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Cosmopolitanism from the Margins: Mediations of Expressivity, Social Space and Cultural Citizenship

There has been a return to cosmopolitanism both in cultural studies and political science to account for a variety of developments and phenomena from multiculturalism and marginal communities to global social movements and environmental crisis. In its late-modern sense and in the urban West, cultural cosmopolitanism implies an openness toward the Other and ethically oriented self-reflexivity articulated as boundary-crossing and questioning of dominant mortal/aesthetic categories of classification. Yet, both our actual and mediated social spaces of living and of ?being? remain highly segregated, with certain norms and ideals occupying the centre while Others are being pushed to the periphery and marginality. In order to reconcile embodied articulations of morally/ideologically progressive acts with the realm of cultural citizenship and cosmopolitanism, our purpose is to extend the cosmopolitan debate and the question of social change to a lesser-scrutinized area, to the margins (and the marginals) of Cosmopolis by studying three groups of expressivity: a) urban explorations; b) street art; and, c) groups who engage with non-commercial sexual expressivity. What binds these three categories together in this project is 1) an understanding of identity formation and expression as spatially defined communicative processes and, 2) the performative and embodied character of such expressive identities.  

Project leader: Miyase Christensen

Project participants: Miyase Christensen, André Jansson (Karlstad University), Tindra Thor (Stockholm University) 

Funding agency: Swedish research council

Duration: 2012-2016