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Cosmopolis Now: Urban Narratives in the Age of Global Migration

  • Author(s): Jirn, Jin Suh
  • Advisor(s): Wilson, Rob S.
  • et al.

This dissertation looks at the growing diversity of the modern city and its impact on the way we think about culture and identity today. The city, as I argue, represents a cosmopolitan space of possibility where locals and non-locals can come together, interact, and create a new sense of community that is not defined by race, religion or nationality.

Thanks to the recent advances in telecommunications and transportation which are largely responsible for what we now call "globalization," cities have not only become central to the daily operations of global capital but also play host to a wider range of immigrants, who have transformed the way we "imagine" the city. Therefore, by centering on the dynamic between the urban and the global, I will look at a number of contemporary novels and films rooted in what can be described as the "migrant sensibility."

The writers and filmmakers discussed in this dissertation--which include Hanif Kureishi, Salman Rushdie, Joseph O'Neil, Chloe Aridjis, Teju Cole, Shin Dong-il, Shim Sang-guk, and Kim Dong-hyun--all deal with issues of transnational migration and its impact on the representation of urban life in cities such as London,

New York, Berlin and Seoul, forcing us to redefine the age-old notion of cosmopolitanism and what it means to live "together in difference."

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