‘A Continual and Almost Exclusive Correspondence’: Philip Mazzei’s Cosmopolitan Citizenship

  • Chiara Cillerai
Part of the The New Urban Atlantic book series (NUA)


This chapter considers the intersection among epistolarity, cosmopolitan rhetoric, and national identity. Cillerai shows how cosmopolitanism offered a language to those who lived in the transatlantic world to understand their position in their worlds. For early American writers whose physical mobility reflects the mobility of the colonial world to become American often meant to be a citizen of the world. In Mazzei’s case, Cillerai shows, cosmopolitanism helps to dismantle some of the universalizing notions that elitist forms of cosmopolitanism were fostering. Mazzei resists the notion that the citizen of the world is supranational, instead he represents an American ideal of citizenship using cosmopolitanism as his model. Mazzei’s representation of citizenship in transnational terms stands in stark contrast to the nascent nationalistic impulses that characterize this historical period.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.St. John’s UniversityStaten IslandUSA

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