Is London cosmopolitan—or mongrel? UEL professor asks

12:49 04 February 2014


UEL's emeritus professor Mica Nava


A university professor from east London has been talking openly about our diverse and mixed society being regarded as “cosmopolitan or mongrel”.

Mica Nava, Emeritus Cultural Studies Professor at the University of East London, described her speech at this year’s influential TedxEastEnd conference as “challenging”.

Her talk called ‘Multicultural, Superdiverse, Cosmopolitan or Mongrel’ explored the different terms used to describe London today, where one-in-three of the population was born abroad and 300 languages are spoken in schools.

“It was more like a performance than delivering an academic paper,” she admitted. “My talk was streamed live and widely distributed, so it was quite demanding.”

The conference on ‘Society Beyond Borders’ was about ideas to change the world and share knowledge across frontiers. The 15 speakers included the BBC’s home editor Mark Easton, human rights activist Peter Tatchell and Everyday Sexism project founder Laura Bates.


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