, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 149–163 | Cite as

“Death of a Discipline”?

Toward a Global/Local Orientation of Comparative Literature in China
  • Ning Wang


Starting with questioning Gayatri Spivak's controversial book Death of a Discipline, the present article tries to argue that unlike the case in the United States, comparative literature in China is still very energetic playing a leading role in Chinese-Western cultural and academic exchange and communication. Although, to the author, comparative literature in China did not become an independent discipline until the 1980s, it has been developing so rapidly that it was soon involved in international comparative literature scholarship and has become an important member of the International Comparative Literature Association. Since comparative literature became an independent discipline in mainland China in the 1980s, it has been both combined with “area studies” with its focus on Chinese-Western comparative studies and with the strategy of “crossing borders” and more topics from other disciplines or branches of learning. Even in the age of globalization when many of the other disciplines of the humanities are severely challenged, comparative literature studies in China is still flourishing as it is closely related to or even combined with world literature into one discipline, with many of the internationally discussed theoretic topics “globalized” in the Chinese context.


Comparative Literature Popular Culture World Literature Chinese Scholar Chinese Language 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Akadémiai Kiadó 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ning Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Foreign Languages, Tsinghua University

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