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Between Boundary-Work and Cosmopolitan Aspirations

A Historical Genealogy of EASA (and European Anthropology)

Damián Omar Martínez

, Kuper claimed, had successfully provided that theoretical project and a common ground among European intellectual traditions, leading the field towards a ‘multi-centred’ and ‘more cosmopolitan discipline’. I left the Plenary Session convinced by Kuper

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Introduction

Engaging Anthropological Legacies toward Cosmo-optimistic Futures?

Sharon Macdonald, Henrietta Lidchi, and Margareta von Oswald

In a book published as After Empire (2004a) in the United Kingdom and Postcolonial Melancholia (2004b) in the United States, Paul Gilroy argues that convivial culture—including cosmopolitanism—can offer an alternative to the anxiety and fear of

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Philipp Schorch

Drawing on a narrative study of Australian visitors to the Immigration Museum in Melbourne, this article explores the hermeneutic complexities of migration encounters through the meaning-making processes of museum visitors. Throughout this process of interpretive negotiations, museum exhibitions and visitor biographies become intertwined through narratives of migration. The empirical evidence emphasizes that the humanization of migration through stories and faces renders possible an understanding, explanation, and critique of sociopolitical contexts through the experience of human beings. Migration emerges as a practice that transforms cosmopolitanism from an abstract, normative ideal into a lived, interpreted reality. This article, then, is devoted to the cosmohermeneutics of migration encounters, that is, to an experienced and thus “actually existing cosmopolitanism” (Malcomson 1998) that entangles self and other through visitors' interpretive dialectics of reflexivity and empathy. The article suggests a cosmopolitan museum practice that opens interpretive spaces for shifting subjectivities and multiple identifications across differences and commonalities.

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Claire Sutherland

This special issue sets out to examine aspects of German politics, philosophy,

and society through the multifaceted lens of cosmopolitanism. A complex

and contested concept, cosmopolitanism has particularly important

implications for the study of contemporary nation-states, as conventional

understandings of bounded territory and sovereignty are reassessed in the

context of globalization, migration and transnationalism. Accordingly, this

introduction aims to outline several key strands of cosmopolitan thought

with reference both to contemporary Germany and the wider global conjuncture,

in order to provide a conceptual framework for the articles that

follow. It begins by briefly placing cosmopolitanism in the context of the

evolving concepts of German Heimat (homeland) and nation, because contemporary

cosmopolitanism can only be fully understood in relation to

nationalism. It then looks at the relevance of methodological, political and

ethical cosmopolitanism for the study of nation-states today, before introducing

the five articles in the special issue.

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Conjunctures and Convergences

Remaking the World Cultures Displays at the National Museum of Scotland

Henrietta Lidchi

curiosity, advancing knowledge and learning, and encouraging appreciation of science, culture, technology, and art. In all these discussions of universalism, we have various proposals as to the role of museums in fostering a cosmopolitan consciousness in its

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James Koranyi

While Ulrich Beck and Natan Sznaider advocate cosmopolitanism as a way of freeing ourselves from grand narratives and putting the subject back on the agenda of research, this article illustrates that such uses of cosmopolitanism can create more problems than they propose to solve. In the case of the Romanian Banat, the recent revival of a cosmopolitan past based on the legacy of the German and other minorities has been intricately tied up with existing cultural hierarchies. Romania has therefore utilized this past as a way of showing its “western face.“ In the Serbian Banat, by contrast, such a development has not taken place due to the absence of a dialogue with the West. As such, this article demonstrates that cosmopolitanism has become normative in its use and has created problems for both Romanian and Serbian societies.

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Translated Objects

The Olov Janse Case

Johan Hegardt and Anna Källén

This article explores the movements of archaeological and ethnographic objects and museum collections connected with the Swedish-born archaeologist and ethnographer Olov R. T. Janse (1892–1985). Janse pursued a cosmopolitan career in the years between 1920 and 1960, in and between the national contexts of Sweden, France, Indochina, the Philippines, and the United States, where he found himself in different political contexts such as colonialism, nationalism, and the Cold War. He initiated object exchanges between French and Swedish museums, and he collected archaeological and ethnographic objects from Indochina and the Philippines for museums in Sweden, France, and the United States. The complexity of object movements in the wake of Olov Janse's career suggests that we should think and talk about object mobility in terms of translation rather than simple transmission. In seven sections, each exploring one chapter of Janse's life, we discuss how changes in world politics became entangled with changes in Janse's own position as an archaeologist and ethnographer, affecting the movements of objects and contributing to an active translation of their meaning.

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Stephen Welch and Ruth Wittlinger

The aim of this paper is to offer a critique of the proposal of “methodological cosmopolitanism“ in theoretical terms and to substantiate this critique by providing an account of the dynamics of collective memory and identity in postunification Germany. In the first part, we look at the arguments about methodological cosmopolitanism and their derivative, the idea of cosmopolitan memory, illustrated by the case of Holocaust memory. In the second part we look at the case of Germany: firstly at its postwar experience of the attempted construction of “postnational“ identity, and then at more recent trends, contemporaneous with the Berlin Republic, towards a “normalization“ of national identity in Germany. The Holocaust plays a crucial, but different, role in each phase, we suggest. In the conclusion we return to more general themes, asking what the German case tells us about the cosmopolitanization thesis more generally.

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Lars Rensmann

While still vastly underrepresented and lagging behind political representation in several other European democracies, more ethnic minorities and immigrants have entered the German Bundestag in 2013 than ever before. This is one of several indicators of Germany's political departure from hegemonic ethnic self-understandings, signaling the nation's complicated, partly still-contested evolution towards political self-conceptions as a “country of immigration.” A significant unanswered question is how and how far this process, which can be conceived as cosmopolitanization, has transformed party politics. This article examines the scope and causes of cosmopolitanization in three dimensions of German party politics after the 2013 Bundestag election: political discourse and programmatic positions on immigration, citizenship, identity, and ethno-cultural diversity; the policy regime of mainstream parties on immigration and the inclusion of ethnic minorities; and the fielding of minority candidates for national public office. It is argued that a belated postethnic cosmopolitanization of German party politics is primarily caused by transformed demographic realities, value change, and new electoral demands. Mainstream political parties—including the center right—have been reluctant but ultimately rational strategic agents reacting to these transformations in the electoral market. Yet, the scope and character of cosmopolitanization also depends on external and internal supply side conditions that enable parties to make programmatic changes, depolarize key issues of the immigration and citizenship policy regime, and recruit ethnic minorities for political representation. In European comparative perspective, the German case may serve as a model for theorizing the cosmopolitanization of party politics.

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Roland Axtmann

The notion of cultural plurality and the idea of intercultural dialogue have been central to the discussion of cosmopolitanism in both political philosophy and social theory. This point is developed in an exposition of the arguments put forward by Immanuel Kant and Hannah Arendt and through a critical engagement with Ulrich Beck's social theory of cosmopolitanism as a “social reality.“ It is argued that Beck's analysis fails to convince as a sociological extension of a long philosophical tradition and that instead of Beck's macrostructural analysis it is more promising to formulate an actor-centred sociological theory on the transnationalization of social spaces and the formation of a “cosmopolitan“ consciousness or awareness of transnational actors.