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Dr Dina Gusjenova

15 credits

Mondays 4-6, term 2 only

The years between the First and Second World War saw the emergence of new international and supranational institutions, which reinvigorated cosmopolitan visions of politics. Intellectuals played a key role in forging links between cultural and political institutions that surpassed diplomatic relations between states. They were go-betweens in political negotiations, fashioned themselves as performers of a utopian ideal, and sought political influence using private networks of influence and publishing as well as emerging institutions such as the League of Nations. Their ideas of a cosmopolitan world order differed widely, but they shared a rejection of nationalism, imperialism, and state-dominated politics. New media of transmission, such as the film industry, were widely drawn upon to elaborate visions of a world society that seemed within reach for the first time in human history. Interwar cosmopolitanism was a set of projects that bore the mark both of intellectuals’ narcissism and their demonstration of the power of charisma. Their activities as leaders of political movements, founders of institutions, or public critics, will be situated in the historical analysis of the international and transnational institutions and organizations with a cosmopolitan agenda that emerged in the interwar period.

This course is aimed at those with an interest in modern political, cultural and intellectual history. No knowledge of foreign languages is assumed, although if you do have foreign language skills you will be encouraged to use them in your reading for essays and class presentations. Each week focuses on readings of influential and provocative primary texts, framed by readings of secondary texts. In terms of content, the course will introduce you to some of the core theoretical arguments about cosmopolitanism in general, and interwar cosmopolitanism in particular.

Indicative readings:

-- -- David Held: ‘Principles of cosmopolitan order’, in Gillian Brock and Harry Brighouse (Eds.): The Political Philosophy of Cosmopolitanism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), pp. 10-28.

-- -- Jeremy Jennings and Tony Kemp-Welch: ‘The century of the intellectual. From the Dreyfus Affair to Salman Rushdie’, in Jennings and Kemp-Welch (eds.), Intellectuals in Politics (London: Routledge, 1997)

-- -- Nicholas Doumanis: ‘Europe and the Wider World’, in Robert Gerwarth (Ed.): Twisted Paths. Europe 1914-1945 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 355-91.

-- -- Also in the same volume: Introduction by Robert Gerwarth, pp. 1-8; Patricia Clavin: ‘Europe and the League of Nations, pp. 325-55.

-- -- Gordon Laxer: ‘The Movement That Dare Not Speak its Name: the Return of Left Nationalism/Internationalism’, in Alternatives: Global, Local, Political, Vol. 26, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 2001), pp. 1-32.

-- -- Martin Robert: "Baraka": World Cinema and the Global Culture Industry, in Cinema Journal, Vol. 37, No. 3 (Spring, 1998), pp. 62-82.

Page last modified on 24 sep 14 09:36 by Joanna Fryer