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Teaching World Literatures

from PART 1 - Theories of Comparative Literature, World Literatures, and Comparative Cultural Studies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 April 2014

Steven Totosy de Zepetnek
Affiliation:
Professor of Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, Purdue University, Purdue, USA
Tutun Mukherjee
Affiliation:
Professor, Centre for Comparative Literature, University of Hyderabad
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Summary

Abstract: In his article “Teaching World Literatures” John D. Pizer argues that “world literature” is a notoriously vague term. It not only lacks disciplinary specificity because it suggests all literature at all times from all places, but also oscillates between signifying a pedagogical domain on the one hand and articulating a heuristic concept indicating how literature circulates in the world on the other. Pizer suggests that contemporary world literature instructors share the goal of teaching their students to comprehend both what is universal in world literature, what is culturally specific, what is familiar, and what is alienating in the texts they read. He outlines a means for achieving this goal by using a meta-theoretical approach of contextual dialectics. Further, Pizer discusses his strategy of teaching otherness by reducing and enhancing student familiarity with syllabus texts by drawing on the Russian Formalist concept of ostranenie.

When a student at university enrolls in an introductory class to almost any subject—be it physics, biology, psychology, history of English literature, etc.—he/she can expect in the initial part of the course to learn how the discipline is defined, what its boundaries are, and what content and techniques are included and/or excluded from its purview.

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  • Teaching World Literatures
  • Edited by Steven Totosy de Zepetnek, Professor of Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, Purdue University, Purdue, USA, Tutun Mukherjee, Professor, Centre for Comparative Literature, University of Hyderabad
  • Book: Companion to Comparative Literature, World Literatures, and Comparative Cultural Studies
  • Online publication: 05 April 2014
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/UPO9789382993803.006
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  • Teaching World Literatures
  • Edited by Steven Totosy de Zepetnek, Professor of Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, Purdue University, Purdue, USA, Tutun Mukherjee, Professor, Centre for Comparative Literature, University of Hyderabad
  • Book: Companion to Comparative Literature, World Literatures, and Comparative Cultural Studies
  • Online publication: 05 April 2014
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/UPO9789382993803.006
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Teaching World Literatures
  • Edited by Steven Totosy de Zepetnek, Professor of Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, Purdue University, Purdue, USA, Tutun Mukherjee, Professor, Centre for Comparative Literature, University of Hyderabad
  • Book: Companion to Comparative Literature, World Literatures, and Comparative Cultural Studies
  • Online publication: 05 April 2014
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/UPO9789382993803.006
Available formats
×