Confessions of an Unrepentant Non-Comparativist (David M. Stewart)

Confessions of an Unrepentant Non-Comparativist

David M. Stewart

Department of English, National Central University

 

I obtained my Ph.D. from the English Department at the University of Chicago, where in the early 1990s Comparative Literature registered only vaguely as a backward field preoccupied with European structuralism and, like linguistics, filled with foreign students who eventually went home. So it is with some irony that I ended up in Taiwan, surrounded by linguists and comparativists, who, as it turns out, are better positioned than me to capitalize on the various turns that have relocated Comp Lit from ivory-tower margin to global cutting edge. Cultural Studies, World Literature, identity, diaspora, postcolonial, transnational, area studies: all have transformed literary studies abroad, boding well for those here with comparativist credentials. ‧‧‧ read more ...

比較文學如何借屍還魂?(李育霖)

朱偉誠在上個月電子報中的短文〈定位與連接:作為思想資源的臺灣比較文學〉一文中,提及比較文學作為一門學科的興起、發展以及衰微的歷程,頗有令人不勝唏噓之感。這幾年,比較文學作為一門學科,其學術風氣的衰微像病毒似地在全世界蔓延開來,特別在Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak直接宣稱這一學科的死亡之後。但事實上Spivak語重心長,她似乎希望將舊有的比較文學置之死地而後生,並嘗試藉此宣告啟迪一個屬於新時代的文學研究方法。我們故且將這新時代稱為全球化或「大寫帝國」(Empire)時代,但這個所謂的新時代看來相當複雜,並非「全球化」一個字可以涵蓋。在近十年之間,我們目睹全球區域政治、經濟以及軍事力之間的叫囂、衝突、崩毀與重整,以及資訊科技不斷地推陳出新,這些巨大的變動的確迫使比較文學無論作為一門既定學科或研究方法,都必須重新思考自身在人文學科中的定位及其價值。 ‧‧‧ read more ...

Reflections on Comparative Literature and English Studies as Independent Disciplines (J. B. Rollins)

The most intense and productive life of culture takes place on the boundaries of its individual areas and not in the places where these areas have become enclosed in their own specificity.

—Mikhail Bakhtin

“Response to a Question from the     Novy Mir Editorial Staff”

To be human is to be intended toward the other.

 —Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

Death of a Discipline

I begin with the above epigraphs because they encapsulate the most important difference, as I now see it, between my first published scholarly article and my last; and it is this difference that most helps me trace the stumbling, uncertain path of my own development as a literary scholar over the past thirty-three years while at the same time reflecting on the changes I have witnessed in English Studies and Comparative Literature as independent disciplines. ‧‧‧ read more ...

Confessions of an Unrepentant Non-Comparativist (David M. Stewart)

David M. Stewart

Department of English, National Central University

I obtained my Ph.D. from the English Department at the University of Chicago, where in the early 1990s Comparative Literature registered only vaguely as a backward field preoccupied with European structuralism and, like linguistics, filled with foreign students who eventually went home. So it is with some irony that I ended up in Taiwan, surrounded by linguists and comparativists, who, as it turns out, are better positioned than me to capitalize on the various turns that have relocated Comp Lit from ivory-tower margin to global cutting edge. Cultural Studies, World Literature, identity, diaspora, postcolonial, transnational, area studies: all have transformed literary studies abroad, boding well for those here with comparativist credentials. ‧‧‧ read more ...