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Degrees of Difference: Rethinking the Transnational Turn in Korean Literary Studies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 October 2020

Extract

“Nothing,” Paul Jay writes in his recent work Global Matters: The transnational turn in literary studies, “has reshaped literary and cultural studies more than its embrace of transnationalism” (1). Certainly the shift toward a transnational model has been useful in mounting a critique of nation-based literary studies and in debunking the “natural” link among national identity, race, and language, challenging both the “hermeneutic preeminence of nations” and the “neutrality of comparison as a method” (Seigel 62–63). Combined with a postcolonial attentiveness to local or peripheral literary production and an expanded notion of agency, transnationalism works to designate “spaces and practices acted upon by border-crossing agents, be they dominant or marginal” (Lionnet and Shih 5) and to diversify the authors and texts available to students of literature, broadening curricula and the scope of literary studies (Jay 22). Those studying and teaching non-Western literatures might well find value in the challenge to the nation as the unquestioned context for the production and interpretation of literary works and in the healthy skepticism toward a supposedly neutral comparative method.

Type
Theories and Methodologies
Copyright
Copyright © Modern Language Association of America, 2011

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