Abstract

This article about claims to "common human rights" made by Chinese colonists in Australia in the nineteenth century argues in favor of cosmopolitanism as both historical practice and subject of historical inquiry. It seeks to challenge the conventional Eurocentric—or North Atlantic—account of the history of human rights by pointing to arguments for racial equality advanced by Chinese political activists who forged an alternative tradition of human rights claims, articulated at the postwar conferences at Versailles in 1919 and Dumbarton Oaks in 1944. By investigating the ways in which Chinese Australians invoked the idea of "cosmopolitan friendship and sympathy" when responding to racial discrimination, we can uncover the multiple histories of cosmopolitanism as well as the advantages of a more cosmopolitan historical method.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-8050
Print ISSN
1045-6007
Pages
pp. 375-392
Launched on MUSE
2010-11-06
Open Access
No
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