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The working group on Cosmopolitanism at UCL's Centre for Transnational History explores concepts and practices of cosmopolitanism in comparative perspective. Our aim is to produce a genealogy of works and objects through which we can analyse the transformation of the cosmopolitan ideal and its critiques. We usually do so by reading these in conjunction with secondary texts associated with the modern revival of cosmopolitan political theories after the end of the Cold War. In Spring 2012, three sessions were devoted to the writings of Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottfried Herder, and Giuseppe Mazzini, read together with texts by Charles Taylor, Nadia Urbinati, and others. In July, we turned to Fougeret de Monbron's self-projection as a cosmopolite. In 2012, we will revisit some of the classical works on cosmopolitanism through an unusual lens, be it by looking at their reception in contexts that are not commonly associated with them, at different genres of cosmopolitan thought (treatises, travelogues, novels), and at non-European theories of cosmopolitanism. This group is open to academic staff, including visiting scholars, and graduate students who would be prepared to present their own work or a literature review on this topic at least once throughout the series. Participants can approach the topic from a particular angle related to their ongoing work.
If you are interested in joining us, please contact the conveners, Dr Dina Gusejnova d.gusejnova@ucl.ac.uk and Dr Simon Macdonald simon.macdonald@ucl.ac.uk
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