This week’s video is an interview with Stuart Hall on the subject of Cosmopolitanism. Conducted by Pnina Werbner in March 2006, this interview is part of a series of video Interviews with Leading Thinkers undertaken by researchers at the University of Cambridge, now digitized and available online.
In this 40 minute video Pnina Werbner asks Stuart Hall to talk through his understanding of the place cosmopolitanism has: as a discursive concept and; in its applications to the contemporary world. Distinguishing between a cosmopolitanism of the above and the forced or obligatory cosmopolitanism of the below – which he terms ‘vernacular cosmopolitanism’ – Hall considers the connections between cosmopolitanism and: diaspora, universality, liberalism, identity and globalization.
A particularly interesting conversation ensues as Werbner asks Hall to focus on his personal relationship to and experience of cosmopolitanism. This leads Hall to consider understandings, realisations and possibilities of the concept across time and space: in Caribbean, African, European and Middle Eastern contexts of the past, present and future.