This book is the outcome of the ASA Diamond Jubilee conference on 'Cosmopolitanism and Anthropology', convened with Sean McLoughlin from Leeds University and held at Keele University in April 2006. In addition to the articles included here, the conference was the occasion for many other outstanding papers and attested to the wide interest of anthropologists in this topic. Several collections have come out of the conference: a special issue of Nature and Culture (2008) on cosmopolitanism and the environment, edited by Ben Campbell; a volume on Cosmopolitanism in Practice, edited by Magdalena Nowicka and Maria Rovisco (Ashgate 2007); Sharing the Sacra: the Politics and Pragmatics of Inter-communal Relations around Holy Places, edited by Glenn Bowman (Berghahn 2008), and Cosmopolitanism, Morality and Existentialism, edited by Lisette Josephides and Alex Hall (forthcoming). In addition to five plenary sessions and several keynote speakers, the meeting included twenty other workshops on diverse themes: Cosmopolitanism and Youth, Museums, Diaspora, the Indian Ocean, Health, Cities, Morality, Landscape, Material Culture, Popular Music, Practice, and Elites; Interpretive and Discrepant Cosmopolitanisms; Syncretism, and Religious Frameworks.
Many people helped make the conference, and this book, a success. In particular, I would like to thank Richard Fardon, then Chair of the ASA, for his unstinting faith and support throughout. The conversation with the contributors and the other keynote and plenary speakers, which started at the conference, has made the book, I believe, an intellectual journey for all of us. Elizabeth Colson and André Beteille travelled great distances to be with us. As ever, my husband, Dick Werbner, gave of his time and immense knowledge in the subject.