Cosmopolitanism: Beyond Multiculturalism

Subject INTS90004 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2012.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment:

10 hours per week: 120 hours over the semester.


Admission to a relevant coursework masters program. Admission to a relevant postgraduate diploma or fourth-year honours program.



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:

Subject Overview:

What ideas help us to live together in a world often imagined as either divided by chasms of cultural incomprehension or forcibly homogenised by globalisation? This subject is designed to explore the idea of cosmopolitanism, focusing on cosmopolitan ideas and actualities in Australia today, as well as their background and development in other times and places. One aim of this subject is to develop an understanding of cosmopolitanism as a concept and practice that might lead us ‘beyond multiculturalism’. By utilising an interdisciplinary perspective, this subject encourages students to think in a variety of ways about how the local, national and international interact – both to meet the challenges of an increasingly globalised world, but also to think critically about the social and cultural implications for Australia. It aims to outline the bases and potential for forms of cosmopolitan engagement emerging today – to develop an understanding of the histories, discourses, spaces and narratives that make such engagement possible, and to debate a 'cosmo-politics' relevant to Australia, and the world.


Students who complete this subject should be able to:

  • comprehend and engage with a range of interdisciplinary approaches to cosmopolitanism and multiculturalism, including historical, sociological, philosophical, social and cultural texts and debates
  • demonstrate a critical understanding of cosmopolitanism, multiculturalism and related concepts such as transnationalism, internationalism and globalisation
  • be able to think in theoretical terms about the concepts of cosmopolitanism and multiculturalism in an Australian context
  • exhibit a capacity for critical thinking about Australian culture and society
  • demonstrate interdisciplinary skills in research, analysis, and written and verbal communication that draw upon materials and concepts presented and discussed in seminars

Each student will be required to make a class presentation outlining their research project on some aspect of cosmopolitanism in Australia. This presentation will be equivalent to 500 words in length and due at a time allocated in week one, 10%. This presentation will be developed into a major essay of 4000 words, 70% (due at the end of semester). Students will also be required to write a 500 word review of class reading, 20% (due during the semester).

Hurdle Requirement: Students are required to attend a minimum of 75% of classes. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 2% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted in order to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Recommended Texts:

Linda Basch, Nina Glick Schiller, Cristina Szanton Blanc, Nations unbound: transnational projects, postcolonial predicaments, and deterritorialized nation-states ([S.l.] :

Gordon and Breach, 1994). Jan S. Adams and Marilyn R. Waldman (eds), Transnational approaches of the social sciences : readings in international studies (Lanham, Md. : University Press of America, c1983)

Pheng Cheah and Bruce Robbins, Cosmopolitics: Thinking and Feeling beyond the Nation (University of Minnesota Press,1998)

John Docker and Gerhard Fischer (Eds), Race, colour and identity in Australia and New Zealand (Sydney : UNSW Press, 2000).

John Wiseman, Global nation? : Australia and the politics of globalisation (Cambridge . Melbourne : Cambridge University Press, 1998).

Antoinette Burton (ed.), After the imperial turn : thinking with and through the nation (Durham, [N.C.] : Duke University Press, 2003).

Gerard Delanty, Citizenship in a global age : society, culture, politics (Buckingham : Open University Press, 2000).

Carol A. Breckenridge [et al., guest editors]. Cosmopolitanism, (Durham, N.C.: Society for Transnational Cultural Studies by Duke University Press, c2000.

Steven Vertovec and Robin Cohen (eds), Conceiving cosmopolitanism : theory, context and practice (New York : Oxford University Press, c2002).

Joshua Cohen (ed.), For love of country: debating the limits of patriotism / Martha C. Nussbaum with respondents (Boston : Beacon Press, c1996).

Nigel Dower and John Williams, (Eds.) Global citizenship : a critical reader (Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press, 2002). (University of Minnesota Press,1998)

Cornelia Navari, Internationalism and the state in the twentieth century (London : Routledge, 2000).

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who complete this subject should be able to:

  • be able to demonstrate that they can take responsibility for their own learning and academic endeavour. be able to think in theoretical and / or have strong foundation for empirical research.
  • be able to demonstrate the time-management skills required for conducting a sustained and developmental piece of independent study.
  • be able to demonstrate skills of information retrieval, management of ideas, and orchestration of diverse sources in the process of essay construction and presentation.
  • be able to situate the significance of their research in the context of broader social, ethical and cultural contexts.
  • be able to communicate their research findings in a clear and intelligible manner.
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): M.A.Australian Studies (Advanced Seminars and Shorter Thesis)
Master of Arts in History (Advanced Seminars and Shorter Thesis)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 150 point program - full time over 18 months
200 point program - full time over 18 months
200 point program - full time over 24 months
Australian Studies
Australian Studies
Cultural Studies
Cultural Studies
Cultural Studies
Screen and Cultural Studies

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