CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
In her article, "Comparative Literature in the United States," Manuela Mourão offers a historical overview of the debates about comparative literature as a discipline, from the early years of its institutionalization in the United States until the present. Mourão summarizes the most pointed -- and anxious -- interventions of prominent scholars in the field and she discusses the permanent sense of crisis that has typically been part of the discipline. Further, Mourão links the permanent anxiety of the discipline with the prescriptive tendencies that have continued to endure until the present. She then looks at the debates that followed the controversial "Bernheimer Report" of 1993, discusses briefly the development of the field since then, and points out specific ways in which comparatists have continued to push the discipline forward despite decades of self-conscious scrutiny and anxiety.
Original Publication Citation
Mourao, M. (2000). Comparative literature in the United States. CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture, 2(4). doi: 10.7771/1481-4374.1095
Mourão, Manuela, "Comparative Literature in the United States" (2000). English Faculty Publications. 21.