Date of Award

Spring 2008

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Gillespie, Michael P.

Second Advisor

Bates, Milton J.

Third Advisor

Su, John


''The Other," as Pico Iyer writes in "The Place Across the Mountains," is "everywhere today, not the least on our front doorsteps."' The modern moment is one of cross-cultural contact and contamination; it is a cosmopolitan moment that is in some ways unprecedented, such a moment in which, as Kwame Anthony Appiah has noted, "one has the freedom to create oneself from the variety of socially transmitted values, worldviews, customs, and beliefs one encounters in every facet of one's social existence. As a consequence, the moment is also one in which an individual's sense of identity is potentially unmoored from the strictures of ethnicity, race, and various other "traditional" cultural categories of identification; no more than within the metropolis, a site of dynamic social and cultural exchange. Emerging in antiquity as an ethic promoting inclusiveness and egalitarian heterogeneity, cosmopolitanism has characteristically been marked by a tolerance of difference, the welcome negotiation of otherness, the recognition of other individuals' freedoms, and of the possibility of both sustaining healthy communities and validating their members' diversity. It is an ethic of engagement that threads through much of humanist thought, providing the foundation for the Stoic tenet of universal brotherhood, for instance, as well as Siddhartha Gautama's rules, by which the first Buddhist communities were formed. Through epochs and across cultures, the cosmopolite is a figure whose ethos reemerges again and again, as a self-proclaimed 'citizen of the world'...



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