In their co-authored article, "Comparative Literature in China," Xiaoyi Zhou and Q.S. Tong present a brief intellectual and institutional history of the discipline. According to Zhou and Tong, main features of the history of comparative literature in China include the fact that as an academic discipline and a mode of intellectual inquiry imported to China from the West in the early twentieth century, the discpline has always been a priori strategically political and the proposition that the development of comparative literature in China is closely related to the formation of China’s literary modernity includes the parallel issue of national identity. Further, Zhou and Tong argue that built upon the politics of national identity construction and the development of modernity, Chinese comparatists tended to remain traditional and adhered up to recent times to scholarly practices of traditional comparative literature. Thus, the said ideological background indeed determines some of the concerns Chinese scholars in their analysis of Chinese-foreign cultural relationships inquire into and the authors present the argument that this situation produced scholarship of lesser rigour. Ultimately, Zhou and Tong argue for a redirection of Chinese comparative literature into a more culture-oriented and less traditional comparative literature in China, similar to the situation of the discipline in the West.
and Tong, Q. S.
"Comparative Literature in China."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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