The course examines nationalism in current political and cultural context and in relation to present social developments of globalization, migration and the rise of the far-right and populism. Students are introduced to theoretical approaches for studying new nationalism and are invited to process sociological and anthropological case studies investigating the topic in various institutional and mundane environments. The course is asking how old contents related to nationhood and nationalism are produced and spread in new forms in politics and popular culture while they are generating new social meanings. A special attention will be given to institutions, political and cultural elites who play a major role in constructing new discourses of the nation and seek power through control of people’s cultural identities and collective memories. The course also emphasizes the everyday; the banal and mundane forms of nationalism have recently appeared in works of sociologists and anthropologists. Thus the “view from above” will be complemented with a “view from bellow” by investigating the meanings that various social groups give to and the uses they make of myths and symbols of neo-nationalism. The course also offers a conceptual framework grounded in anthropology and linguistics to understand the discursive realization of the nation. The course emphasizes the structural and cultural explanations of how the local responsiveness to nationalism can be explained by social resentments and anxieties of the people living in different European (semi)peripheries.
- Teacher: Margit Feischmidt