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Judith R. Walkowitz
Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD 21218-2625)
Cosmopolitan London, 1880-1945

"Cosmopolitan London, 1880-1945" makes an historically-grounded contribution to current debates on cosmopolitanism's pleasures and woes. This study tracks the changing political and cultural fortunes of Soho in London's West End, as it transmuted from a dingy, foreign enclave into a highly commodified center of culinary and cultural tourism. Soho was a site of colliding cosmopolitanisms of hedonistic pleasures and exploited labor, a place apart but also a key locus of social mingling. Its clothing stalls, restaurants, and nightspots attracted urban adventurers eager to "see life," but they also became staging grounds for divisive internationalist and nationalist politics. While promoting tolerance and innovative cultural exchange, Soho's commercial venues simultaneously fostered exploitation, diasporic tensions, and social segregation. The project addresses humanistic questions of multiculturalism and globalization, as they intersect with gender and sexuality.

Project fields:
British History

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2009 – 6/30/2010