International conference CULTURAL MOBILIZATION

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Amsterdam, 19-21 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).

Nationalism relies intensely on cultural consciousness-raising. Post-1789 states increasingly invoke the national culture they claim to incorporate; national movements assert their rights within or against the state by defining their identity in cultural terms (language, ethnicity, collective memory); cultural production (literature, the arts, music) and knowledge production (philology, folklore, history-writing) invoke, indeed often construct, the nation’s cultural identity.
That state institutions or political activists instrumentalize cultural notions of collective identity for propaganda purposes, is well known; but the “cultivation of culture” is more than a passive propaganda tool: it is a broadly-based social praxis, involving both cultural production and knowledge production, carried by artists and intellectuals, with its own inner dynamics, social agency and mobilizing power.
The artistic and intellectual undercurrents of cultural nationalism, its intermedial entanglements and transnational diffusion, have been studied as part of the modernizing dynamics of, specifically, 19th-century Europe. On that basis, the conference proposed here aims to broaden the scope in two directions:
[1] How did cultural nationalism exercise its agency for social or political mobilization? How to analyse the relationship between political and cultural nationalism if we trace causality and agency from cultural practices into politics?
[2] To what extent is this cultural mobilization peculiar to Europe? What parallels, interactions or differences were there with nationalism and national movements in the wider world?

Possible fields of attention:
Historical cases of culturally triggered or motivated activism; cultural producers and knowledge producers as a conduit between ‘elites’ and ‘masses’; the European and global networks of cultural producers and knowledge producers; colonial nationalism ; cultural activism in anti-imperialism and anticolonialism; (non-)European empires and their multi-ethnicity; theory of culture-political relations; Bengal Renaissance; Pan-Africanism; Meiji Japan; Turanism; indigenous rights movements.
Papers/panels with a comparative/transnational scope will be particularly welcome.

Please address proposals for papers or panels to SPIN (SPIN@uva.nl) before 30 November.

Latest Blog Posts

Bibliography of Romantic Nationalism now online

A searchable Bibliography of Romantic Nationalism has come online on the ERNiE website (ernie.uva.nl). At present it contains 4700 titles; we shall be expanding it further in the months ahead. Like ERNiE itself, the bibliography is in the form of an online database. It is searchable by cultural community and/or by cultural current, or browsable by keyword, allowing users to filter for specific subsets that are useful for their research interests.
Clicking a title in the bibliographical list brings up a publication’s full data in formatted form, and allows you to identify (under the "references" tab) to which ERNiE article(s) this publication is linked.
The Bibliography also includes two newly added features:

  • a sorting button allows you to sort the search results list according to your preferences (using author, year, cultural current and/or cultural community as primary, secondary etc.sorting criteria)
  • a download button will export the search results in .ODT format - a formatted text file format which can be openend in all current word processing software on all operating systems.
  • Full instructions are in the ERNiE Users’ Manual on this site.

We have given the Bibliography its own URL, which we hope the research community will find useful: http://biblio.ernie.uva.nl
We are grateful for suggestions for completing the bibliography’s coverage. Please use the feedback form on this site.

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CfP conference "Religious Dimensions of Nationalism", Venice, November 2020

SPIN will co-organize a conference on “Religious Dimensions of Nationalism: Interdisciplinary Perspectives”, to be held 26-28 November 2020 in Venice at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini. Nationalism and religion are deeply entangled, not only in the crossover field of “political / secular religion” but by way of charismatic leadership, prophetism, messianism, millennialism, and more generally mysticism, esotericism and alternative spirituality. The concept of a divine covenant with a “chosen people” takes new shapes in nationalist, but also imperialist and colonialist, discourses. And the global spread of nationalism, and its role in the decolonization process, is often far from merely secular; indeed alliances with religious fundamentalism are now a prominent feature.
The conference aims at bringing together scholars coming from different disciplines who are interested in this entangled relationship. The full Call for Papers is online here.

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