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date: 26 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

As conclusion to the Handbook, this chapter reflects on the ways in which Chinese literary studies can and does inform the broader fields of literary studies and the humanities as such. In the past decades, Chinese literary studies has been experiencing a double perspectival shift: on one hand it has extended and expanded the scope of the field with ever more complex definitions of “Chineseness,” on the other, it has striven to integrate itself into broader intercultural, global, and comparative frameworks. From this vantage point, the chapter critically probes the role Chinese literary studies plays within world literary, comparative, and area studies approaches. Instead of constituting merely another object of world-literary theories formulated elsewhere, or an exceptional test case for cultural comparison, Chinese literature—as the chapters in the Handbook propose—can be read as a rich reservoir of models that formulate new methodologies and inspire new insights for literary and cultural study as such in dialogue and contestation with existing local, regional, national, intercultural concepts and frameworks.

Keywords: comparative literature, world literature, area studies, East-West studies, crisis of the humanities, Chinese literary studies as method

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