03rdMar2015

Workshop: Canonization of “Cultural Saints”

28-30 October, University of Amsterdam

The workshop Canonization of “Cultural Saints”: Commemorative Cults of Artists and Nation-Building in Europe, convened by Marijan Dović (Institute of Literature ZRC SAZU, Ljubljana) and SPIN, aims to identify and describe patterns in the nationally-motivated veneration of poets, writers, composers, and intellectuals in post-1789 Europe.

The rise and rapid spread of such practices, especially as of the 1840s, should be understood within the framework of cultural nationalism. The considerable variety of this cultural commemoration, veneration, and “hero-worship” (Thomas Carlyle’s term) can be encompassed on the basis of an expanded concept of canonization (referring both to the acknowledgement of cultural prestige and durability, and to para-religious rituals of pious commemoration) in the context of newly emerging “imagined” communities and their (collective) cultural memory. 

Following on from earlier research on “cultural saints” in Europe, this workshop aims to reappraise the continuous veneration of canonical figures as part of the European nation-building process, especially in those smaller cultural communities who drew their sense of identity primarily from language and literature. Our working hypothesis is that para-religious elements (which characterize national movements as forms of “secular religion”) were instrumental in this process especially from the mid-nineteenth century to the beginning of the World War II. We aim to circumscribe the heuristic value of the metaphor of sanctitude through discussions of the relevant concepts (canonization, worship, rituals, relics) and the analysis of paradigmatic cases (“national poets” and other “cultural saints”) from a number of European literary cultures – from Iceland to Georgia and from Spanish Galicia to Estonia.

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03rdOct2017

Book version of the Encyclopedia in production

The book version of the Encyclopedia of Romantic Nationalism in Europe is in production now with Amsterdam University Press.

The 1400 articles will be presented in a two-volume format with an extensive introduction on Romantic Nationalism, and accompanied by ca. 150 illustrations and indexes. Innovative design captures the intricate cross-referencing structure from the hyperlnks on the web version, while the book format affords an instant overview and browsable, haptic access to the complete Europe-wide coverage of cultural currents and nodal personalities.[....]

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27thSep2017

"The Rhine: National tensions, Romantic visions" now out

Edited by Manfred Beller and Joep Leerssen, and the fruit of a series of SPIN workshops, the book has appeared in Brill’s European Studies series. One of the first English-langage historical surveys of the transnational, especially German-French entanglements and confrontations over this European geographical and cultural core region, brings together eminent literary and cultural specialists and present materials and analyses from various perspectives – literature, tourism, heritage, geopolitics.

Of all European landscapes and regions, the Rhine is one of the most heavily overlaid with cultural and political meaning. Cradle of Romanticism, tourism, and the picturesque, bone of contention between the German and French spheres of cultural and geopolitical influence, the Rhine has attracted armies, artists, activists and tourists for centuries and has featured prominently the key writings of Europe’s literary and intellectual history from Byron to Lucien Febvre.[....]

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06thFeb2017

International conference CULTURAL MOBILIZATION

Amsterdam, 19-22 September 2018 – Call for Papers

A major international conference on Cultural mobilization: Cultural consciousness-raising and national movements in Europe and the world will be held in Amsterdam between 19 and 22 September 2018. The conference is organized by SPIN in association with NISE (Antwerp) and ASEN (London). Proposals for papers or panels can be submitted until 30 November 2017.[....]

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