enrich one’s own culture through the acknowledgment of other models of artistic expression, such as San- skrit kâvya, may seem anachronistic and naive to us today. However, we should not forget that the discipline of Comparative Literature was formed from just such a cosmopolitan desire to embrace diversity. Comparative Literature began by seeking to engage the known world, albeit with very insuci ffi ent tools. Over time, it became institutionally far less global in its perspective. However, even in its most Eurocentric and isolationist moments, it is preferable to the cynicism that oe ft n motivates the market- based consumerism that has come to den fi e present- day aca- demic encounters with the Other. In American institutions today, it seems that we http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

Comparative Literature versus World Literature

The Comparatist , Volume 34 – Jun 24, 2010

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 the Southern Comparative Literature Association.
ISSN
1559-0887

Abstract

Dorothy m. Figueira Recent theories and pedagogies of alterity such as multiculturalism and postcolo- nialism have had a signic fi ant impact on the discipline of Comparative Literature and the teaching of World Literature. e Th y have, in many institutions, taken over the activity of comparative analyses between cultures and literatures and have achieved this importance in venues that preempt the traditional role of Compara- tive Literature. Goethe’s call to form a Weltliteratu ar nd enrich one’s own culture through the acknowledgment of other models of artistic expression, such as San- skrit kâvya, may seem anachronistic and naive to us today. However, we should not forget that the discipline of Comparative Literature was formed from just such a cosmopolitan desire to embrace diversity. Comparative Literature began by seeking to engage the known world, albeit with very insuci ffi ent tools. Over time, it became institutionally far less global in its perspective. However, even in its most Eurocentric and isolationist moments, it is preferable to the cynicism that oe ft n motivates the market- based consumerism that has come to den fi e present- day aca- demic encounters with the Other. In American institutions today, it seems that we

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jun 24, 2010

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