Comparatisms Cover Image


Author(s): Cyraina Johnson-Roullier
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Studies of Literature, Other Language Literature, Cultural Anthropology / Ethnology
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego

Summary/Abstract: In her contribution to the 2004 American Comparative Literature Association report on the state of the discipline of comparative literature, Linda Hutcheon introduces an interesting metaphor for understanding current conditions in the field:[…] perhaps the moment is ripe for looking for […] positive terms of self definition for our discipline, paradoxically "ourishing yet feeling beleaguered. I would like to suggest […] [an] image […] modest, but […] apt: the humble but infinitely useful device without which few of us would travel these days to any other continent: the electrical converter. Like this compact, enabling device, comparative literature makes energy (in its case, intellectual energy) usable in different places and in different contexts. This intellectual energy is contrarian, even counter-disciplinary as well as meta-disciplinary […] And, if I may continue the electrical metaphor, another way to think about comparative literature’s usable but not totally consumable energy—whether alternating or direct—is as power. (Hutcheon, 2006:228–9)

  • Issue Year: 1/2006
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 26-28
  • Page Count: 3
  • Language: English