Experimental Critical Theory Program at UCLA (Chien-heng Wu)

Experimental Critical Theory Program at UCLA

Chien-heng Wu

Department of Comparative Literature, University of California, Los Angeles, USA


I want to thank Comparative Literature Association for inviting me to offer some observations on the state of affairs for theoretical studies at UCLA’s Comparative Literature Department and say a few words on the way through which I keep in touch with intellectual communities. My discussion is organized into two sections. First, I discuss Experimental Critical Theory Program (ECT) at UCLA. This section offers a cursory look at the program’s theoretical orientation, its ongoing modifications, the success it enjoyed and the practical constraints it encountered. In a good comparative spirit, I also draw on Prof. Ioana Luca’s discussion of The School of Criticism and Theory (SCT) at Cornell University (see the Dec. 2012 newsletter) and highlight, via comparison, ‧‧‧ read more ...

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 ...