Visceral Cosmopolitanism: Gender, Culture and the Normalisation of Difference

Visceral Cosmopolitanism: Gender, Culture and the Normalisation of Difference

Visceral Cosmopolitanism: Gender, Culture and the Normalisation of Difference

Visceral Cosmopolitanism: Gender, Culture and the Normalisation of Difference

Synopsis

Renowned cultural theorist Mica Nava makes a significant contribution to the study of cosmopolitanism by exploring everyday English urban cosmopolitanism and foregrounding the gendered, imaginative and empathetic aspects of positive engagement with cultural and racial difference. By looking at a wide range of texts, events and biographical narratives, she traces cosmopolitanism from its marginal status at the beginning of the twentieth century to its relative normalisation by century's end. Case studies include the promotion of cosmopolitanism by Selfridges before the first world war; relationships between white English women and 'other' men -- Jews and black GIs -- during the 1930s and 1940s; literary, cinematic and social science representations of migrants in postcolonial Britain; and Diana and Dodi's interracial romance in the 1990s. In the final chapter, the author draws on her own complex family history to illustrate the contemporary cosmopolitan London experience. Scholars have tended to ignore the oppositional cultures of antiracism and social inclusivity. This groundbreaking study redresses this imbalance and offers a sophisticated account of the uneven history of vernacular cosmopolitanism.
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