Prof. Mica Nava
Mica Nava will discuss some of the conceptual and historical issues raised in her book Visceral Cosmopolitanism: Gender, Culture and the Normalisation of Difference and in the shorter readings listed below. This focuses mainly on the UK twentieth century metropolitan experience and is concerned with cosmopolitanism as a ‘structure of feeling’ — as an empathetic, inclusive and sometimes eroticised range of feelings and attitudes towards others, otherness and the foreign — which finds expression in vernacular and domestic forms as well as in commerce, social science and the arts.
The paper will track changes in this cosmopolitan mood from a counter culture of modernity a century ago to part of quotidian life today — hence the shift from ‘alterity’ to ‘mere’ difference, to the normalisation of difference, in contemporary urban UK culture. In the process the paper will draw attention to the crucial part played by women in the historical formation of the present. Similarly it will highlight the unexpected influence of twentieth century British class relations on the relative
diminution in the significance of epidermal difference. The paper will also look at the geopolitical and historical specificity of the meanings of race and difference in UK and contrast these with other similar contexts in Europe and the Americas.
Nava, Mica (2002) ‘Cosmopolitan Modernity: Everyday Imaginaries and the Register
of Difference’, Theory, Culture & Society, 19 (1-2): 81-99.
Nava, Mica (2010) ‘Domestic Cosmopolitanism and Structures of Feeling: The
Specificity of London’ in English and Portuguese (as ‘Cosmopolitismo Doméstico e
Estruturas Afetivas: a Especificidade de Londres’, Tradução Fábio Abreu de
Queiroz) in V!RUS, São Carlos, n.4, dez. 2010, Brazil: