The editors and writers of Cosmopolis had already put this idea into practice: a significant number of contributors wrote in a language that was not their own, while those who did write in their own language addressed a non-native audience. The geopolitical implications of this multilingual approach come to the fore most emphatically in a case of pseudo-translation that deals with the case of Alsace-Lorraine. More subtly, the periodical creates echoes and reverberations between articles on international politics and works of literature. Through these translational practices, Cosmopolis was designed to foster a ‘diplomatic’ form of cosmopolitanism, a fact highlighted by the diplomatic credentials of a number of contributors, including the main editor, and thematised in short stories by Joseph Conrad and Henry James.
Marc Redfield gave the Geoffrey Hartman Memorial Lecture, in which he examined the story of the shibboleth test in Judges 12-13, and considered the ways in which Paul Celan displaces and rewrites this heritage in his poems “Schibboleth” and “In Eins."
Santanu Das focused on the South Asian experience in France, Mesopotamia and Germany and, in a moving way, examined its sensuous and emotional texture.