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Colored Cosmopolitanism : Nico Slate :
Main Studio : North Damen Ave. First, cosmopolitanism is no longer understood as a utopian project to be realised in the far distant future, but as a practice taking place in the past and present; second, it is conceptualized not as universal but as always situated and contextualized, constantly negotiating the particular and the universal; third, its erstwhile elitism is rejected in favour of vernacular and postcolonial understandings of the term and the practices it denotes.
They extend beyond Western intellectuals to include postcolonial perspectives and a plurality of voices. This new cosmopolitanism has spawned lively debates among political theorists, in political philosophy, sociology and anthropology as well as in media and communication studies. This is the more surprising because the rise of global history, intercultural transfers, and transnational and -cultural entanglements constituted a research agenda that was cosmopolitan in everything but the name.
The Prism of Race
However, the discipline has not embraced the analytical potential of cosmopolitanism and the cosmopolitical for the study of interpersonal interactions across time, space and, essentially, political as well as cultural borders. It is this conceptual lacuna in historical scholarship that Bessere Welten addresses.
The contributions explore the heuristic value of cosmopolitanism as an intellectual and scholarly term. They do not merely follow the fad but test its conceptual purchase empirically in various fields.
The range of topics covered under these rubrics are broad. Contributions discuss the cosmopolitical in the context of female Catholic missions Katharina Stornig or the transcontinental humanitarian activities of the Aga Khan Development Network Soumen Mukherjee ; they look at the organized inequality of governance structures within the Ottoman Empire Nora Lafi , and they question the applicability of cosmopolitanism as an analytical tool within Jewish studies Mirjam Thulin , considering the fatal and ultimately lethal use of the term to stigmatize Jews in darkest Europe up to the s.
In doing so, the volume itself actively contributes to decolonial understandings of the concept beyond its European intellectual baggage. Don't already have an Oxford Academic account?
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Permissions Icon Permissions. Second, this book uncovers the mutual influence that African Americans and Indians had