Cosmopolitanism serves a variety of purposes, and its objects vary widely. They are usually apprehended through the epistemological interests of the beholder, as if through the ever-changing perspective of a kaleidoscope. When one compares and contrasts the different uses of the term, the colors merge into a chaotic image. For the sake of clarity, one might say that controversies around the concept of cosmopolitanism today fall into two major categories. Reclaiming a noble literary tradition, some claim that cosmopolitanism is the best antidote against excessive demands for roots. Others, with more of a sense of social context, respond that advocates of this version of cosmopolitanism fall too easily into the trap of a barely disguised idealism. On one side, a universalistic calling and a taste for independence from social context are praised; on the other, an overly prescriptive moral attitude that does not match daily reality is blamed. This tension is due to the primary experience of the cosmopolitan, a comparative experience with a wide span, which brings to the fore “the polyphony of strivings.”1 Today people are looking not simply to multiply interpretive perspectives and to disembed cultural areas from the scientific coherence traditionally associated with area studies (one place, one period). The comparativist fever that Friedrich Nietzsche invoked toward his own century, which discovered the unsuspected entanglement of human influences, has surged beyond the boundaries of classical erudition and seems to have infiltrated our attitudes to the point of determining much of our spontaneous conduct. More than ever, to be cosmopolitan requires feeling at ease amid diversity, as Richard Sennett put it regarding the public person.2
Our latest issue is out! Featuring a dossier on global history and decolonization – from the air, in pharmaceuticals, seeing Dar-es-Salaam as a decolonial space, in the postcolonial career of D.N. Pritt, and African Liberation in 1970. Our issue also includes an essay on hunger strikes at Guantanamo Bay and another on the “Unwilling or Unable” doctrine and its reproduction of racial capitalism.View entire issue >
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Human Rights, Revolutionary Humanitarianism, and African Liberation in 1970, from Meredith Terretta @MTerretta https://muse.jhu.edu/pub/56/article/902635
The Jurisprudence of Decolonization, from Rohit De @itihaasnaama