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Cosmopolitanisms on the Edge

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Organizer: Nanor Kebranian

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This panel explores how trends towards growing authoritarianism in historically heterogeneous socio-political spaces have affected expressions and experiences of cosmopolitanism over the past decade. From Turkey to Poland, Hungary to Southeast Asia, Brexit England to Republican America, nativist narratives of national cohesion are narrowing the parameters of belonging, despite, and arguably, in response to globalized flows of information and capital. The idea of the “foreign” or “foreigner” has gained renewed force in quasi-fascist sociopolitical spheres even in political contexts that define and maintain their status as global hubs of social and cultural interchange. Expectedly, these discourses are not limited to the usual tropes targeting immigrants, migrant laborers, refugees, and asylum seekers; they also include constructions of the internal social and political other, notably the “Antifa” in the United States, LGBTQ+ groups in Poland and Hungary, or the purported “Gülenists” in Turkey. This seminar invites presentations that discuss how such regimes of marginalization are affecting cosmopolitan expressions and practices in their respective spheres; and how, if at all, their opponents are finding ways to contest their impositions. Papers from any geographic or disciplinary area are welcome, but presentations should highlight modes of representation (literary, legal, musical, visual, etc.) and address the tensions surrounding contemporary cosmopolitanism.   


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