Comparative Criticism Seminar

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The group will discuss "The Creativity of Criticism" with short presentations by  Andrew Klevan, Jason Gaiger, Martyn Harry and Matthew Reynolds.

About the programme:

The discipline of Comparative Literature is changing. Its Eurocentric heritage has been challenged by various formulations of ‘world literature’, while new media and new forms of artistic production are bringing urgency to comparative thinking across literature, film, the visual arts and music. The resulting questions of method are both intellectually compelling and central to the future of the humanities.

To confront them, our research programme brings together experts from the disciplines of English, Medieval and Modern Languages, Oriental Studies, and Classics, and draws in collaborators from Music, Visual Art, Film, Philosophy and History. In our first phase, under the title ‘New Grounds for Comparative Criticism’ (Jan-Sept 2013), we explored the role of translation in a global comparative literature, the elements and aspects of texts that support comparison, the challenges of comparative thinking across literature and the other arts, and the importance of the location of the critic. We prefer the phrase ‘Comparative Criticism’ to ‘Comparative Literature’ or ‘World Literature’ because it draws attention to the role of the critic in determining the corpus to be explored and the manner of its exploration; and we flag ‘translation’ as a process fundamental to our work, and indeed to all communication.

Over the coming year (2013-14) we are pursuing four main lines of research within the methodological field that we have sketched out. They are: Languages of CriticismCultures of Mindreading: the Novel and Other MindsIntercultural Literary Practices; and Writers and Translators.

Find out more on their website.


Audience: University of Oxford only