Bloomsbury Cultural History
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Visceral Cosmopolitanism

Visceral Cosmopolitanism: Gender, Culture and the Normalisation of Difference

by Mica Nava

Mica Nava is Emeritus Professor of Cultural Studies in the School of Arts and Digital Industries at the University of East London, UK. She is a cultural historian of British modernity and everyday race difference. Her publications include Gender and Generation (1984); Changing Cultures: Feminism, Youth and Consumerism (1992); Modern Times: A Century of English Modernity (1996); Buy This Book: Studies in Advertising and Consumption (1997) and Visceral Cosmopolitanism: Gender Culture and the Normalisation of Difference (2007). Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Berg, 2007
  • DOI:
    10.5040/9781350048973
  • ISBN:
    9-781-3500-4897-3 (online)

    978-1-8452-0242-2 (hardback)

    978-1-8452-0243-9 (paperback)
  • Edition:
    First edition
  • Place of Publication:
    Oxford
  • Published Online:
    2017
Visceral Cosmopolitanism
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Cultural theorist Mica Nava makes an original and significant contribution to the study of cosmopolitanism by exploring everyday English urban cosmopolitanism and foregrounding the gendered, imaginative and empathetic aspects of positive engagement with cultural and racial difference. By looking at a wide range of texts, events and biographical narratives, she traces cosmopolitanism from its marginal status at the beginning of the twentieth century to its relative normalisation today. Case studies include the promotion of cosmopolitanism by Selfridges before the first world war; relationships between white English women and ‘other’ men -- Jews and black GIs -- during the 1930s and 1940s; literary, cinematic and social science representations of migrants in postcolonial Britain; and Diana and Dodi’s interracial romance in the 1990s. In the final chapter, the author draws on her own complex family history to illustrate the contemporary cosmopolitan London experience.Scholars have tended to ignore the oppositional cultures of antiracism and social inclusivity. This groundbreaking study redresses this imbalance and offers a sophisticated account of the uneven history of vernacular cosmopolitanism.