Comparative Literature in Britain
National Identities, Transnational Dynamics 1800-2000

Joep Leerssen

Studies In Comparative Literature 27

Legenda

23 September 2019  •  272pp

ISBN: 978-1-781887-13-4 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ISBN: 978-1-781885-76-5 (paperback, 2020)  •  RRP £9.99, $12.50, €12.50

ISBN: 978-1-781885-80-2 (JSTOR ebook)

Access online: Books@JSTOR

EnglishCriticism


In our globalizing, post-colonial world, Comparative Literature is on the rise; but it is not new. It emerged in the nineteenth century as a countermovement to methodological nationalism in the philologies. The chequered history of its acceptance in the British Isles throws a fascinating light on the last two centuries, amid many intellectual cross-currents: the British politics of the 'Four Nations', Imperial ethnography, and the complex relationship between literary critics and the university.

Leerssen addresses both the intellectual and the institutional aspects of this history of knowledge production. The example of Continental scholarship, and of champions like Matthew Arnold, gave the comparatist approaches increasing prestige; but it became an established academic discipline only in the internationalist climate after 1945. Since then, that discipline has been both challenged and enriched by new theoretical approaches and by the decline of Eurocentrism.

Joep Leerssen holds the chair of Modern European Literature at the University of Amsterdam. Among his books are Remembrance and Imagination (1996), National Thought in Europe (2006), Imagology and The Rhine (with Manfred Beller, 2007 and 2018), and Commemorating Writers in Nineteenth-Century Europe (with Ann Rigney, 2014). He is the editor of the Encyclopedia of Romantic Nationalism in Europe (2018).

Reviews:

  • ‘This is a study of the rare kind of which it can truthfully be said that it is definitive: the description fits Leerssen’s book perfectly. To those still living who launched comparative literature in the new universities some 50 years ago it will come as a happy reminder of an exciting time of innovation and change which they were fortunate to have been part of. To those of a later generation it will reveal that what happened in the 1960s did not emerge from nowhere: a long and honourable history, ably explored by Professor Leerssen, led up to it.’ — John Fletcher, Journal of European Studies 50.3, 2020, 302-321 (full text online)

Contents:

i-vi
Comparative Literature in Britain: Comparative Literature in Britain
Joep Leerssen
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vii-viii
Table of Contents
Joep Leerssen
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ix-x
List of Illustrations
Joep Leerssen
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xi-xii
Acknowledgements
J. L.
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1-6
Introduction
Joep Leerssen
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7-54
Chapter 1 Patterns (1800–1848)
Joep Leerssen
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55-69
Chapter 2 Matthew Arnold (1848–1869)
Joep Leerssen
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70-83
Chapter 3 Henry Buckle and H. M. Posnett (1857–1886)
Joep Leerssen
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84-108
Chapter 4 Reviewers, Critics, Academics (1860–1914)
Joep Leerssen
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109-133
Chapter 5 Comparatist Trends Within Literary Studies (1914–1950)
Joep Leerssen
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134-168
Chapter 6 Consolidation and Crises (1950–2000)
Joep Leerssen
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169-180
Source References
Joep Leerssen
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181-251
Appendix: A Chronological List of British Publications of Comparatist Interest, 1800–1975
Joep Leerssen
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252-260
Index
Joep Leerssen
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Bibliography entry:

Leerssen, Joep, Comparative Literature in Britain: National Identities, Transnational Dynamics 1800-2000, Studies In Comparative Literature, 27 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2019)

First footnote reference: 35 Joep Leerssen, Comparative Literature in Britain: National Identities, Transnational Dynamics 1800-2000, Studies In Comparative Literature, 27 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2019), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Leerssen, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Leerssen, Joep. 2019. Comparative Literature in Britain: National Identities, Transnational Dynamics 1800-2000, Studies In Comparative Literature, 27 (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Leerssen 2019: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Leerssen 2019: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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