Cosmopolitanism

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Dipesh Chakrabarty, Homi K. Bhabha, Sheldon Pollock, Carol A. Breckenridge
Duke University Press, May 10, 2002 - Social Science - 260 pages
As the final installment of Public Culture’s Millennial Quartet, Cosmopolitanism assesses the pasts and possible futures of cosmopolitanism—or ways of thinking, feeling, and acting beyond one’s particular society. With contributions from distinguished scholars in disciplines such as literary studies, art history, South Asian studies, and anthropology, this volume recenters the history and theory of translocal political aspirations and cultural ideas from the usual Western vantage point to areas outside Europe, such as South Asia, China, and Africa.
By examining new archives, proposing new theoretical formulations, and suggesting new possibilities of political practice, the contributors critically probe the concept of cosmopolitanism. On the one hand, cosmopolitanism may be taken to promise a form of supraregional political solidarity, but on the other, these essays argue, it may erode precisely those intimate cultural differences that derive their meaning from particular places and traditions. Given that most cosmopolitan political formations—from the Roman empire and European imperialism to contemporary globalization—have been coercive and unequal, can there be a noncoercive and egalitarian cosmopolitan politics? Finally, the volume asks whether cosmopolitanism can promise any universalism that is not the unwarranted generalization of some Western particular.

Contributors. Ackbar Abbas, Arjun Appadurai, Homi K. Bhabha, T. K. Biaya, Carol A. Breckenridge, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Ousame Ndiaye Dago, Mamadou Diouf, Wu Hung, Walter D. Mignolo, Sheldon Pollock, Steven Randall

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About the author (2002)

Carol A. Breckenridge teaches at the in the department of South Asian languages and civilizations at the University of Chicago and is the founding editor of Public Culture.

Sheldon Pollock is George V. Bobrinskoy Professor of Sanskrit and Indic Studies at the University of Chicago.

Homi K. Bhabha is Professor of English and African-American Studies at Harvard University.

Dipesh Chakrabarty teaches in the departments of history and South Asian languages and civilizations at the University of Chicago.

Sheldon Pollock is the The William B. Ransford Professor of Sanskrit and

Indian Studies in the Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and

Cultures at Columbia University. He is the author of

The language of the gods in the world of men : Sanskrit,

culture, and power in premodern India (2006) and editor of a number

of books, including LITERARY CULTURES IN HISTORY: RECONSTRUCTIONS

FROM SOUTH ASIA (2003) and (w/Homi Bhabha, Carol Breckenridge, and

Dipesh Chakrabarty) COSMOPOLITANISM (Duke, 2002).

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