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2007-2008 Seminar Series

Pan-Nationalism Based Upon a Standard Language: The Cases of German, Turkish, and Arabic
|Prof. John Myhill, Wednesday May 14th 2008, LSE, Room H103, Connaught House.

Constructing national identities - Banknotes in Central and Eastern Europe in the 1990s
|Prof. Tim Unwin, Wednesday 5 March 2008, LSE, Room H101, Connaught House.

The Rise of Nationalism in Turkey during the EU Accession Process|
Prof. Sami Zubaida, Dr. Can Dundar and Dr. Welat Zeydanlioglu, February 6 2008, LSE Room D502.

Visualising Nationhood - A Grand Theory of National Identity|
Dr. Eric Kaufman, Wednesday 30 January 2008, LSE, Room D206, Clement House.

Ghana @ 50: Ethnicity, Nationalism and the Golden Jubilee
|Dr. Michael Amoah, Wednesday 5 December 2007, Room D306.

South Africa- Exceptions, Challenges and Opportunities
|Professor John Rex and Professor Jack E Spence, Tuesday 27 November 2007, Room H102, Connaught House.

Genocide, Nationalism and the Nation State
|Philip J Spencer, Wednesday 21 November 2007, D306.

National identity and European integration in Central and Eastern Europe|
Mikko Heikinheimo, Wednesday 14 November 2007, D602.

Garibaldi: the patriot as global hero
|Professor Lucy Riall, Wednesday 24 October 2007, New Theatre, East Building.

 

Pan-Nationalism Based Upon a Standard Language: The Cases of German, Turkish, and Arabic

Speaker: Prof. John Myhill (University of Haifa)
Date: Wednesday May 14th 2008
Time: 6.00pm
Location: Room H103, Connaught House, LSE
Abstract: There have been only three cases of nationalities constituted on the basis of a common standard language but without a common spoken language, religious affiliation, or state, these being the Germans (between the Confederation Period and 1945), the Turks (during the Young Turk period (1908-18)), and the Arabs (since the interwar period). The languages which united each of these groups were collections of radically diverse dialects constructed as being single languages through the use of common standards. The purpose of constructing such artificial nationalities 'in effect pan-nationalities in disguise' was the maintenance, reconfiguration, or resurrection of a pre-modern multinational empire along modern language-based national lines. These groups have been supremely unstable, as the pursuit of their national goals has led them to develop convoluted and dangerous racial and religious ideologies, to initiate catastrophic wars, and to perpetrate genocide on an enormous scale.
Speaker Biography: John Myhill is a linguist in the English Department at the University of Haifa. He has been living in Israel since 1995. He has a Ph.D. in linguistics From the University of Pennsylvania (1984) and has written extensively on the Connection between language and nationalism. His two most recent books are Language in Jewish Society (Multilingual Matters 2004) and Language, Religion, and National Identity in Europe and the Middle East (John Benjamins 2006).

 

Constructing national identities - Banknotes in Central and Eastern Europe in the 1990s

Speaker: Prof. Tim Unwin (Royal Holloway)
Date: Wednesday 5 March 2008
Time: 6.00pm
Location: Room H101, Connaught House, LSE
Abstract: The collapse of Soviet power in the late 1980s unleashed a diverse range of nationalist interests in central and eastern Europe during the 1990s. Almost two decades after these dramatic events, it is not easy to recapture something of the energy, dynamism and challenges associated with the shaping of new political, economic and social identities that were emerging in the region at this time. This paper reflects back on a British Academy funded project during the late 1990s that analyzed banknotes as expressions of these identities, and explores something of the relevance that they continue to have in shaping contemporary understandings of these places. The research combined innovative analysis of banknote imagery, and interviews with politicians, bankers, graphic artists and designers, and was undertaken in collaboration with the then curator of paper money at the British Museum, Virginia Hewitt. Tim Unwin is UNESCO Chair in ICT4D and Professor of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London.


 

The Rise of Nationalism in Turkey during the EU Accession Process

Speakers: Prof. Sami Zubaida, Dr. Can Dundar and Dr. Welat Zeydanlioglu
Date: Wednesday February 6 2008
Time:  6.00pm
Location: Room D502 Clement House LSE
Speaker Biography (a): Prof. Sami Zubaida is an Emeritus Professor of Politics and Sociology at Birkbeck College, University of London. Research interests include Middle East Politics, Religion and Law, coupled with Nationalism.
Speaker Biography (b): Dr. Can Dundar was born in 1961 in Ankara. He graduated from the Media Department of the Ankara University. He was awarded his doctorate in 1996 by the Middle East Technical University. He has been working as a journalist since 1979. He is a current affairs columnist in Milliyet (newspaper). In addition, he has a TV programme on NTV (a Turkish television channel). He has also written several books and been involved in the production of many documentaries.
Speaker Biography (c): Dr. Welat Zeydanlioglu completed his PhD in Cultural Studies at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge in August 2007, titled 'Kemalism's Others: The Reproduction of Orientalism in Turkey'. He is a founding member of the Research Unit for Intercultural and Transcultural Studies (RUITS) at the same university. His main research interests and publications are in the area of postcolonial theory, politics of nation-building and modern Turkish and Kurdish history.

