Cosmopolitanism at home: Amitav Ghosh's the shadow lines

Shameem Black*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


What does it mean to be at home in the world? This essay explores how modern cosmopolitanism might paradoxically emerge through an embrace of domesticity and kinship. I argue that cosmopolitanism should be less invested in a traditional idea of feeling "at home" in the world and more committed to recognizing "the world" through the home. As Amitav Ghosh's fiction illuminates the intimacy between the familial and the foreign, his work suggests that a robust cosmopolitan sensibility requires close attention to the energies of domestic life. As Ghosh's work teaches us to understand the home and the world as collaborative rather than competing realities, his concern for home enables a contemporary cosmopolitanism that critiques masculinist and imperialist visions of world citizenship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-65
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Commonwealth Literature
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


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