East and West
March 30 - April 1, 2001
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: January 31, 2001
[ English | Chinese (Traditional/Simplied)
| Japanese ]
The Society for Intercultural Comparative Studies is a newly formed
organization that seeks to foster the growing community of scholars
in the field of cultural criticism by providing an on-going and open
forum for discussion. One of the Societys first projects is the
graduate symposium "Authencities East and West," to take place
March 30 April 1, 2001, at Princeton University. At this conference,
Rey Chow, Karatani Kôjin, and Robert Wardy will conduct workshops
in their areas of expertise. Browns Rey Chow, a cultural theorist
on modern China, the author most recently of Ethics After Idealism,
will be giving a workshop titled "Asymmetry, Appropriation, Authenticity:
Persistent Problematics in East-West Comparative Studies." The
complementary event, "Inauthenticity: Some Examples," will
be conducted by Robert Wardy, a Cambridge Hellenist who recently published
Aristotle in China: Language, Categories and Translation. Finally,
Karatani Kôjin, arguably the most influential literary critic
in Japan in the past twenty years whose latest work in English is Architecture
as Metaphor, will lead a workshop on "Transcritique: Kant and
Common to much critical practice, notions of authenticity underlie various
units of study such as events, texts, and identities. To compare cultures
with no benefit of historical influence, the scholar must examine assumptions
of what is authentic from various angles: from its root meaning of authority
to representations of origins and authorship through metaphysical ideas
of truth. What constitutes an authentic text, event, genre, subject,
or author in disparate traditions? To whom is this authenticity important?
Are authenticities important at all? What do authenticities mean in
relation to accounts of historical moments across cultures? How do authenticities
relate to the material and ideological implications of "different"
cultural products? What practical and theoretical difficulties for the
comparatist arise in writing and reading authenticities? These important
issues are at the heart of our conference.
We invite papers from both graduate students and recent post-doctoral
scholars from all fields of humanities, ancient or modern. Papers may
engage with literary, cultural, political, and historical topics and
issues. The first restriction, however, is that they must address one
Western culture (of European tradition) and one East Asian culture (of
Chinese, Japanese, or Korean traditions). Second, we will exclude problems
of reception or influence (that is, direct connections between two cultures).
Papers submitted should deal EITHER (1) with theoretical issues of
comparison, OR (2) with a comparative study of specific works that will
provide insight to such theoretical issues.
Some examples of potential areas of inquiry include, but are not limited
What constitutes authenticity in differing traditions
at different moments? What constitutes authenticity for the comparatist?
What, if any, are viable units of comparison? Genre,
period, media, socio-political events, technology? Can one apply the
problematics of one literary tradition or one culture to analyze another?
Why is such comparison necessary? What does comparison
achieve, with respect to, for instance, the politics of comparison,
or the relation of subject to object?
Does the nature of historically and culturally unconnected
comparison differ from other kinds of comparison? If so, how and what
are the implications? What is the role of the comparatist in creating
How will East-West comparison not based on historical
connections be useful to other comparative and non-comparative studies?
paper will be allocated 20 minutes for delivery with generous time for
discussion, which designated respondents will initiate. We will offer
a travel fellowship to encourage international papers or papers from
distant institutions from the West Coast or Hawaii.
Abstracts of 500 words or two pages may be submitted by January 31,
or by mail to:
for Intercultural Comparative Studies
Attn: Authenticities East and West
318 East Pyne
Princeton, NJ 08544
All comparison-minded scholars and students are invited to join the
Society for Intercultural Comparative Studies. Please consult the website
in progress for more information:
questions and comments to the organizers of the Society, Jonathan Abel,
Shion Kono, and Kevin Tsai at firstname.lastname@example.org.