In the special issue of Theory, Culture & Society on Cosmopolitanism – (19.1-2):
Cosmopolitan Modernity : Everyday Imaginaries and the Register of Difference
Debates about cosmopolitanism in the spheres of political philosophy, sociology and postcolonial criticism have on the whole ignored specific histories of the cosmopolitan imagination and its vernacular expressions in everyday life. This article draws on aspects of the urban and often feminized worlds of entertainment, commerce, the arts and the emotions in metropolitan England during the first decades of the 20th century, in which an interest in abroad and cultural ‘others’ increasingly signalled an engagement with the new, in order to argue for a notion of cosmopolitan modernity. This should be understood not just as a reflexive stance of openness, but also as a dialogic formation – a counterculture – part of a psychic and often gendered revolt against the conservatism and xenophobia of the parental culture.
Keywords; allure of difference, counterculture, English modernity, vernacular cosmopolitanism, women