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Abstract

For most Chinese comparatists, parallel studies is a methodology put forward by the allegedly American School in the mid-20th century, which compares literary phenomena of little factual connection. However, this is a misunderstanding that originated in Taiwan and found its way to the mainland. The term “parallel studies” was coined by comparatists in Taiwan in the 1970s, which has never been accepted by representative American comparatists and their practice has not supported the theorization. The claim of parallel studies, on the one hand, is an oversimplification and misunderstanding of the methodology practiced by American comparatists, and on the other hand, refers to the comparative studies between the East and the West or between China and the West. Such understanding or misunderstanding of “parallel studies” was connected to the American school in the 1980s in mainland China. As a formation of knowledge, “parallel studies” demonstrates how Chinese scholars approach comparative literature, and while parallel studies may not define American methodology, it points to how Chinese comparative studies may be defined.

Keywords

text-align:justify, parallel studies, American school, Chinese comparative literature, Taiwan comparative literature

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