Terri Tomsky is a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow. Her research project theorizes the interplay of cosmopolitanism and abjection within the context of global terrorism. Her essays on cultural memory, trauma, and postcolonial studies have appeared in The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, Life Writing, Canadian Literature, Parallax, and a Palgrave Macmillan book collection on Transcultural Memory. She is currently revising a book manuscript on “Partition Trauma” which examines the dissolution of Yugoslavia and the break up of India. Her project is working in the Place, Belonging, and Otherness Research Theme.

Abject Cosmopolitans: Global Relations in the Age of Terror

Faculty of Arts, Department of English and Film Studies

"Abject Cosmopolitans: Global Relations in an Age of Terror" examines cultural representations of the unlawful enemy combatant. Specifically, the project reconsiders the phenomenon of the enemy combatant within the larger historical framework of cosmopolitanism and abjection. It argues that the "enemy combatant" is better understood as a cosmopolitan figure, one whose status cannot adequately be assessed without taking into account earlier forms of exclusion. The project traces a tracing of historical genealogy of other "abject cosmopolitans" - those individuals who have become cosmopolitan through their experience of abjection and global displacement. In contrast to these voiceless cosmopolitan subjects, such as refugees, trafficked women, and slaves, the "abject cosmopolitan" is a figure that responds to abjection by adopting ideas more typically associated with discourses of international egalitarianism. Engaging such figures, "Abject Cosmopolitans" shows the complexity of cosmopolitanism, a discourse that has much to do with radical detachment as with widening attachments.