29 episodes

Cosmopolitanism, derived from the ancient Greek for ‘world citizenship’, offers a radical alternative to nationalism, asking individuals to imagine themselves as part of a community that goes beyond national and linguistic boundaries. Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in cosmopolitanism in the humanities and social sciences, especially within philosophy, sociology and politics. Cosmopolitanism, however, has also exercised a shaping influence on modern literary culture. It is well known that during the Enlightenment it found an embodiment in the Republic of Letters. Its evolution thereafter included uneasy alliances with the idea of Empire in the nineteenth century, and with the experiments of the international avant gardes and modernist circles, and the phenomenon of globalisation in the twentieth. Through these, and more, cultural formations cosmopolitanism has given rise to new ways of writing, reading, translating and circulating texts; these processes have, in turn, led to new understandings of individual and national identity, new forms of ethics and new configurations of aesthetic and political engagement. From Kant to Derrida, cosmopolitanism has in the course of history been seen as fostering peace and communication across borders. Far from being uncontroversial, though, it has also been attacked by those who have denounced its universalism as impossible and its social ethos as elitist.
The papers gathered here were delivered at the conference Cosmopolis and Beyond, which was held at Trinity College, Oxford, in March 2016. The keynote addresses were given by Emily Apter (NYU) and Gisèle Sapiro (EHESS). The individual papers explore different literary manifestations of the cosmopolitan ideal, broadly conceived, and its influence on modern literary culture. They tease out elements of continuity and rupture in a long history of literary cosmopolitanism that goes from the decline of the Republic of Letters to the era of globalisation.

The conference was part of the AHRC-funded research project 'The Love of Strangers: Literary Cosmopolitanism in the English Fin de Siècle', led by Stefano Evangelista.

It was organised by Stefano Evangelista (conference organiser) and Clément Dessy (conference assistant).

Cosmopolis and Beyond: Literary Cosmopolitanism after the Republic of Letters Oxford University

    • Education

Cosmopolitanism, derived from the ancient Greek for ‘world citizenship’, offers a radical alternative to nationalism, asking individuals to imagine themselves as part of a community that goes beyond national and linguistic boundaries. Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in cosmopolitanism in the humanities and social sciences, especially within philosophy, sociology and politics. Cosmopolitanism, however, has also exercised a shaping influence on modern literary culture. It is well known that during the Enlightenment it found an embodiment in the Republic of Letters. Its evolution thereafter included uneasy alliances with the idea of Empire in the nineteenth century, and with the experiments of the international avant gardes and modernist circles, and the phenomenon of globalisation in the twentieth. Through these, and more, cultural formations cosmopolitanism has given rise to new ways of writing, reading, translating and circulating texts; these processes have, in turn, led to new understandings of individual and national identity, new forms of ethics and new configurations of aesthetic and political engagement. From Kant to Derrida, cosmopolitanism has in the course of history been seen as fostering peace and communication across borders. Far from being uncontroversial, though, it has also been attacked by those who have denounced its universalism as impossible and its social ethos as elitist.
The papers gathered here were delivered at the conference Cosmopolis and Beyond, which was held at Trinity College, Oxford, in March 2016. The keynote addresses were given by Emily Apter (NYU) and Gisèle Sapiro (EHESS). The individual papers explore different literary manifestations of the cosmopolitan ideal, broadly conceived, and its influence on modern literary culture. They tease out elements of continuity and rupture in a long history of literary cosmopolitanism that goes from the decline of the Republic of Letters to the era of globalisation.

The conference was part of the AHRC-funded research project 'The Love of Strangers: Literary Cosmopolitanism in the English Fin de Siècle', led by Stefano Evangelista.

It was organised by Stefano Evangelista (conference organiser) and Clément Dessy (conference assistant).

    Conference Introduction

    Conference Introduction

    Stefano Evangelista introduces the Cosmopolis & Beyond conference.

    • 8 min
    Translational Equaliberty: Language as Cosmopolitan Right in the Europe of Migrations (Keynote address)

    Translational Equaliberty: Language as Cosmopolitan Right in the Europe of Migrations (Keynote address)

    Emily Apter speaks about the right to a cosmopolitan citizenship, showing how questions of language and translation have acquired political urgency in the context of the global refugee crisis. Emily Apter discusses cosmopolitanism in relation to migration and the concept of linguistic citizenship. She explores the translation zone of the transit camp and detention centre, the status of the strait as middle passage of political peril, and the politics of translational triage and the accent test. Apter approaches the refugee crisis as a condition that produces new unfreedoms of speech and forms of translational injustice.

    • 1 hr 8 min
    The transnational Literary Field: Between (Inter)Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism (Keynote address)

    The transnational Literary Field: Between (Inter)Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism (Keynote address)

    Gisèle Sapiro traces the emergence of a transnational literary field in the twentieth century by analysing the book market for translations. Sapiro defines the notions of ‘cosmopolitan’, ‘international’, ‘transnational’, ‘global’ and ‘world’ from a historical and sociological point of view in order to show that they should not be understood to be in opposition to the national perspective. She then tackles the emergence of a transnational literary field and its inherent inequalities through the circulation of books and the increasing practices of translation as well as the formation of a World literary canon after the Second World War.

    • 50 min
    Brussels fin de siècle between Paris and London

    Brussels fin de siècle between Paris and London

    Clément Dessy examines the Anglophilia of literary and artistic symbolist groups in Brussels. Between 1880 and 1930, Belgium and Brussels began to be perceived as places where cosmopolitanism could take root. This paper analyses the Anglophile attitude of Belgian literary and artistic avant-gardes. Belgian symbolists targeted both Paris and London in order to lift Brussels from its status of a second-level cultural capital to the level of the French and British metropoles.

    • 23 min
    Virginia Woolf’s French Cloak, or, To the Lighthouse previews in Paris

    Virginia Woolf’s French Cloak, or, To the Lighthouse previews in Paris

    Caroline Patey analyses the strange anecdote of Virginia Woolf's first ever translation in French and the effect it had on her French reception. In 1926, 'Commerce' published a translation of 'Time Passes'/'Le temps passe' before the novel was even out in Great Britain and in English. Subsequent research has shown that the translator - Charles Mauron - was working on a version different from both holograph version and printed text. What is thus the status of the 'third' text? Did the choice of Commerce inflect Woolf's image in France? And above all how did Mauron's version contribute to her literary image in the hexagon?

    • 28 min
    Cosmopolitanism and Provincialism: Distant Intimacy and the Transatlantic Village Tale

    Cosmopolitanism and Provincialism: Distant Intimacy and the Transatlantic Village Tale

    Josephine McDonagh shows under what circumstances the provincial may also be cosmopolitan by analysing Mary Russell Mitford's work and the case of the village tale. From Three Mile Cross, Mitford’s village home, across the Atlantic to Boston and beyond, Mitford’s village tales could be said to go global. This paper examines the way in which the village tale provides a set of terms and an imagined space through with circles of writers and literary people in different countries collectively conceived a transatlantic literary world. It considers the implications of this and of the instability of the distinctions between the terms provincial and cosmopolitan, and the legacies of this in the mid-nineteenth-century shaping of national literary traditions.

    • 22 min

Top Podcasts In Education

Dr. Jordan B. Peterson
TED and PRX
The Atlantic
Daily Stoic | Wondery
Lauryn Evarts & Michael Bosstick / Dear Media
Rich Roll

More by Oxford University

Oxford University
Oxford University
Oxford University
Oxford University
Oxford University
Oxford University