Interdisciplinary Alter-natives in Comparative Literature

SAGE Publications India
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Interdisciplinary Alter-natives in Comparative Literature examines the directions taken by Comparative Literature in recent years and maps the shifts in paradigms that are in process. Alternative discourses of Comparative Literature are explored in the volume with reference to the ongoing debates on World Literature, contemporary interpretations of the canon, the dialectic of resistance embodied in cultural productions of the region and the contestations implicit in the oral and performative traditions.

The nineteen essays in the five sections of the volume also discuss the challenges and opportunities provided by the emergence of areas like Culture Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Gender Studies, Translation Studies, etc. The essays emphasize the need to transform Comparative Literature into a discipline capable of coping with the crisis in humanities in the twenty-first century, based on the multilingual, multicultural experiences of countries like India.
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About the author

Professor E V Ramakrishnan has published poetry and criticism in English and Malayalam. As a translator he has translated poetry from Malayalam, Hindi and Gujarati into English. Among his research interests are Comparative Indian Literature, Translation Studies and Malayalam Literature/Kerala Culture. Among his publications in English are Making It New: Modernism in Malayalam, Marathi and Hindi (1995), Narrating India: The Novel in Search of the Nation (Edited, 2001) and Locating Indian Literature: Texts, Traditions, Translations (2011). Among his publications in Malayalam are Aksharavum Adhunikatayum (Received the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for Literary Criticism in 1995), Desheeyatakalum Sahityavum (2001) and Anubhavangale Aarkkanu Peti (2012). He is presently Professor and Dean at the School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies at Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SAGE Publications India
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Published on
May 30, 2013
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Pages
260
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ISBN
9788132116356
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Anthropology / Cultural & Social
Social Science / Sociology / General
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This content is DRM protected.
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This volume, an important contribution to dialogic and Bakhtin studies, shows the natural fit between Bakhtin’s ideas and the pluralistic culture of India to a global academic audience. It is premised on the fact that long before principles of dialogism took shape in the Western world, these ideas, though not labelled as such, were an integral part of intellectual histories in India. Bakhtin’s ideas and intellectual traditions of India stand under the same banner of plurality, open-endedness and diversity of languages and social speech types and, therefore, the affinity between the thinker and the culture seems natural. Rather than being a mechanical import of Bakhtin’s ideas, it is an occasion to reclaim, reactivate and reenergize inherent dialogicality in the Indian cultural, historical and philosophical histories.

Bakhtin is not an incidental figure, for he offers precise analytical tools to make sense of the incredibly complex differences at every level in the cultural life of India. Indian heterodoxy lends well to a Bakhtinian reading and analysis and the papers herein attest to this. The papers range from how ideas from Indo-European philology reached Bakhtin through a circuitous route, to responses to Bakhtin’s thought on the carnival from the philosophical perspectives of Abhinavagupta, to a Bakhtinian reading of literary texts from India. The volume also includes an essay on ‘translation as dialogue’ – an issue central to multilingual cultures – and on inherent dialogicality in the long intellectual traditions in India.

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction

When three-month-old Lia Lee Arrived at the county hospital emergency room in Merced, California, a chain of events was set in motion from which neither she nor her parents nor her doctors would ever recover. Lia's parents, Foua and Nao Kao, were part of a large Hmong community in Merced, refugees from the CIA-run "Quiet War" in Laos. The Hmong, traditionally a close-knit and fiercely people, have been less amenable to assimilation than most immigrants, adhering steadfastly to the rituals and beliefs of their ancestors. Lia's pediatricians, Neil Ernst and his wife, Peggy Philip, cleaved just as strongly to another tradition: that of Western medicine. When Lia Lee Entered the American medical system, diagnosed as an epileptic, her story became a tragic case history of cultural miscommunication.

Parents and doctors both wanted the best for Lia, but their ideas about the causes of her illness and its treatment could hardly have been more different. The Hmong see illness aand healing as spiritual matters linked to virtually everything in the universe, while medical community marks a division between body and soul, and concerns itself almost exclusively with the former. Lia's doctors ascribed her seizures to the misfiring of her cerebral neurons; her parents called her illness, qaug dab peg--the spirit catches you and you fall down--and ascribed it to the wandering of her soul. The doctors prescribed anticonvulsants; her parents preferred animal sacrifices.

This volume, an important contribution to dialogic and Bakhtin studies, shows the natural fit between Bakhtin’s ideas and the pluralistic culture of India to a global academic audience. It is premised on the fact that long before principles of dialogism took shape in the Western world, these ideas, though not labelled as such, were an integral part of intellectual histories in India. Bakhtin’s ideas and intellectual traditions of India stand under the same banner of plurality, open-endedness and diversity of languages and social speech types and, therefore, the affinity between the thinker and the culture seems natural. Rather than being a mechanical import of Bakhtin’s ideas, it is an occasion to reclaim, reactivate and reenergize inherent dialogicality in the Indian cultural, historical and philosophical histories.

Bakhtin is not an incidental figure, for he offers precise analytical tools to make sense of the incredibly complex differences at every level in the cultural life of India. Indian heterodoxy lends well to a Bakhtinian reading and analysis and the papers herein attest to this. The papers range from how ideas from Indo-European philology reached Bakhtin through a circuitous route, to responses to Bakhtin’s thought on the carnival from the philosophical perspectives of Abhinavagupta, to a Bakhtinian reading of literary texts from India. The volume also includes an essay on ‘translation as dialogue’ – an issue central to multilingual cultures – and on inherent dialogicality in the long intellectual traditions in India.

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