Cultural Mobility: A Manifesto

Stephen Greenblatt
Harvard University

Ines G Županov
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris

Reinhard Meyer-Kalkus
Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin

Heike Paul
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

Pál Nyíri
Macquarie University

Friederike Pannewick
University of Oslo

Cultural Mobility is a blueprint and a model for understanding the patterns of meaning that human societies create. Drawn from a wide range of disciplines, the essays collected here under the distinguished editorial guidance of Stephen Greenblatt share the conviction that cultures, even traditional cultures, are rarely stable or fixed. Radical mobility is not a phenomenon of the twenty-first century alone, but is a key constituent element of human life in virtually all periods. Yet academic accounts of culture tend to operate on exactly the opposite assumption and to celebrate what they imagine to be rooted or whole or undamaged. To grasp the shaping power of colonization, exile, emigration, wandering, contamination, and unexpected, random events, along with the fierce compulsions of greed, longing, and restlessness, cultural analysis needs to operate with a new set of principles. An international group of authors spells out these principles and puts them into practice. Cultural Mobility sets out a powerful intellectual agenda with which scholars across the humanities and social sciences will need to engage.

Stephen Greenblatt is Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. The author most recently of Will in the World (2004), Professor Greenblatt is one of the most distinguished and influential literary and cultural critics at work today, as well as the general editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature. His team of collaborators on Cultural Mobility all worked together at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin under Professor Greenblatt’s overall direction, and represent a suggestive and unique range of voices and approaches.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: October 2009
ISBN: 9780521863568
Pages: 282 pp.


List of authors
List of illustrations

1. Cultural mobility: an introduction
Stephen Greenblatt

2. “The Wheel of Torments”: mobility and redemption in Portuguese colonial India (sixteenth century)
Ines G Županov

3. Theatrical mobility
Stephen Greenblatt

4. World literature beyond Goethe
Reinhard Meyer-Kalkus

5. Cultural mobility between Boston and Berlin: how Germans have read and reread narratives of American slavery
Heike Paul

6. Struggling for mobility: migration, tourism, and cultural authority in contemporary China
Pál Nyíri

7. Performativity and mobility: Middle Eastern traditions on the move
Friederike Pannewick

8. A mobility studies manifesto
Stephen Greenblatt


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