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Dinner Speech - Jürgen Osterhammel

Prof. em. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Osterhammel
University of Freiburg
Neuere und neueste Geschichte
Distinguished Fellow

Cosmopolitanism and Empire
Wann 08.05.2019
von 17:30 bis 18:00
Wo FRIAS, Albertstr. 19, Lounge
Kontakttelefon +49 (0)761 203-97362
Teilnehmer universitätsoffen / open to University members
Termin übernehmen vCal

Cosmopolitanism and Empire


Cosmopolitanism, nowadays often degenerated into a globally extractive consumerism, was an Enlightenment dream of world citizenship, universal justice and the borderless exchange of ideas and commodities. It was, in later terms, a liberal vision, based on a non-racialist anthropology and sometimes aiming at cultural syncretism. Empire seems to be its very opposite: the cruel reality of hierarchy, oppression, violence and racial categorization. And yet, the two principles co-existed during the Age of Empire that lasted up to the decolonization of the 1960s. The lecture will attempt to disentangle that contradiction. In doing this, it will address divisive issues of our own time: the controversial legacy of Empire as well as current attacks on cosmopolitanism as an ideology of "unrooted" globality.