Melbourne calling for papers

Call for papers

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 and 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 19 May 2014.