Synopsis of the current situation of comparative humanities in the U.S. and Europe
Tötösy de Zepetnek, Steven (University of Halle-Wittenberg & Purdue University PressStony)
Vasvári, Louise O. (Stony Brook University & New York University)
Abstract: This article is a description of the situation of comparative humanities in the Western hemisphere with attention to the discipline of comparative literature and the fields of world literature, cultural studies, and comparative cultural studies. With brief discussions of the said fields, the authors propose that to make the study of literature and culture as a socially relevant activity of scholarship today humanities scholars must turn to contextual and evidencebased work parallel with attention to and responsibility with regard to humanities graduates’ employment. This does not mean that the traditional study of literature including close-text study would be relegated to lesser value; rather, the objective ought to be to perform both and in a parallel fashion. Their final analysis is that comparative cultural studies as based on tenets of the comparative approach and thought in comparative literature, world literature, and cultural studies practiced in interdisciplinarity, and employing the advantages of new media technology could achieve a global presence and social relevance of which comparative humanities would prove a relevant component.