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Global Arts 4: Cosmopolitanism, 29 February 2008

COSMOPOLITANISM: Theories, Perspectives and Readings

ARDEN HOUSE, University of Warwick University,



Background and Aims:

At the last Global Arts meeting many of the papers included the concept of Cosmopolitanism. Marta Ajmar and Luca Mola are in the early stages of planning a major research project and exhibition on the subject focusing on Renaissance Italy. It was felt that it was time to draw together ideas about Cosmopolitanism from different academic fields to broaden debate and horizons. This 4th Global Arts workshop therefore centres on selected readings from a range of disciplines that focus on the concept of Cosmopolitanism. These readings will be briefly introduced by a guest speaker to enable debate and discussion. The main focus will be how these various interpretations of Cosmopolitanism can be expressed via objects.

12.00 - 1.00            Lunch

1.00 - 1.30

Marta Ajmar (Research Department V&A) and Luca Mola (Dept. of History, Warwick)

Welcome: The concept of Cosmopolitanism and how it can be displayed, planning an exhibition on Cosmopolitanism

1.30 - 2.00

Sarah Easterby-Smith (Dept. of History, Warwick)

Cosmopolitansm and the view from the History of Science

Reading: Charles W.J. Withers, Placing the Enlightenment. Thinking Geographically About the Age of Reason (Chicago and London: Chicago University Press, 2007), Chapter 3: ‘ Above and Beyond the Nation. Cosmopolitan Networks’.(PDF Document)

2.00 - 2.30

Maxine Berg (Dept. of History, Warwick):

History and Cosmopolitanism

Reading: Margaret Jacob, Strangers Nowhere in the World: The Rise of Cosmopolitanism in Early Modern Europe, 2007, Intruduction.(PDF Document)

Reading: Margaret Jacob, Strangers Nowhere in the World: The Rise of Cosmopolitanism in Early Moden Europ, 2007, Chapter 4(PDF Document)


2.30 - 3.00

Tim MacEvoy (Department of History, Warwick)

Geography and Cosmopolitanism

Readings: Vinay Dharwadker, (ed.), Cosmopolitan Geographies: New Locations in Literature and Culture, 2001.

Robert Mayhew, "British Geography's Republic of Letters: Mapping an Imagined Community, 1600-1800," Journal of the History of Ideas , 65 (2004), 251-276.(PDF Document)


3.00 - 3.15                Coffee Break

3.15 - 3.45

Kate Smith (Dept. of History, Warwick)

Cosmopolitanism, Material Culture and Ceramics

Readings: Robert Batchelor, "On the Movement of Porcelains: Rethinking the Birth of Consumer Society as Interactions of Exchange Networks 1600-1750," in Consuming Cultures, Global Perspectives, eds. Frank Trentman and John Brewer: Berg Press, (2006), 95-122.(PDF Document)

David Porter, "A Peculiar but Uninteresting Nation: China and the Discourse of Commerce in Eighteenth-Century England," Eighteenth-Century Studies 33 (1999-2000), 181-199.


3.45 - 4.15

Gurminder K Bhambra (Department of Sociology, Warwick)

Sociology and Cosmopolitanism

Reading: Bhambra, G. K. 2007. Rethinking Modernity: Postcolonialism and the Sociological Imagination, Palgrave MacMillan: Basingstoke - final fraft(PDF Document)

Readings: Sheldon Pollock, Homi K. Bhabha, Carol A. Breckenbridge, and Dipesh Chakrabarty, "Cosmopolitanisms," Public Culture 12 (2000), 577-589.(PDF Document)


4.15 - 5.00

Discussion and Summary, ways forward.