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February 29, 2024

Global Histories of Coexistence

Pankaj Mishra in Conversation with Mohsin Hamid, Ranjit Hoskote, and Ece Temelkuran

Event Series: Global Dialogues Webinars

Showing the Global Histories of Coexistence Video

This was the first of three webinars in advance of the Georgetown Global Dialogues (GGD). In conversations with GGD fellows and other leading thinkers, Pankaj Mishra explored some of the questions we will be addressing on campus in April in their wider historical context.

Many of today's global divides along national, ideological, cultural, religious, racial, and ideological lines have deep historical roots. At the same time, history reveals many periods of constructive coexistence—from Al-Andalus in Iberia to phases of the Ottoman and Mughal empires, and beyond. A better understanding of the historical dynamics of coexistence can help us think through and cope with the deep divisions in our contemporary world.

What have been the preconditions for constructive coexistence in the past? Do different world regions hold different historical lessons? Can we draw on historical experience—as well as the resources of our diverse traditions—to imagine and implement effective and peaceful ways to deal with inevitable differences on a global scale? Mohsid Hamid, Ranjit Hoskote, and Ece Temelkuran reflected on these questions in an online conversation moderated by Pankaj Mishra.


Headshot of Mohsid Hamid.

Mohsin Hamid

Mohsin Hamid is an acclaimed British Pakistani author known for creative fiction and commentary that address contemporary global issues. His recent novels include The Last White Man (2022) and Exit West (2017), which received the 2017 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction. His book The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007) was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and later adapted into a successful film. Hamid’s engagement with themes of political turmoil, cultural displacement, and shifting individual and collective identities informs his influential essays on contemporary affairs in leading outlets including The GuardianThe New York Times, and The Paris Review.

Headshot of Ranjit Hoskote.

Ranjit Hoskote

Ranjit Hoskote is an Indian poet, theorist, and curator whose influential work centers on the complex history and presence of cultural pluralism from the local to the global. He has authored eight books of poetry—including Icelight (2022), Jonahwhale (2018), and a translation of a fourteenth-century Kashmiri mystic-poet, I, Lalla: The Poems of Lal Dĕd (2011)—and the acclaimed book Confluences: Forgotten Histories between East and West (2012, with Ilija Trojanow). Hoskote has curated more than 50 showcases of Indian and global art over the past three decades, including India’s first national pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

Headshot of Ece Temelkuran.

Ece Temelkuran

Ece Temelkuran is a Turkish novelist, a political thinker, and a leading analyst of the erosion of democracy and the challenge of populism on a global scale. She is the author of Together: 10 Choices for a Better Now (2021) as well as the acclaimed How to Lose a Country: The Seven Steps from Democracy to Dictatorship (2019). Her novels are published in several languages. A frequent contributor to The GuardianThe New York TimesLe Monde, and other leading outlets, she is the recipient of the PEN Translates Award and the Freedom of Thought Award from the Human Rights Association of Turkey. In 2023 she received the El Mundo Award for her body of work.

Headshot of Pankaj Mishra.

Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra (moderator) is a renowned Indian author, essayist, and literary critic with a global readership. Two of his prize-winning books, From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals who Remade Asia (2012) and Age of Anger: A History of the Present (2017), explore the history of colonialism and its enduring legacies in our contemporary global era. Mishra is also the author of two critically acclaimed novels: The Romantics (1999) and Run and Hide (2022). His columns and essays have appeared in The GuardianThe New York TimesThe New YorkerThe New York Review of Books, and the London Review of Books, among other outlets. Mishra is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.