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Imagined Cosmopolis

Internationalism and Cultural Exchange, 1870s–1920s


Edited By Charlotte Ashby, Grace Brockington, Daniel Laqua and Sarah Victoria Turner

The period from the 1870s to the 1920s was marked by an interplay between nationalisms and internationalisms, culminating in the First World War, on the one hand, and the creation of the League of Nations, on the other. The arts were central to this debate, contributing both to the creation of national traditions and to the emergence of ideas, objects and networks that forged connections between nations or that enabled internationalists to imagine a different world order altogether. The essays presented here explore the ways in which the arts operated internationally during this crucial period of nation-making, and how they helped to challenge national conceptions of citizenship, society, homeland and native tongue. The collection arises from the AHRC-funded research network Internationalism and Cultural Exchange, 1870–1920 (ICE; 2009–2014) and its enquiry into the histories of cultural internationalism and their historiographical implications.

This collection has been edited by members of the ICE network convened by Grace Brockington and Sarah Victoria Turner.

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Notes on Contributors


CHARLOTTE ASHBY lectures at Birkbeck and the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on the intersections between modernity, nationalism and internationalism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She was awarded her PhD in 2007 by the University of St Andrews for a thesis examining nationalism and modernity in Finnish architecture and architectural discourse at the fin de siècle. She subsequently held a research fellowship at the Royal College of Art in conjunction with the AHRC-funded research project ‘The Viennese Café and fin-de-siècle Culture’. Her publications include Modernism in Scandinavia: Art, Architecture and Design (2017) and essays in collections such as The Viennese Café and Fin-de-Siècle Culture (2013); and Poetry, Politics and Pictures in the Nineteenth Century (2013).

LEONARD BELL teaches Art History at the University of Auckland. His research focuses on cross-cultural interactions, representations and creativity, in particular in relation to New Zealand, Europe and the South Pacific. His books include Colonial Constructs: European Images of Maori 1840–1914 (1992), In Transit: Questions of Home and Belonging in New Zealand Art (2007), Marti Friedlander (2009) and Strangers Arrive: Emigres and the Arts in New Zealand 1930–80 (2017). His essays have appeared in Orientalism Transformed: The Impact of the Colonies on British Art (1998), Voyages and Beaches (1999), Double Vision: Art Histories and Colonial Histories in the Pacific (1999), Tropical Visions in the Age of Empire (2005), Rethinking Settler Colonialism: History and Memory in Australia, Canada, Aotearoa/New Zealand and South Africa...

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