This is Melbourne calling

Deadline extended: The View from Above: Cosmopolitan Culture and its Critics – An interdisciplinary conference for post-graduate students and early career researchers; 22-23 September, the University of Melbourne.

‘Cosmopolitanism’ connotes a dynamic, eclectic and sophisticated cultural sphere, one that transcends borders and national differences. Although the term is an ancient one, deriving from the Greek word kosmopolitês, its meaning has never been stable. The notion of the cosmopolitan is glamorous and in some respects elitist, suggesting a ‘luxuriously free-floating view from above’ (Bruce Robbins, Cosmopolitics, 1998). At the same time, it has utopian connotations of pluralism and universality.

This conference invites participants to explore cosmopolitanism, both as a utopian project and as an object of critique. While the focus of the conference is on literature and literary criticism, we welcome papers addressing theatre, the visual arts, popular culture, translation and other forms of cultural expression in either contemporary or historical settings. We also strongly encourage contributions from creative writers. Presenters may choose to focus on Australian cosmopolitanisms or address broader categories such as the postcolonial or the transnational.

Keynote speakers: Professor John M. Ganim, University of California, Riverside. Dr. Brigid Rooney, University of Sydney.

Possible topics may include:

  • old and new cosmopolitanisms (including the influence of classical, medieval
  • and early modern texts on more recent understandings of the cosmopolitan)
  • cosmopolitan sensibilities in colonial, postcolonial and diasporic literatures
  • cosmopolitanism and class
  • cosmopolitanism and the metropolitan/regional
  • feminist engagements with cosmopolitanism
  • cosmopolitanism and sexuality
  • cosmopolitanism, advertising, popular culture and everyday life
  • transnationalism and globalisation, parochialism and provinciality
  • cosmopolitan readerships and polities; the role of translation
  • creative practice and the cosmopolitan
  • the text as a cosmopolitan space
  • utopianism and cosmopolitan futures

The convenors welcome abstracts from postgraduate and early career researchers working in any field of the humanities, particularly literary studies, creative writing, theatre studies, history (including art history), cultural studies and translation studies.

Please forward an abstract of no more than 250 words to by 20 July 2014.