VERNACULAR COSMOPOLITANISM IN POSTMILLENNIAL BRITISH FICTION

2021-7-1
Toprak Sakız, Elif
Handling the world as a whole with its collective problems has become a matter of considerable concern for social, cultural and literary studies with the turn of the millennium. The first two decades of the twenty-first century have witnessed a renewal of attention to cosmopolitanism and its gradual transformation, especially since the global financial crisis of 2008. It is from this vantage point that this dissertation looks at British cosmopolitan fiction and its features, arguing that postmillennial cosmopolitan fiction is able to reflect these evolutionary changes in the definition of cosmopolitanism. Departing from universalist ideals of cosmopolitan thought, this thesis adopts particularist or local senses of the concept, which can be subsumed under the term vernacular cosmopolitanism, which is elaborated within the scope of this study so as to demonstrate its validity as a term that is able to display postmillennial British fiction’s thematic and aesthetic aspects. With a view to contemporary theories of cosmopolitanism not only in the field of Anglophone literature but also in other disciplines, this study suggests new perspectives on how to read cosmopolitan fiction and, to this end, creates a theoretical framework with a number of definitions and tools that can be employed analytically. This thesis also examines, with recourse to this framework, three postmillennial British novels that can well-deservedly be categorized as cosmopolitan: Ian McEwan’s Saturday (2005), Zadie Smith’s NW (2012) and Salman Rushdie’s The Golden House (2017), which make visible the transition from universalism to particularism through their versions of vernacular cosmopolitanism.
Citation Formats
E. Toprak Sakız, “VERNACULAR COSMOPOLITANISM IN POSTMILLENNIAL BRITISH FICTION,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2021.