Studies in Asia, Does It Make Sense?
Park(Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)
Table of Contents
1. The "Crisis" Narrative of English Studies in Anglophone
2. A Story of Korean Universities: Crisis or Not?
3. The Identity Crisis of English Scholars in Asia: English Teacher or
4. The English Scholar as a Translator of Culture
5. The English Scholar, a Local Agent responsible for imparting the
ideology of postcolonial colonialism?
6. A Personal Recollection: Military Dictatorship in Korea(1961-87) and
University Student's Role in Democratization Movement of Korea
7. William Wordsworth, a Revolutionary Poet
8. Lord Byron and the Value of the "Otherness"
9. The "Utility" of Romantic Education: the Idea of Bildung
with a short introduction to EPASIA(English Portal Asia)
The humanities today seem the victim of a perfect storm. Budget cuts
stemming from a persistent recession, accompanied by the defunding of public
institutions of higher education through shrinking tax revenue, have threatened
humanities programs everywhere. The corporatization of higher education has
increasingly turned university presidents into CEOs, and academic
administrators into upper management. The decisions they make regarding
academic programs are increasingly driven by boards of trustees dominated by
businessmen, bankers, and financial consultants whose bottom-line methods of
operation are taking precedence over the traditional role faculty have played
in determining academic and curricular programs. In this context, higher
education is increasingly seen in sheerly instrumental terms, with courses and
programs judged in terms of their pragmatic and vocational value. Education
that ends in credentializing seems to be trumping education as an end in
itself. For many, the teaching of practical skills is becoming more important
than making sure students have a basic knowledge of history, philosophy,
literature, and the arts. With the value of education being measured more and
more by the economic payoff that comes after graduation, it is becoming difficult
for many to understand the value of a humanities education(Jay 1).
Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,
But to be young was very Heaven! ...
When Reason seemed the most to assert her rights
When most intent on making of herself
A prime enchanter to assist the work,
Which then was going forwards in her name!
(William Wordsworth, The Prelude, 1805, Book X, ll.108-109,
O for the coming of that glorious time
When, prizing knowledge as her noblest wealth
And best protection, this imperial Realm,
While she exacts allegiance, shall admit
And obligation, on her part, to teach
Them who are born to serve her and obey;
(William Wordsworth, The Excursion, 1814, Book IX, ll. 293-298)
What a beastly and pitiful wretch that Wordsworth! That such a man
should be such a poet!
(Shelley’s Letter to Thomas Peacock dated July 25, 1818)
When Englishmen by thousands were o'erthrown,
Left without glory on the field, or driven,
Brave hearts! to shameful flight. It was a grief,
Grief call it not, 'twas anything but that,-
A conflict of sensations without name,...
And, 'mid the simple worshippers, perchance,
I only, like an uninvited guest
Whom no one owned, sate silent, shall I add,
Fed on the day vengeance yet to come?
(William Wordsworth, The Prelude, 1805, Book X, ll.262-266,
Fit retribution - Gaul may champ the bit
And foam in fetters - but is Earth more free?
Did nations combat to make One submit:
Or league to teach all kings true Sovereignty?
What! shall reviving Thraldom again be
The patched-up Idol of enlightened days?
Shall we, who struck the Lion down, shall we
Pay the wolf homage? proffering lowly gaze
And servile knees to thrones? No; prove before ye praise!
(George Gordon Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage Canto III,
Stanza 19, ll 163-171)
Ungrateful Florence! Dante sleeps afar,
Like Scipio, buried by the upbraiding shore:
Thy factions, in their worse than civil war,
Proscribed the Bard whose name forevermore
Their children's children would in vain adore
With the remorse of ages; and the crown
Which Petrarch's laureate brow supremely wore,
Upon a far and foreign soil had grown,
His Life, his Fame, his Grave, though rifled -not thine own.
(George Gordon Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage Canto IV, Stanza
57, ll. 505-513)
France was like a dog/ Returning to his vomit.(William Wordsworth, The Prelude, 1805, Book X, l. 935)
This word(Bildung) signifies two processes--learning and personal
growth--but they are not understood apart from one another, as if education
were only a means to growth. Rather, learning is taken to be constitutive of
personal development, as part and parcel of how we become a human being in
general and a specific individual in particular. If we regard education as part
of a general process of self-realization--as the development of all
one's characteristic powers as a human being and as an individual--...they(the
romantics) insisted that self-realization is an end in itself...the very
purpose of existence(Beiser 91-92)
It may be urged that every individual man carries within himself, at
least in his adaptation and destination, a purely ideal man. The great problem
of his existence is to bring all the incessant changes of his outer life into
conformity with the unchanging unity of this ideal. (Schiller 24)
What made Wordsworth's poems a medicine for my state of mind was that
they expressed, not outward beauty but states of feeling, and of thought
coloured by feeling, under the excitement of beauty. They seemed to be the very
culture of the feelings which was in quest of. By their means I seemed to draw
from s cource of inward joy, of sympathetic and imaginative pleasure, which
could be shared in by all human beings, which had no connection with struggle
or imperfection, but would be made richer by every improvement in the physical
or social condition of mankind. (Mill 150)
He could afford to suffer/ With those whom he saw suffer.(William
Wordsworth, The Excursion, Book
First, ll. 371-72)
future expansion of English studies will mostly occur outside the discipline’s
traditional Anglophone and European bas. We are approaching a turning point at
which, in strictly quantitative terms, the most consequential decisions about
what and how we teach will be made on the seeming peripheries of the
discipline. This represents an opportunity for all of us in the field to
unsettle the established pattern of time-lag emulation, whereby the literary
curriculum at a university in Seoul resembles that of a university in New York
30 years earlier. The tail of foreign variants is becoming long enough to wag
the dog of domestic English lit. The English departments in East Asia, only
just now beginning to test the water of Anglophone Asian literatures, could
have much to contribute to the future of that burgeoning field.
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