Building a Profession: Autobiographical Perspectives on the History of Comparative Literature in the United States available in Paperback
- Pub. Date:
- State University of New York Press
At a time when the study of literature and the literary canon itself are once again the focus of intense debate, Building a Profession offers a retrospective on the early days of Comparative Literature in the United States and on its role in defining literary scholarship in the heady decades following the end of the second World War. Composed of autobiographical sketches by a number of eminent comparatists, chiefly of the generation that has either recently retired or is approaching retirement, it anchors the intellectual and scholarly aspirations of the post-War period, through the personal narratives of those who shared in them and promoted them, in the experience of war, uprooting, racial and religious intolerance or persecution, and a deep longing for peaceful exchange and international understanding. It is both a contribution to the history of literary study in the United States and a record of changes that have taken place in the culture of this country since World War II.
About the Author
Lionel Gossman is Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures at Princeton University.
Mihai I. Spariosu is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Georgia, Athens.
Table of Contents
1. Memories of the Profession
2. Comparative Literature at Harvard
3. Experiences and Experiments
4. Versions of a Discipline
Thomas M. Greene
5. Am I a Comparatist?
Thomas G. Rosenmeyer
6. Reminiscences of an Academic Maverick
W. Wolfgang Holdheim
7. How and Why I Became a Comparatist
8. Comparative Literature, Modern Thought and Literature
Albert J. Guerard
9. Comparative Literature, CL, and I
Thomas R. Hart
10. Born to Compare
11. On Writing to Be A Comparatist
12. Self-Portrait in the Unembellished Mode
13. Home Truths and Institutional Falsehoods
14. Remembering Paul de Man: An Epoch in the History of Comparative Literature
15. Out of a Gothic North
16. Exile, Play, and Intellectual Autobiography
Mihai I. Spariosu
List of Contributions