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Winter School Delhi, India

Doing Cosmopolitanisms: Dynamics of Theory and Practice

John Stanmmeyer, Signal, 2013

Sikho Siyotula, 2017

Sikho Siyotula, 2017



*The Delhi Winter School took place from December 6-9th 2017 in Delhi, India.


The RTG Minor Cosmopolitanisms brings together all its members, as well as inviting fellow Ph.D candidates and scholars in India and the South Asian region, in order to explore practices of cosmopolitanism in a winter school entitled: Doing Cosmopolitanisms: Dynamics of Theory and Practice. The winter school forms part of a larger project, Minor Cosmopolitanisms, that wishes to build new ways of studying and understanding the cosmopolitan project against and beyond its Eurocentric legacies, prompted by a complexity of challenges faced in a globalizing world. The winter school is an extension of ongoing joint supervision, research and teaching between the University of Potsdam (Germany) and its partner universities in Berlin and around the world – Australia, Canada, India, South Africa and the United States of America – in which we hope to create a learning environment of multi-directional exchange.


In order to transcend the division of the cosmopolitan, into either universal (Eurocentric) normative ideal or established reality deemed descriptively assessable, our winter school places emphasis on “doing cosmopolitanisms.” Rather than merely focusing on the socioeconomic dynamics  of globalization and its representations, minor cosmopolitanisms focus on practices of being, thinking, feeling and creating in a globalizing world. Among the central questions we ask are: How do we overcome colonial epistemologies? How do we draw applicable knowledge from embodied and singular practices?


It is in this light that the first winter school of the RTG Minor Cosmopolitanisms is located physically outside the Euro-American context that too often appears as the centre of cosmopolitanism. Our hope is to learn both from the specificities of local practices and the intellectual questions that the theme of minor cosmopolitanisms opens up across our various fields of scholarship. To this end, we aim to explore where and how academic concerns are manifested through various forms of practice. We turn to scholars, policymakers, practitioners and activists working at the intersections of academia and politics, to envision what “doing” minor cosmopolitanisms might look like. We are (also) interested in critical, artistic as well as everyday practices that performatively bring both historical and current cosmopolitanisms into being by virtue of their worldmaking capacities.


The winter school wishes to engage with practice as theory and theory as practice. We welcome discussions including but not limited:

  •  contesting colonial epistemologies/ontologies
  • dissident democratic formations and ‘post’-democracy
  • cosmopolitanizing bodies
  • non-Western readings of the West
  • access to knowledge and piracy
  • subaltern and queer femininities
  • caste/race/religious/gender/class epistemologies and violence
  • eco-cosmopolitan futures
  • (minor) convivial cultures and practices
  • critiques of (minor) cosmopolitanism(s)

Call for Applications

Click here for the official call for applications.

*Note: The call for applications has been closed.

Keynote Speakers

Firdous Azim 

Professor Azim is a Professor of English and is chair of the Department of English and Humanities at BRAC University. She is also a member of Naripokkho, a woman’s activist group in Bangladesh. She obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Sussex, UK in 1989 and was awarded a fellowship by the University as one of its fifty most distinguished alumni and academics in 2012.

She has published widely both in the field of post-colonialism and literature, as well as on feminist issues. Her books include The Colonial Rise of the Novel (Routledge, 1993) and Infinite Variety: Women in Society and Literature (University Press Limited, Dhaka, 1996). She is a contributing editor for Feminist Review, for which she has edited a special issue entitled South Asian Feminisms: Negotiating New Terrains. (March 2009). She has edited a book entitled Complex Terrains: Islam, Culture and Women in Asia (Routledge, March 2013) and co-edited several books including Infinite Variety: Women in Society and Literature (UPL, 1994) and Other Englishes: Essays on Commonwealth Writing (UPL, 1991). She is a member of the editorial board of Journal of Inter-Asia Cultural Studies as well as a member of the Board of the Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Society. Her current work is based on research and writing around the cultural history of women in Bangladesh.



Sundar Sarukkai 

Professor Sarukkai teaches Philosophy at the National Institute of Advanced Sciences in Bengaluru, India. His research interests are in histories of, conceptions of, and philosophies surrounding science in South Asia. and He has collaborated on such projects such as "Cosmopolitanism and the Local in Science and Nature, East and West," and was on the advisory board of the "Egalitarianism Project." He was the recipient of the PHISPC Fellowship from September 2003 to November 2004 and was a Homi K. Bhabha fellow from June 1997 - May 1999. 


Contact Information 

Organizing Team: 

Irene HildenLucy Gasser,  Anna von Rath,  Sikho Siyotula,  Praveen Sewgobind,  Oduor Obura,  Sara Morais dos Santos Bruss,  Zairong Xiang 


Delhi Winter School Organizing Team

University of Potsdam

Campus Neues Palais, Bld. 2

Am Neuen Palais 10

14469 Potsdam


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