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The Reconfiguration of the Cosmopolitan: 'Being Transnational' in Viral Times 
Markus Schleiter (University of Tübingen)
Hanna Werner (Max Weber Centre, University of Erfurt)
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Peter Froggatt Centre (PFC), 03/005
Friday 29 July, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

The panel explores the (re)configuration of concepts and practices of cosmopolitanisms in light of the 'viral times' we live in. What does it mean to 'be transnational' in times of increasing nationalism, populism, mediatisation and virtualisation - all brought to the fore by the literal virus?

Long Abstract:

Contemporary manifestations of nationalism and populism (Hann 2019, Mazzarella 2019), equally present in governance, media and everyday life, pose a great challenge to conceptualisations of being and belonging shaped by ideals of global interconnectedness, such as cosmopolitanism and transnationalism. The panel explores what it means to 'be and act transnational(ly)' in viral times and in what ways such reconfigurations relate to the rise of nationalisms and social changes brought about by the pandemic. The proliferation of virtual infrastructures (Madianou & Miller 2013) and 'techno-political terrains' (Postill 2014) and the investment in transnational networks may be read as (mediated) aspirations to 'reach out'. Here, we ask about the contradictions inherent in transnational/cosmopolitan orientation, how it reshapes and transcends social worlds while solidifying demarcations from the non-cosmopolitan Other.

We invite papers which critically analyse present-day (re-)configurations of 'being transnational'. Possible fields of inquiry include cosmopolitan ideas playing out in the creation and consumption of transnational series and music videos, (new) transnational communities created through virtualisation, variants of indigenous cosmopolitanisms, the implementation of (trans)national imaginaries and resources by social movements and NGOs. Questions of interest include, but are not limited to: How do streaming platforms and social media support the emergence of transnational consumer/producer communities? How are boundaries drawn with a (simultaneous) orientation towards transnationalism and the valorisation of local resources? What is the interrelationship between the global 'cosmopolitan tradition' (Nussbaum 2019) and its local and/or indigenous variants, and who fits into category of the 'indigenous', 'rooted' or 'vernacular cosmopolitan' (Appiah 1997, Forte 2010)?

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Friday 29 July, 2022, -