MSA 12: Conservatism, Cosmopolitanism, Modernism

full name / name of organization: 
Matt Eatough

In his famous discussion of the development of national consciousness, Frantz Fanon derided the post-independence national bourgeoisie for its "cosmopolitan mentality," one whose cultural and economic allegiance was to metropolitan capitalism rather than the newly constituted postcolony. While much has been written about cosmopolitan and modernism in recent years, Fanon's characterization of bourgeois conservatism as a cosmopolitan phenomenon has received much less attention than more progressive instances of cosmopolitan affiliation, such as transnational feminism, anti-imperial collaboration, and subaltern resistances to the state. Instead, conservatism has almost exclusively been cast in an anti-cosmopolitan, nationalist guise. This panel seeks to uncover alternative histories and productions of conservatism that formulated conservative thought within a transnational framework. How were conservatism and cosmopolitanism articulated within the same register? What were the networks through which conservatism was disseminated across distant locales? How did cosmopolitan modes of conservatism relate to more nationalistic articulations of conservatism?

Potential topics include (but are not limited to): Conservative responses to modernization and imperialism; fascism as a transnational phenomenon; right-wing intellectual affiliations and the Spanish Civil War; colonial elites and metropolitan culture; religion and the critique of progress; regional and continental chauvinisms. Special consideration will be given to proposals that engage with non-European convergences of conservatism and modernism.

Please send an abstract of no greater than 300 words and a brief CV to no later than April 26th.