Session M25. Cosmopolitanism, Citizenship, and the City (19th to 21st centuries)
Coordinators: Aliki Economides (email@example.com), Fuyuki Kurasawa (firstname.lastname@example.org)
To be a citizen is to inhabit a city by being a member of a polis, a political community. To be cosmopolitan is to inhabit the world, to feel a sense of global belonging and to be at ease in many places and cities. Increasingly, then, scholarship in a range of disciplines is recognizing that cities have been the privileged sites through which practices of cosmopolitan citizenship are enacted: where formal and informal ways of being and thinking that seamlessly blend multiple cultural, linguistic and political influences into a whole that is greater than its constituent parts, are performed and sustained. However, what remains under-analyzed in recent scholarship is a more global perspective on how such cosmopolitan ways of thinking and being are embodied or commemorated in the built environment of cities through built works or ephemeral performances. Therefore, the session aims to unearth how urban planners, architects, scholars, artists, and ordinary citizens have created or documented such works and performances in different cities, whether in the form of buildings and infrastructures, public spaces, public art, or ephemeral events, as well as their visual representations (for example, archives, exhibitions, social media platforms, etc.). This session is interested in research on the relationships between cosmopolitan citizenship and the built environment and urban spatial practices from the 19th to 21st centuries. It encourages comparative research that juxtaposes and/or establishes parallels between built environments and practices in cities across different regions or countries notably those outside of Europe or the United States of America or that contrasts enactments of cosmopolitan citizenship in the same sites at different historical moments.
Potential themes include:
Exemplars of cosmopolitan urban citizenship and forms of built environment in colonial and post-colonial contexts;
Citizenship, cosmopolitanism and digitally enabled forms of subjectivity and collective identity, or urban politics of place;
Official versus vernacular forms of cosmopolitan citizenship, contrasting formal culture and large-scale projects to everyday life and micro-sites;
The challenges of preserving cosmopolitan expressions of collective memory and social life in the face of the urban dynamics of modernizing creative destruction, erasure, and forgetting;
Contestations of the denial of citizenship through the built environment and/or cases of vibrant urban spatial participation and cosmopolitan modes of resistance to exclusion and marginalization.
Keywords: citizenship; cosmopolitanism; digital; global; identity; subjectivity; urban