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CfH Lectures

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The aim of this lecture is to relate visceral cosmopolitanism to what Eugene Holland calls nomad citizenship, by considering what Edouard Glissant calls the “belle démesure” of archipelagic thinking. Glissant’s Martinique, along with the Caribbean more generally, constitutes a cross-roads of sorts, where people of hybrid identities weigh a plurality of legacies in planning for an uncertain future. Like Deleuze (on some of whose concepts he draws), Glissant argues that greater degrees of innovation and justice can be expected from novel approaches to post-industrial commerce rather than from any utopian political schemes, by drawing on and adapting a variety of archipelagic talents and traditions and seeking at the same time for viable trading partners around the globe. Drawing on case studies from Bolivia and Argentina, the lecture concludes that nomad citizenship offers a viable and desirable supplement or alternative to nation-State citizenship, and thus represents an important aspect of cosmopolitanism.

This lecture was given within the framework of The Idea of Cosmopolitanism:Interdisciplinary Dialogues Conference, organized by the Centre for the Humanities at Utrecht University. The conference aims at presenting and debating a broad spectrum of issues involving cosmopolitanism in recent years. These range from a philosophical and legal perspective to radical contestations of equality and difference to media related interventions. Tying ideas of cosmopolitanism in with social theory and the processes of multidimensional globalisation demands a renewed and further understanding of cosmopolitanism itself.