Teaching 21st Century Genres

Part of the series Teaching the New English pp 167-185


Teaching Contemporary Cosmopolitanism

  • Kristian ShawAffiliated withUniversity of Lincoln


Over the last 20 years there has been an undeniable acceleration in transnational mobility, globalising processes and the use of digital communicative technology, generating an unprecedented interconnection between people and places. These catalysts have led to a global resurgence in Humanities and Social Sciences scholarship regarding the development of a new contemporary manifestation of cosmopolitanism. The socio-cultural, economic, and anthropological strands of cosmopolitan theory are very well established and will be discussed in this chapter alongside the key theorists in cosmopolitan thought. What now needs to be addressed is how such socio-cultural changes can be applied pedagogically to literary studies. Literature, like other academic disciplines, must move beyond established paradigms and frameworks to find answers for the post-millennial state. The aim of this chapter is to provide an explanation of cosmopolitanism and how its values can be applied to academic provision, offering new perspectives on the teaching of English in the twenty-first century. Although there is much written on the subject of cosmopolitanism, there is little work on cosmopolitan pedagogy. The chapter will begin by outlining the basic tenets and principles of the concept, before going on to demonstrate its usefulness in pedagogical practice. Drawing on a case study of a taught module focused on cosmopolitanism, it will conclude by offering a potential rubric for pedagogical approaches to the concept and a conceptual framework by which literature may embrace new forms of cultural theory.