, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 303-310
Date: 30 Mar 2010

Review of Sharon Todd, Toward an Imperfect Education: Facing Humanity, Rethinking Cosmopolitanism

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Sharon Todd’s new book Toward an Imperfect Education: Facing Humanity, Rethinking Cosmopolitanism (Todd 2009) brings together a stunning array of thinkers to bear on an equally far-reaching constellation of concepts; to name a few, cosmopolitanism, education, human rights, democracy, and justice. She challenges calls to recognize our shared humanity—a version of humanity based on a limited perspective of what it means to be human. She criticizes the foundation of versions of cosmopolitanism that depend on a universalist stance that others are much like us. Well established as a scholar of Emmanuel Levinas, Todd continues in this tradition by asserting the primacy of the other in any theory of coexistence, including cosmopolitanism.

Cosmopolitanism Re-imagined Through Sexual Difference

Cosmopolitanism and human rights education, on Todd’s account, are caught in the sticky web of universalism that makes it impossible to do anything but assimilate the other, even when operating from a seemi