The volume is intended to constitute a cosmopolitan project in itself, comprising contributions from scholars with very diverse approaches. Together, these contributions provide a stimulating analysis of what cosmopolitanism can offer to socially and politically diverse twenty-first-century societies.
7 Cosmopolitanism and the Body (Kevin McSorley)
Kevin McSorley 7 Cosmopolitanism and the Body Introduction This paper attempts to think through some of the ways in which the rela- tionships between cosmopolitanism and embodiment have been under- stood in social theory and analysis. The discourse of cosmopolitanism has been fertile ground for scholarship in the humanities and social and political sciences over recent decades. A vast, and ever proliferating, array of analyses have interrogated and elaborated the philosophical genealogies, conceptual boundaries and possible futures of cosmopolitanism. Although often criticized for being overly abstract and self-referential, analysis of cosmopolitanism has become a significant site for the investment of aca- demic labour, the reimagining of political potential, and the envisioning of democratic alternatives. Cosmopolitanism has been a discourse through which a certain utopian promise of world citizenship has been articulated, even if this promise has often been rather indistinct and deferred, a fore- shadowing of potential to come rather than any clear picture of the here- and-now. However, understood as a form of utopian social theory, much cosmopolitan discourse has attempted to interpret present conditions so as to reveal latent tendencies in the world, and hence ‘to help realize the not-yet of human being’.1 Attempted enunciation of the cosmopolitan promise has a long his- tory that reaches far back beyond the structural conditions of modernity, 1 Michael Jacobsen and Keith Tester, ‘Utopia as a Topic for Social Theory’ in Michael Jacobsen and Keith Tester, eds, Utopia: Social Theory and the Future (Farnham: Ashgate 2012), 3. 204 Kevin McSorley to...
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