Imagined Cosmopolitanism in Salman Rushdie's Fiction

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds


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Description The main aim of the ESRC-funded project 'Imagined Cosmopolitanism in Salman Rushdie's Fiction' was the provide the ESRC Visiting Fellow, Dr Yael Maurer (University of Tel Aviv), with a short period of sustained independent research, based at the University of Leeds under the supervision of the principal investigator, Prof. Graham Huggan, for a monograph on the idea of 'imagined cosmopolitanism' in Salman Rushdie's work. 'Imagined cosmopolitanism' is understood here as the means by which Rushdie interrogates political and ethical dilemmas in a fictional space that is not outside or beyond politics, but rather exists alongside the actual political events that the fiction relates. Good progress was made on the book, though mainly at the level of primary research rather than actual writing, and during the course of this research it became clear that a clearer focus would be needed needed for the analysis, e.g. the link between imagined cosmopolitanism and the science-fiction aspects--in which fantasy informs reality--of Rushdie's work. The main breakthrough was thus the discovery of the importance of science fiction as a primary vehicle for Rushdie's imagined cosmpolitanism, with SF's 'planetary' imaginary providing a possible solution, however provisional or aspirational, to the 'earthly' conflicts addressed in Rushdie's work. The research generated contributed directly or indirectly to three outputs, two articles in academic journals and a monograph, The Science Fiction Dimensions of Salman Rushdie, which came out with McFarland Press earlier this year (2014). Other project outcomes included two public lectures at the Universities of York and Leicester, both given during the tenure of the award.
Exploitation Route The Fellow's work will have most impact within academic settings, ie as a relatively new approach (hers will be the first book of its kind) to Rushdie's fiction. Non-academic user groups are unlikely for this book, though the project has also been used to create a platform for collaboration between the Fellow's home university (Tel Aviv) and her host university (Leeds) within a different, broadly environmental, area - an area sure to attract public attention in both Israel and beyond. The monograph generated represents a significant advance in understanding of a major author's work.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Security and Diplomacy

Description It is still too early to know what effect Yael Maurer's research on Rushdie will have, though this is likely to be restricted to the academic community
Description Postcolonial ecology 
Organisation Tel Aviv University
Country Israel 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Facilitated by the ESRC Fellow (Dr Maurer) and her mentor, the principal investigator (Prof Huggan), a new collaboration has been formed between their respective universities, Tel Aviv University and the University of Leeds. The likely theme of the collaboration will be postcolonial ecology. The collaboration will also likely include the Universities of York and Sheffield, which are partners in a current White Rose funded network led by the principal investigator.
Start Year 2012