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Quest of a Discipline: New Academic Directions for Comparative Literature (English)

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Language: English
Length: 328 pages
Publisher: Cambridge University Press India
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Quest of a Discipline: New Academic Directions for Comparative Literature (English) (paperback) Price: Rs. 444

From the days of René Wellek’s ‘Crisis of Comparative Literature’ (1959) through the beginning of the twenty-first century that saw Gayatri Spivak’s provocative Death of a Discipline (2003), Comparative Literature as an academic discipline has endured like no other. This pioneering volume, Quest of a Discipline, offers challenging new directions to this field urging the readers to see the practice of Comparative Literature as a quest. It showcases the multicultural, multilingual India as the most potential site of quest today for the discipline of Comparative Literature.

The deliberations are divided into sections that deal with traditions, manifestoes of survival, the latest methodologies, and perspectives that comparatists from India, China, the Near West, Europe and America have brought into the discipline. Each section is prefaced with a short introduction that locates the interdisciplinary articles within the paradoxical wholeness of Comparative Literature. Challenging and unsettling many basic premises of comparative studies, the essays explore the possibility of redefining the scope of Comparative Literature by forging meaningful interfaces between the following fields:

  • Translation Studies
  • Performance studies
  • Film Studies
  • Media Studies
  • Dalit Studies
  • Women’s Writing
  • Comparative Poetics
  • Cartoon Art
  • Folklore


Table of Contents
  • List of Contributors
  • Acknowledgements
  • Prologue to the ‘Quest’
  • Introduction

PART I: Traditions and Manifestoes: Reflecting on Perspectives
    • Introduction
    • 1 The Comparatist as Teacher: Teaching Indian Literatures through a Comparative Methodology
    • 2 Comparative Literature: Methodology and Challenges in Europe with Special Reference to the French and German Contexts
    • 3 ‘Lone Starring’ Comparative Literature in US English Departments
    • vi Quest of a Discipline
PART II: The Quest Motif: Redefining the Scope of Comparative Literature
    • Introduction
    • 4 Beyond ‘Other Words’: The ‘Relevance’ of Translatology as Comparative Literature
    • 5 Intertextual Lores and the Play of Language: Folklore/Orality in the Comparative Context of Literature
    • 6 Towards a Comparative Performance Studies
    • 7 Media Studies and the Academic Elite
    • 8 Comparative Film Studies: The Culture Studies Turn in Comparative Literature
    • 9 Finding Space in the Margin: Teaching Women’s Literature in a Comparative Perspective
PART III: The Dynamics of Exchange: Genres, Areas and Disciplines
    • Introduction
    • 10 Text and Performance: A Study in Cultural Symbiosis with Special Reference to Kathakali
    • 11 The Indian Cartoon Art: A Paradigm for the Emerging Text and Image Experience
    • Contents vii
    • 12 Text and Alter Text: Chinese Literature in Indian Translations
    • 13 Arabic Literature in Diaspora: An Example from South Asia
    • 14 Literature, Arts and Social Sciences: Interdisciplinary
    • Comparative Advantage
PART IV: India: A Curious Comparative Space
    • Introduction
    • 15 Towards a Compoetics in India: Alternative Frameworks for the Comparative Study of Poetics
    • 16 The Relevance of Dalit Studies in the Creation of an Interdiscipline
    • 17 Mother Tongue, The Other Tongue: Indianising English
    • Afterword: Comparative? Literature?
    • Index
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Specifications of Quest of a Discipline: New Academic Directions for Comparative Literature (English) (paperback)

Book Details
Publisher Cambridge University Press India
ISBN-10 8175969334
Number of Pages 328 Pages
Publication Year 2012
Language English
ISBN-13 9788175969339
Binding paperback
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