20 May 2008

MASTERCLASS - Verncacular Cosmopolitanism: New Concepts; Old Connections (with Sneja Gunew) Close of registration: 30 May 2008


Sneja Gunew
and the participation of Mireille Astore

10am – 4pm Monday 23 June 2008

The concept of ‘vernacular cosmopolitanisms’ acknowledges global contexts and responsibilities at the same time that it recognizes that these are always rooted in and permeated by local concerns. The paradox of the phrase reflects the double movement of these debates. In Homi Bhabha’s coinage of the term, the vernacular ‘native’ or ‘domestic’ is always in a dialogic relation with the global-cosmopolitan “action at a distance.” In the midst of new ideological polarizations we are struggling to find ways of imagining configurations and legacies that speak to the everyday hybridity, creolization and m├ętissage of our global relations. Making a case for cosmopolitanisms from below complicates a commonsense equation of cosmopolitanism with the elitist practices often associated with terms such as “citizen of the world.” In other words, why are the refugees, exiles, displaced people whose migrations punctuated the last two centuries (or more) not generally perceived as contributing to cosmopolitan cultural capital? Do the new debates in cosmopolitanism provide new opportunities for acknowledging these histories and subjectivities to counteract totalizing conceptualizations of nationalisms and globalization?

Venue: SOPHI Common Room 822, Level 8, Mungo McCallum Bldg, USyd.
Participants: Postgraduate and honours students and early career researchers.
Readings: Four selected readings will be distributed prior to the Masterclass.
Registration: $25 paid by 30 May. Lunch and snacks provided.
Contact: Linnell Secomb. Email: linnell.secomb@usyd.edu.au

SNEJA GUNEW (Professor, English and Women’s Studies) B.A. (Melbourne), M.A. (Toronto), Ph.D. (Newcastle, NSW), F.R.S.C., specializes in postcolonial and feminist theory, multicultural critical theory and diasporic and ethnic minority writings. She has taught in England, Australia and Canada and has published widely on postcolonial, multicultural, and feminist critical theory. Among her publications are Framing Marginality: Multicultural Literary Studies (1994) and Haunted Nations: The Colonial Dimensions of Multiculturalisms Routledge, UK (2004). She is North American editor of Feminist Theory (Sage). Her current work is in comparative multiculturalism and in diasporic literatures and their intersections with national and global cultural formations.

MIREILLE ASTORE is an artist and a poet. (PhD Contemporary Arts, University of Western Sydney, 2007; Master of Visual Arts (Research) SCA, University of Sydney, 2001; Master of Art Administration, College of Fine Arts, UNSW, 1997). She has published, exhibited and performed her works nationally and internationally in Australia, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. She is sessional lecturer at Sydney College of the Arts. Web site: http://mireille.astore.id.au