- A quoi bon?
- En lisant, en analysant: le débat sur les études littéraires et les humanités
- Translated title
- What's The Point?
- Translated subtitle
- Reading, analyzing: The Debate on the Value(s) of Literary Studies and the Humanities
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH)
Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
This article analyses the debate on the value of literary studies and the humanities, particularly as it took place in France. Concentrating on contributions by major critics (such as Todorov, Schaeffer and Compagnon) published from 2007 onward, the analysis aims at showing that the arguments regarding literary studies that are advanced in the 'literary nation' France often concern the humanities generally. Arguments relating to literary studies specifically are in fact scarce, which also appears to be the case in comparable recent debates in English. The article then proposes a tentative analysis of the value of literary studies as such and of its limits. In addition, it situates the French debate in an international context (e.g. Small, Rorty, Nussbaum), also pointing out the historical background of some of the arguments.
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