Aaron Lee Moore produced an article called Interdisciplinary Studies and Comparative Literature in China and the West. As it says in the title, this article is about the different standpoints on Interdisciplinary Studies in the discipline comparative literature between China and the West. Moore describes both sides of the disagreement and approaches them logically.
To start, I had to look up the definition of comparative literature to make sure I understood. It is a discipline that studies literature and the differences in cultures across linguistic, national, and disciplinary barriers.
One of the arguments for China was that there is a language barrier. In order to read higher level articles in Chinese, it requires many extensive years of schooling to be able to
comprehend. It is not as difficult in English speaking countries because our languages is
more simple. There is also a time gap between when an article is published in English and when it is finished being translated into Chinese. This creates a disconnect between China and the West, but Moore says that it isn’t an excuse for the Chinese not to use the new ideas produced in the West, “that is not to say that just because a theory or methodology arises in the West, Chinese scholars should be obliged to adopt it” (Moore 4).
Another point made is how China is more traditional and likes to use the already existing disciplines to make their judgments. Chinese scholars are afraid of broadening their
disciplines because they want to simplify everything rather than leaving it complex, as an interdisciplinarian should. China’s main fear is that interdisciplinarity will not be precise enough and the disciplines will be run by amateurs. Interdisciplinarity is an accepted practice in the West, but it isn’t in China. Just because it is more easily accepted here, doesn’t mean that China should just accept it without debating it. ” The concern of some Chinese scholars is that the integration of cultural studies, parallel studies, influence studies, and interdisciplinary studies will broaden the discipline of comparative literature to the point of dissolution and many Chinese scholars still feel the field is too broad and requires more specific definition(s)” (Moore 3).
This article was helpful to me because I love to learn about different cultures. The program that I made is about French and Spanish cultures and I would have done more diverse cultures if they were offered at my university and if they would fit into my program. I sometimes forget about how schooling is different in other cultures, so reading this article really opened my eyes to that.
Moore, Aaron Lee. “Interdisciplinary Studies and Comparative Literature in China and the West.” Purdue University. N.p., Dec. 2013. Web. http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2359&context=clcweb.
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