The Indiscipline of Comparison


Doppelmayr, Atlas coelestis, “Astronomia comparativa,” 1. An image from Haun Saussy’s contribution to the exchange with David Damrosch in the special issue.

I’m delighted to announce the publication of “The Indiscipline of Comparison,” a special issue of Comparative Literature Studies. Many thanks to the contributors, David Damrosch, Rita Felski, Haun Saussy, Shu-mei Shih, Karen Thornber, and Zhang Longxi. My heartfelt thanks also go out to CLS editor, Thomas Beebee, and to editorial assistant Kendra McDuffie. Thanks also to the University of Otago’s Asian Migrations and Comparative and Cross Cultural Studies Research Themes and the Humanities Division’s De Carle Lectureship whose generous support brought several of the contributors  to Dunedin.

Here’s a brief extract from my introduction:

Are we similarly entering an age of post-discipline comparison? Or at least, would it be fruitful to think of comparative work as having no discipline but the singular set of rules and constraints that constitute the work and that define its relation to a range of disciplines? The articles here collectively make the argument for the work of comparison not as a single discipline but as a discursive strategy for engaging and rethinking disciplinary relations. The key test for such work would be not just whether it changes the rules of the game within a discipline but whether it alters the relationship between disciplines, surprising us into a new way of seeing the world.

You can view the issue on Project Muse here or on Jstor here.

About Jacob Edmond

Jacob Edmond is associate professor in English at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He is the author of Make It the Same: Poetry in the Age of Global Media (Columbia University Press, 2019), A Common Strangeness: Contemporary Poetry, Cross-Cultural Encounter, Comparative Literature (Fordham University Press, 2012), and of numerous essays, which have appeared in journals such as Comparative Literature, Contemporary Literature, Poetics Today, Slavic Review, and The China Quarterly.
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