Toward an Imperfect Education: Facing Humanity, Rethinking Cosmopolitanism

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The theory of cosmopolitanism is built on a paradoxical commitment to a universal idea of humanity. Todd persuasively argues that facing humanity in all its complexity and imperfection ought to be a central element of the cosmopolitan project to create a more just and humane education. Informed primarily by poststructural philosophy and feminist theory, she focuses on how sexual, cultural, and religious differences intersect with universal claims made in the name of humanity. Individual chapters develop a novel framework for dealing with antagonism in relation to human rights, democracy, citizenship, and cross-cultural understanding.

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Meet the Author

Sharon Todd is Professor of Education at Stockholm University and Mälardalen University. She is author most recently of Learning from the Other: Levinas, Psychoanalysis, and Ethical Possibilities in Education (SUNY Press, 2003).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Prologue: Education and an Imperfect Garden 1

Chapter 1 Facing Humanity: Crisis and Inevitability 7

Chapter 2 Rethinking Cosmopolitanism Along the Fault Lines of a Divided Modernity 23

Chapter 3 Not Just for Myself: Questioning the Subject of Human Rights 51

Chapter 4 Promoting a Just Education: Dilemmas of Rights, Freedom, and Justice 66

Chapter 5 Whose Rights? Whose Freedom? 78

Chapter 6 Educating Beyond Consensus: Facing Cross-Cultural Conflict as Radical Democratic Possibility 98

Chapter 7 Educating the Sexed Citizen: Irigaray and the Promise of a Humanity That Is Yet to Come 117

Chapter 8 Teachers Judging Without Scripts, or Thinking Cosmopolitan 138

Epilogue: Toward an Imperfect Education 152

References 156

Index 165

About the Author 169

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