East and West
March 30 - April 1, 2001
Princeton Graduate Symposium, "Authenticities East and West,"
is privileged to have four noted experts, Rey
Chow, Karatani Kôjin,
Robert Wardy, and Earl
Miner, to speak at the conference. The first three will conduct
workshops and participate in roundtable discussions. Their distinctive
and diverse interests and specialties promise to bring in different,
possibly even contradictory, but certainly exciting views on the practice
of comparative literature. Rather than the usual formal presentation
of papers, interactive workshops and roundtable discussions will promote
the sort of intellectual exchange that a nascent field needs. We hope
that these workshops will be the focal points of the conference where
together everyone can explore key questions of East-West comparison
and can critique the goals of the society. To best contribute their
individual insights to the conference, participants are urged to prepare
for the workshops by examining the reading list and handouts. At the
conclusion of the conference, Earl Miner will give a speech to capture
the spirit of East-West comparison and the dynamics of our conference.
We hope his observations will help all participants create a vision
for future intercultural comparative studies.
they will not run workshops at the conference, we are thankful to Professors
Sandra Bermann, Thomas Hare, Richard Okada, and Andrew Plaks for taking
up key roles in "Authenticities East and West."
|| The auditorium
of Frist 302, formerly a science lecture hall, will be the location
of the major events of the conference "Authenticities East and West."
WORKSHOP. Karatani Kôjin, "Transcritique: Kant and
Kôjin will speak on his current project "Transcritique," which
stems from a wider inquiry into Marxism in Japan and the West. It forms
a space of transcodings between the domains of ethics and political
economy, between the Kantian critique and the Marxian critique. This
is an attempt to read Kant via Marx and Marx via Kant, and to recover
the significance of an intercultural critique common to Kant and Marx.
This cross-reading of Kant and Marx allows one to see Kant as a thinker
who also sought to suggest the possibility of practice less by a criticism
of metaphysics (as is usually thought) than by bravely shedding light
on the limit of human reason. Meanwhile, although Marx's Capital
is commonly read in relation with Hegelian philosophy, for Karatani,
only The Critique of Pure Reason should be read in comparison
with Capital. Karatani's reading of Kant and Marx points to a
possibility of a global criticism in the post-Cold War era, in which
empirical critical projects are no longer sufficient as struggles in
the present. The situation Karatani outlines projects the necessity
for a new kind of critical engagement in the future.
Kôjin, arguably the most influential literary critic in Japan
in the past twenty years, is currently visiting Columbia University.
His latest works in English include Origins of Modern Japanese Literature
(Duke, 1993) and Architecture as Metaphor: Language, Number, Money
(MIT, 1995). Karatani Forum,
which contains samples of his writing, is a website dedicated to discussing
his thoughts. Please note that "Karatani" is his last name.
WORKSHOP. Robert Wardy, "Inauthenticity: Some Examples."
and Reading List
Wardy will attempt to sort out some more and less inauthentic approaches
to cultural comparison and contrast through consideration of a series
of historical examples.
Wardy, University Lecturer in Classics at the University of Cambridge,
is the author of The Chain of Change: A Study of Aristotle's
Physics Vll (Cambridge, 1990) and The Birth of Rhetoric: Gorgias,
Plato and Their Successors (Routledge, 1996). Spanning both
philosophy and literature, his interest in the Greek as well as
in the Chinese traditions produced most recently Aristotle in
China: Language, Categories and Translation (Cambridge, 2000).
This study explores the relation between language and thought by
examining linguistic relativism in light of a Chinese translation
of Aristotle. His current research is focused on the emotions in
the Greco-Roman philosophical and rhetorical traditions.
Before the conference at a separate event co-sponsored by the Department
of Classics and the Program in Classical Philosophy, Wardy will give
a talk entitled "The Unity of Opposites in Plato's Symposium"
on Thursday, March 29th, at 4:30 pm in 102 East Pyne.
WORKSHOP. Rey Chow, "Asymmetry, Appropriation, Authenticity:
Persistent Problematics in East-West Comparative Studies."
this workshop, Rey Chow will lead a discussion on the problem of authenticity
as it tends to preoccupy readers, viewers, and critics of East Asian
literature and film in a comparative cultural context. Authenticity
here will be juxtaposed against two other major clusters of issues --
the asymmetrical relations that persist between the study of Europe
and the study of Asia in Comp Lit, on the one hand, and the ineluctability
of appropriation in critical as well as creative paradigms of cross-cultural
work, on the other.
Rey Chow is Professor of Modern Culture and Media, Professor of Comparative
Literature, and Andrew Mellon Professor of the Humanities at Brown University.
For Primitive Passions: Visuality, Sexuality, Ethnography, and Contemporary
Chinese Cinema (Columbia, 1995), she was awarded the James Russell
Lowell prize by the Modern Language Association. Regularly translated
into Chinese and Japanese, her works include Ethics After Idealism:
Theory, Culture, Ethnicity, Reading (Indiana, 1998), and her edited
collection, Modern Chinese Literary and Cultural Studies in the Age
of Theory: Reimagining a Field (Duke, forthcoming). Her interests
include twentieth-century Chinese fiction, interdisciplinary study of
film, and critical and cultural theory.
REMARKS. As the Society's founding is indebted in great part
to his inspiration and guidance, we are honored to have Earl Miner make
closing remarks about the history and state of East-West comparative
Miner, one of the most senior leading East-West comparative scholars,
has recently retired from his position as the Townsend Martin, Class
of 1917, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Princeton
University. His numerous influential studies in English and Japanese
poetry include Comparative Poetics: an Intercultural Essay on Theories
of Literature (Princeton, 1990) and Naming Properties: Nominal
Reference in Travel Writings by Bashô and Sora, Johnson and Boswell
(Michigan, 1996). He is currently pursuing a project on Milton.