Historicising Multicultural Dialogue: Modernity, Cosmopolitanism, Nationalism

author: Aleš Debeljak, Department of Cultural Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana
published: July 13, 2009,   recorded: May 2009,   views: 3896

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The lecture, a public meditation of sorts, will explore the dilemmas of »multicultural dialogue« from the vantage point of cosmpolitanism vs. nationalism. Drawing on the conceptual distinction between »at home« and »abroad« that began to dominate the public discourse in the nascent European nation-states of 19th century, the lecture will illuminate three main stages in the development of collective identifications: the cosmopolitanism of the belle epoque (at home and abroad), the nationalism od post-WWI order (at home vs. abroad), and the conflicting forces of the two as they play themselves out under the aegis of contemporary globalisation (at home is abroad). Critical assesment of these collective imaginaries will be situated in a larger frame that is informed by both, the theory of concentric circles of identity and the method of multicultural and multilingual competence.

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