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How American Is World Literature?

How American Is World Literature? Davi D Damro Sch Michael Palencia-Roth has worked for many years on the challenge of present- ing a truly global view of world literature on an American campus. As a principal founder of the University of Illinois’s pioneering program in world literature in the mid-1980s, Michael confronted this question in practical as well as theoretical terms as he and his colleagues built their program within the constraints of avail- able faculty resources and training. In an recent essay entitled “Pioneering Cross- Cultural Studies and World Literature at Illinois,” he remarks that “one must always begin from where one is standing” before adding an important caveat—“but not do so naively or blindly; that is, one must acknowledge one’s standpoint and perspec- tive—in my case my training as a Europeanist—and account for it in the interpre- tive process.” Interestingly, Michael here describes the importance of beginning “from where one is standing” not in geographical but in disciplinary terms: his Auerbachian Ansatzpunkt is his formation as a Europeanist working in a specic fi institutional locale—“at” rather than in Illinois, as his title puts it. In this essay, I would like to explore the shaping of world literature in a national cultural and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

How American Is World Literature?

The Comparatist , Volume 33 – Jun 12, 2009

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 the Southern Comparative Literature Association.
ISSN
1559-0887

Abstract

Davi D Damro Sch Michael Palencia-Roth has worked for many years on the challenge of present- ing a truly global view of world literature on an American campus. As a principal founder of the University of Illinois’s pioneering program in world literature in the mid-1980s, Michael confronted this question in practical as well as theoretical terms as he and his colleagues built their program within the constraints of avail- able faculty resources and training. In an recent essay entitled “Pioneering Cross- Cultural Studies and World Literature at Illinois,” he remarks that “one must always begin from where one is standing” before adding an important caveat—“but not do so naively or blindly; that is, one must acknowledge one’s standpoint and perspec- tive—in my case my training as a Europeanist—and account for it in the interpre- tive process.” Interestingly, Michael here describes the importance of beginning “from where one is standing” not in geographical but in disciplinary terms: his Auerbachian Ansatzpunkt is his formation as a Europeanist working in a specic fi institutional locale—“at” rather than in Illinois, as his title puts it. In this essay, I would like to explore the shaping of world literature in a national cultural and

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jun 12, 2009

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