[Humanist] 26.1015 on paradigmatic changes in literary studies

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Fri May 3 07:10:10 CEST 2013

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 26, No. 1015.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Thu, 2 May 2013 09:00:25 +0200
        From: Miran gmail <miranhladnik1 at gmail.com>
        Subject: A paradigm shift in the national literary studies

National philologies rarely establish contacts with each other and
thus remain without international echo, especially the non dominant
ones. For those who would like to deny Domenico Fieromonte's claim for
mutual prejudice and ignorance
and would like to compare their topics, here is a bilingual
(Slovene-English) thematic issue of Slavistična revija 2013 (Slovene
journal for linguistics and literary studies, 61/1) entitled Slovene
Literary Studies Today. The survey includes the most dynamic fields of
Slovene literary studies in the recent decades. The connecting thread
is the authors' awareness of the paradigmatic changes in the literary
studies. The list of fields that determine the academic curricula are:
the genres of novel writing, short prose, poetry, drama and theater,
and pre-modern literature. The attention of literary studies has
shifted from a focus on textual features to the phenomenon of
reception and examination of social context and powers literary
didactics, children's literature, women's studies, critical editions,
and literary criticism. The thematic issue's section on methodology
yields a reflection on the possibility of large, collective literary
historical enterprises (which can be feasible by abandoning the
outdated concept of a synthetic national >>grand narrative<< and
replacing it with a listing concept), the article on bibliographic
descriptions and empirical research.

The first factor which has stimulated the changes in literary studies
is the exponential growth of data. The growing production of
contemporary literature and a great number of old digitized texts
accessible at a click which is no longer manageable using traditional
methods are available for re-evaluation. Another change is the
contextualization of literary facts. The illusion of autonomous
literature that was reproduced in the illusion of autonomous literary
scholarship (both were only possible by reducing the interests of
literary studies to one component, i.e. the text, and one function of
the text--its aesthetic function) has receded, given the need for a
more complex understanding of literature. The third change implies the
relativization of authoritative, expert views, and preference for
empowering each interested and culturally competent individual to take
part in shaping the subject matter in the field, e. g. in the
framework of Wikipedia and its sister pages Wikibooks, Wikisource, and

The issuse is freely available through the journal's web archive
http://www.srl.si/ (Zadnja številka / Current issue). -- miran

More information about the Humanist mailing list