In the last two decades, the field of Comparative Studies has undergone profound crises caused in part by the problematization of what constitutes a nation itself, and by the loss of what used to be seen as the universal civilizing force of literature. It is imperative, therefore, that the horizons of Comparative Studies be redefined so as to take into consideration the rapid transformations of concepts such as culture, language, nation, history and identity. This collection of essays is the result of a Symposium held at the University of Bologna with the patronage of the Yale-Bologna Exchange Program. The central themes discussed, reflected in the three sections of the volume, mainly center on: 1) the revision of the term ‘comparatism’; 2) the relationghip between literary criticism and the critique of society; 3) the changing notion of textuality. But the core of the Symposium is the concept of ‘boundary’ itself.
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