By Mica Nava
Well known cultural theorist Mica Nava makes an important contribution to the research of cosmopolitanism by means of exploring daily English city cosmopolitanism and foregrounding the gendered, innovative and empathetic elements of optimistic engagement with cultural and racial distinction. by means of a variety of texts, occasions and biographical narratives, she strains cosmopolitanism from its marginal prestige firstly of the 20th century to its relative normalisation by means of century's finish. Case experiences contain the promoting of cosmopolitanism via Selfridges prior to the 1st global warfare; relationships among white English ladies and 'other' males -- Jews and black GIs -- through the Thirties and Forties; literary, cinematic and social technology representations of migrants in postcolonial Britain; and Diana and Dodi's interracial romance within the Nineties. within the ultimate bankruptcy, the writer attracts on her personal advanced kinfolk heritage to demonstrate the modern cosmopolitan London adventure. students have tended to disregard the oppositional cultures of antiracism and social inclusivity. This groundbreaking research redresses this imbalance and gives a worldly account of the asymmetric background of vernacular cosmopolitanism.
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Additional resources for Visceral Cosmopolitanism: Gender, Culture and the Normalisation of Difference
There were over two thousand guests and the party lasted from 10 pm to 5 am, when breakfast was served. Four thousand lights glittered in the luxurious foliage of the roof garden and the general decor was oriental. Many of the guests wore oriental costumes and danced the tango under the stars to an American rag-time orchestra that played throughout the night (though more conventional waltzes were available The Allure of Difference • 33 on the ﬂoor below). Selfridge’s archive has many pages of cuttings about the event.
However, ideas about the cultural and racial ‘other’ circulating in these geopolitical territories do not travel unchanged to the metropolis (as Said’s thesis implies). As Stoler has pointed out (1997), European supremacy abroad relied on the maintenance of difference and hence on the regulation of interracial sexual relations; moreover, prohibitions were often formulated in response to the frequent transgression – or fears of transgression – between colonisers and natives. 16 Yet, paradoxically, these women on their return to the metropolis, where restrictions were not clear-cut, would bring with them, consume, display and share out to friends, culinary and material goods that were forbidden to them in the colonies because of their symbolic proximity to the colonised (Chaudhuri 1992).
Every foreign market in the world is a lesson in culture for the modern merchant. There are few other occupations . . which bring a man so closely in touch with foreign nationalities. . In fact there are few languages and few arts, few nationalities and little literature, no moral and mental culture which cannot have some inﬂuence on Commerce as it is today. (Selfridge Editorial, 10 February 1912) These unconventional ideas about abroad and the transnational nature and cultural importance of commerce, which emerged in part from the conditions of international trade, are a recurring theme in the store’s publicity and promotion during these years.