Title, Author & Summary



March 5, 2015

Syllabus: An Anthropology of Literary Culture

Bernard Bate and Rebecca Gould

Syllabus Yale-NUS College, Spring 2014 Instructors: Bernard Bate (Anthropology) and Rebecca Gould (Literature)

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January 15, 2015

Aesthetic Humanity and the Great World Community: Kant and Kang Youwei

Ban Wang

Can we speak of an aesthetic that matters both to Kant and Kang Youwei and that makes sense to China and the West? Can we speak about a common culture while attending to specific traditions? In the current talk of a world literary republic, distinctive cultural difference is to be superseded in order to attain to an overview or superstructure that transcends national and historical distinctions. Although the aspiration to a worldwide culture may go beyond the boundaries of a national tradition, the quest for the universal has to work through the particularity of a specific culture in order to access a common ground. While access to the common world seems more dream than reality, the road to the commons must begin from home: it is to engage one’s native culture reflectively and creatively.

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Ideas of the Decade

April 8, 2014


Aaron Bady

“Afropolitan” is not a politics, but it dresses in the commodified residue of political struggle, Fela Kuti’s style stripped of its revolutionary substance. In a displacement characteristic of our neoliberal age, the flows and circulation of capital become the pathway to individual self-realization. The Afropolitan declines to be Afro-pessimistic, then, because she has the privilege of declaring victory from the dance floor in London, the art exhibition in Rome, or the runway in New York.

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Ideas of the Decade

March 12, 2014

The Vernacular

S. Shankar

The work of critically engaging the vernacular, begun in a somewhat fragmentary way in the decade gone by, promises much if taken up more concertedly in the decade to come.

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Ideas of the Decade

March 3, 2014


Haun Saussy

Comparatists, one would think, are well placed to consider the harm done by nationalisms. Comparatists translate, relativize and transpose. Surely a nation cannot be all in all to them, just an example. And yet the shapers of the discipline held back from identifying comparative literature with a universal, ecumenical or cosmopolitan drive.

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