Everyday Nationhood Symposium

ASEN and the School of Political, Social and International Studies, University of East Anglia, and the Department of Politics, Birkbeck, University of London, are pleased to be organising Everyday Nationhood, a one-day symposium to examine the contribution of Michael Billig's study of Banal Nationalism.

The symposium will take place on Monday, 8th September 2014, at Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX.

A provisional programme is available|.

Published in 1995, Michael Billig’s Banal Nationalism is the fourth most cited text on nationalism and arguably the most influential book on the topic in the last two decades. Focusing on contemporary and everyday expressions of nationhood, the study marked a profound shift away from previous attempts to map the transformation to an era of nations and the association of nationalism with political violence, civil conflict and extremist movements.

Billig’s arguments have been picked up by scholars working in an impressive range of disciplines as part of the recent turn to the ‘everyday’, and the term ‘banal’ has come to form a short hand for the study of the ways in which particular representations, forms of social organisation and cultural practice become normalised and taken-for-granted.

This one-day symposium will look to assess the contribution of the Banal Nationalism thesis, examine its application across disciplines and settings, and ask where studies of nation, social identities and everyday life might be headed over the next two decades. The event will feature a keynote address by Professor Craig Calhoun (Director of the LSE) one of the leading theorists of nationalism, cosmopolitanism and social identity in the contemporary era.

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