Comparative Cultural Study: New Approaches to Comparison


TopicComparative Cultural Study: New Approaches to Comparison


Lecturer: Pr. Andrew Ginger, Head of School of Languages, Cultures, Art History & Music, and Chair of Spanish, University of Birmingham(UK)


Time10.00 am, 29 Nov.

PlaceWen B508

Host SchoolSchool of Foreign Studies


Lecturer Introduction

Pr. Andrew Ginger holds a doctorate degree from the University of Oxford (UK), and is the founding member of editorial board for MHRA/Legenda series in Hispanic & Lusophone Studies. He now is the Head of School of Languages, Cultures, Art History & Music, and Chair of Spanish at University of Birmingham(UK). His research interests revolve around comparative literature and Spanish studies. And Pr. Andrew Ginger is the author of numerous scholarly articles and the latest three are listed as follows:

'The Nineteenth-Century Popular Book as Multiple Media Object', in Pruebas de imprenta: Estudios sobre la cultura editorial del libro en la España moderna y contemporánea, ed Gabriel Sánchez (Belfast) (Madrid: Iberoamericana, 2013) 163-76

‘From Cultural Translation to Translations inside Photographs (1860-1930)’, Art in Translation, 7.1 (2015), 141-64

The Enlightenment, The Longue Durée, and Catholic Visions of the Lisbon Disaster: Spain 1755-56, Diecicocho, 38.2 (2015), 173-96

Lecture abstract:

Some recent approaches to comparative cultural study have emphasized the importance of the notion of comparison itself. Any comparison between cultures supposes that two different things are similar to each other. What are we doing when we say that one thing is similar to another thing? What is involved in saying that two things have something in common?

I will address a series of questions about how we establish such similarities across cultures. I will consider the relationship between this question and challenges to cultural hegemony.

Do we need to show that there is a causal connection, such as the influence of one culture on another?

Is there any validity to comparisons between apparently superficial resemblances?

Does an emphasis on similarity enable scholars to challenge existing cultural hegemonies in the world?

Does similarity enable us to imagine an alternative map of world cultures?