Comparative literature is at once a subject of study, a general approach to literature, a series of specific methods of literary history, a return to a medieval way of thought, a methodological credo for the day, an administrative annoyance, a new wrinkle in university organization, a recherché academic pursuit, a recognition that even the humanities have a role to play in the affairs of the world, close-held by a cabal, invitingly open to all. …

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Author notes


She is the author or editor of five books and dozens of articles on classical Chinese poetry, literary theory, comparative poetics, and issues in the humanities. Formerly professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures and Dean of Humanities in the College of Letters and Science at University of California, Los Angeles, she is currently an adjunct senior research scholar and a visiting professor in East Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University.

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