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20 Mar 2013
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£53.00
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9780230337572
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Is it possible to be a citizen of the world? Cosmopolitan thought has been at the center of recent debates surrounding human rights, legal obligations, international relations and political responsibility. Most of these debates trace their origins to the Enlightenment of the eighteenth Century or to the teaching of Greek and Roman philosophers. Medieval literary fictions and travel accounts provide us with rich contextualizations of the complexities and contradictions of cosmopolitan thought. This collection of essays uncovers a wide array of medieval writings on cosmopolitan ethics and politics, writings generally ignored or glossed over in contemporary discourse.


Description

Is it possible to be a citizen of the world? Cosmopolitan thought has been at the center of recent debates surrounding human rights, legal obligations, international relations and political responsibility. Most of these debates trace their origins to the Enlightenment of the eighteenth Century or to the teaching of Greek and Roman philosophers. Medieval literary fictions and travel accounts provide us with rich contextualizations of the complexities and contradictions of cosmopolitan thought. This collection of essays uncovers a wide array of medieval writings on cosmopolitan ethics and politics, writings generally ignored or glossed over in contemporary discourse.


Reviews

"The authors and the two editors are to be commended . . . [The essays] straddle various disciplines, they move us around in space and they carry us through many centuries. They are thoughtful, well documented, and up-to-date. The editors do their duty regarding the when and why of the collection." - The Medieval Review
 
"The balance of topics is extremely strong, and I think the book as a whole does a great deal to expand our notions of what cosmopolitanism means. The essays enrich historical understandings of interactions between different groups and between individuals of different faiths, backgrounds, and locales in the medieval era." - Lisa Lampert-Weissig, Professor of English Literature and Comparative Medieval Studies and Katzin Professor in Jewish Civilization, University of California San Diego, USA

 
"The essays in Cosmopolitanism and the Middle Ages constitute a powerful argument for a premodern cosmopolitanism, one that is marked by rich and complex cultural, social, linguistic, and economic exchanges. The cosmopolitan imaginary at work here is marked by plurality, division, and tension, as well as curiosity and creativity. This compelling book is a warm invitation to accompany medieval writers and travelers as they explore the world around them and push eagerly at the boundaries of what is familiar." - Stephanie Trigg, Professor of English, The University of Melbourne, Australia


Contents

Introduction; Shayne Legassie & John M. Ganim
1. The Metropolis and its Languages: Baghdad and Venice; Karla Mallette
2. Re-Orientations: The Worlding of Marco Polo; Sharon Kinoshita
3. Between Islam and Christendom: Ibn Battuta's Travels in Asia Minor and the North; Christine Chism
4. Medieval Religious Cosmopolitanisms: Truth and Inclusivity in the Literature of Muslim Spain; Marla Segol
5. Worldly Unease in Late Medieval European Travel Reports; Shirin Khanmohamadi
6. The One Kingdom Solution?: Diplomacy, Marriage and Sovereignty in the Third Crusade; Adnan Husain & Margaret Aziza Pappano
7. Inventing Social Conscience: Cosmopolitanism in Piers Plowman; Karma Lochrie
8. Cosmopolitan Imaginaries; Robert R. Edwards
9. Among Other Possible Things: The Cosmopolitanisms of Chaucer's 'Man of Law's Tale'; Shayne Aaron Legassie
10. The Cosmopolitanism of The Adages: The Classical and Christian Legacies of Erasmus' Hermeneutics of Accommodation; Jessica L. Wolfe


Authors

John M. Ganim is Professor of English at the University of California, Riverside, USA and the author of Medievalism and Orientalism.
Shayne Aaron Legassie is Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA.