Arabic and the paradigms of comparison
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Arabic and the paradigms of comparison book
Paradigms of comparison that have governed American comparative literature as a whole since World War II determine the place of modern Arabic literary studies within the discipline. The North-North paradigm includes inter-European and Euro-American comparison, which German Romance philology bequeathed to American comparative literature in the mid-twentieth century, the only model of comparison at that time. When interest in China among American comparatists began to develop, what was described with the now dated terminology of “East-West” comparison came into play. North-South comparison refers mainly to postcolonial studies, whose focus on colonial history opened the doors of the discipline to African and Asian literatures and their diasporic offshoots. South-South comparison, which considers relations among literatures of the global South, a theoretical possibility with some promising manifestations, but not yet established as a trend either in the training of comparatists or in the hiring practices of comparative literature departments.