This essay is an inquiry into the cultural domestication of globally circulating objects and symbols before colonialism. It seeks to reveal the efficacy of cross-societal performances of similarity—a strategy of appeal that I call similitude—by demonstrating how the strategic uses of imported consumer goods and cultural symbols by the people of Mutsamudu in the Comoros Islands affected British relationships to Mutsamuduans. Islanders adopted the materiality and social discourses of English gentility and through these claimed a moral proximity to the English, which they in turn used to leverage appeals for material and military assistance. By exploring the case of Mutsamuduan strategies of Englishness, we can better appreciate how cultural appropriations in even seemingly marginal locales have historically affected global interrelations.
This article provides a narrative of the rise and fall of two global cities, imperial Ottoman Salonica and nationalist Turkish Istanbul, as well as the experience of a marginal religious group known as the Dönme, descendants of seventeenth-century Jewish converts to Islam who formed a distinctive group of Muslims in both cities, and the interrupted trajectories of indigenous globalization. It argues that at the turn of the twentieth century, indigenous religious groups with transregional connections created alternate nodes of long-since forgotten globalization in marginal spaces at the fringes of empire, but that nation-states that replaced empire limited their abilities by controlling the flow of finance and people, making their resources useless in provincialized global cities. This article thus explains why the globalizing economic and cosmopolitan cultural role of the Dönme should have a place in debates on the global city.
This article explores how modernity and globalization unfolded in the neighboring cities of Jaffa and Tel Aviv during the long twentieth century. Each city was the cultural and economic capital of its respective national community, because of which they were in continual contact and conflict in a manner that often muddied the nationalistically determined boundaries between them. I explore how, beginning with Tel Aviv's establishment in 1909, Zionist leaders deployed a narrative of progress and modernity versus tradition and stagnation to effect a discursive, and ultimately a physical, erasure of the Palestinian Arab population of the region surrounding both towns. I argue that such paradigms, and the ideologies that support them, are fundamental components of globalization, whether in the era of "high imperialism" when Jaffa and Tel Aviv's conflict began, or today. Next I move to the contemporary period and explore the intersection of globalization, tourism, and the liberalized market. I conclude by discussing how a "spatialization" of the contemporary Jaffa is crucial to understanding the continuing conflict between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs, both within the borders of 1967 Israel and across the Green Line as well.
Shanghai is routinely described as "unique," yet also routinely likened to other places. It thus alternately invites and defies categorization. After introducing general methodological concerns and providing basic information about the main historical stages through which Shanghai has passed, this article focuses on the period of rapid development and re-engagement with the world that began in the early 1980s, arguing that a particularly productive way to think about today's Shanghai is as a "reglobalizing postsocialist" urban center—a category that also, for example, includes Budapest.