Nels Pearson opens Irish Cosmopolitanism with an acknowledgment of the paradox embedded in his title: how can we speak of a particular, national variety of cosmopolitanism when cosmopolitanism makes claims for the affiliation of human beings as an inclusive, transnational community? What makes it possible for Pearson to speak or write of an “Irish Cosmopolitanism” is a series of developments in the discourse on cosmopolitanism dating back to the end of the last century. At that time, commentators in a variety of fields, including many dedicated to postcolonial studies, began to question the simple opposition between “national” and “global” experiences and to assert a more nuanced awareness of the relationship between a familiar homeland and the broader world, between cultural specificities and universal sympathies. Despite its more limited scope, Irish Cosmopolitanism takes its place alongside field-defining studies of literary cosmopolitanism from this period, such...

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