The Cosmopolitan Space as Break, Vulnerability, and Anonymity

Main Article Content

Negar Basiri


To be a citizen of the world is a paradoxical juxtaposition. How can we think of the world as a shared cosmos and how to think of a shared space in the uncertain and fragile world we live in? What connects us together? At this very moment, there is a virus (an impersonal, anonymous entity) that puts us in a shared space of horror, displacement, and vulnerability. It has shattered our sense of belonging to a home and of owning our bodies. Our bodies have effaced their borders and are hospitable to this anonymous other that dispossesses us from our realm of security. Yet, it has reminded us of our cosmopolitan existence, of our shared vulnerability, of the insecurity of homelessness that has rarely occurred so tangibly. It ties us together with a break and a rupture in our presumed accustomed life. This makes one contemplate on a global community not as unification but as a break from which there is no escape.

This paper comprises rethinking cosmopolitanism from an ethical and phenome­nological perspective. It is a new rendition of cosmopolitanism as communication between the self and the world. I assume cosmopolitanism as unsettling, as being simultaneously dislodged from home and exposed to the alterity of the world outside. In this viewing of cosmopolitanism, there is a presumed necessity of imagining a space for our exposure to and transcendence from particularities. Assuming a space for cosmopolitanism, we should think of one beyond you and me as the site of opening toward an exteriority. 

The researcher views the cosmopolitan space as the anonymous realm of the self being de-worled from its home through a break of exteriority and as those fleeting moments when the self loses itself in terms of identity and emplacement and through this fleeting vulnerability of existence opens a temporary connection with others. Also, this paper illustrates how literature as the realm for sharing of the spatial and temporal anonymity is a true cosmopolitan space.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

Article Details

Literature facing the challenges of racial divides, re-imagining justice