 

Visualising Nationhood - A Grand Theory of National Identity

Speaker: Dr. Eric Kaufman (Birkbeck Collage)
Date: Wednesday 30 January 2008
Time:  6.00pm 
Location: Room D206, Clement House, LSE
Speaker Biography: Eric Kaufman is a Reader in Politics and Sociology in Birkbeck Collage. His main research focus is on issues of national identity and ethnic conflict, with other interests in cosmopolitanism and globalization, demographics and politics, politics and society in Northern Ireland, US/Canadian politics, and social capital/social change. He is author of The Rise and Fall of Anglo-America: the decline of dominant ethnicity in the United States (2004), editor of Rethinking Ethnicity: Majority Groups and Dominant Minorities (2004).

 

Ghana @ 50: Ethnicity, Nationalism and the Golden Jubilee

Speaker: Dr Michael Amoah
Chair: Harcourt Fuller and Barak Levy
Date: Wednesday 5 December 2007
Time: 6:30pm - 8pm
Location: D306

Abstract: The established theories and debates on nationalism were formed in the twin crucibles of Eighteenth-century Europe and America, and continue to be informed by that heritage. This seminar will challenge some of the key principles that underlie the current debates on nationalism by exploring in depth the experience of multinational states in Africa. Taking Ghana as a case study, Michael Amoah introduces and develops two important new contributions to the theoretical tapestry of nationalism -the 'Rationalisation of Nationalism' and 'Reconstructing the Nation', concepts that should have wide use and currency in the broader discussion of the national phenomenon. In his book, Reconstructing the Nation in Africa, Michael Amoah argues that the nationhood of Ghana is not rooted in modernity as is generally thought, and attempts to show by analysis of the microbehaviour of its population that traditional views on the viability of the multinational state do not necessarily hold true for modern-day Africa. His book also introduces the microstudy of nationalism.
Speaker Biography: Michael Amoah obtained his doctorate from Middlesex University where he lectured from January 2003 to June 2004. Among other things, he has interests in Theories of Nationalism and the International Politics of Africa. He is currently a Research Fellow at The Open University, a member of ASEN, and Chatham House - The Royal Institute of International Affairs.

 

South Africa- Exceptions, Challenges and Opportunities

Speaker: Professor John Rex and Professor Jack E Spence
Date: Tuesday 27 November 2007
Time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: Room H102, Connaught House, LSE

Abstract: The system of White Supremacy loosely and misleadingly referred to as 'Apartheid' has ended. Power and privilege are no longer accorded on the basis of skin colour. This is itself a matter for rejoicing. In this seminar, Professors John Rex and J.E. Spence will debate the socio-economic and political issues affecting 'The Rainbow Nation', i.e. South Africa, and to analyse the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and the threats that confront the Republic. These issues include the pre-eminence of the New Nation, where some members of non-white ethnicities now enjoy unprecedented wealth and show mutual respect for one another; the violent crime wave, which some may see as a more direct form of wealth redistribution; high unemployment and lack of jobs; the H.I.V.-Aids pandemic and its threat to governmental economic planning; and the conversion of the once Communist ANC into a party of capitalists.
Speaker Biography: Professor John Rex has taught and carried out research in sociological theory and ethnic relations since his arrival from South Africa in 1949. He founded the departments of Sociology at Durham in 1964 and Warwick in 1970. He was a member of the UNESCO Committee of experts on the nature of race and race prejudice in 1967 and was president of the International Sociological Associations' Research Committee on racial and ethnic minorities.

Professor Jack E. Spence is Visiting professor, Department of War Studies, King’s College, London; academic adviser to the Royal college of Defense Studies, London; and associate Fellow, Chatham House. Former chair of the ASEN advisory council. He was a Special adviser to the House of Commons Foreign affairs committee enquiry into South Africa (2003-2004).

 

Genocide, Nationalism and the Nation State

Speaker: Philip J Spencer
Chair: Harcourt Fuller and Barak Levy
Date: Wednesday 21 November 2007
Time: 6:00pm - 7.30pm
Location: D306

Abstract: It is now over half a century since the Genocide Convention was passed which committed the international community to intervene where genocide threatened or was occurring. Since then there have been several cases of genocide but on (almost) every occasion there has been no such intervention. A number of different explanations have been given for why genocide occurs and continues to do so but relatively attention to any connection between such reasons and the repeated failure to intervene. Drawing on some of the more critical literature on nationalism that has emerged in recent years, this paper suggests that a link may be found in the hegemonic grip of nationalism and the related primacy of the nation state. These both make genocide possible in the first place and present a formidable obstacle in the way of intervention. A more cosmopolitan approach may be required if we are to think more coherently about genocide and react to its recurrence more effectively and consistently.
Speaker Biography: Philip Spencer is Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, where he teaches courses on the Holocaust, genocide and human rights. He is the author of Nationalism: A Critical Introduction and Nations and Nationalism (both with Howard Wollman) and has written also on Marxism and the Holocaust, on various aspects of the life and work of Hannah Arendt, Rosa Luxemburg, and Victor Serge, and on the question of humanitarian intervention where genocide has taken place or is occurring, such as in Darfur today.

 

National identity and European integration in Central and Eastern Europe

Speaker: Mikko Heikinheimo
Date: Wednesday 14 November 2007
Time: 6:00pm - 7.00pm
Location: D602

Abstract: After a long and violent past Europe may hope to have finally reached an everlasting peace. Integration was preceded by disintegration. The European empires collapsed or grew weaker. Nationalism has been one of the main reasons for the birth of so many new states. The main elements of nationalism are language, religion and culture. This evolution has taken place in waves, the last one of them being the painful end of the former Yugoslavia. For some countries and nations the major changes in their situation still seems to be very difficult to accept. European integration has always evolved and progressed through crises. The members and future members of the European Union are trying to cope with the huge challenges concerning integration, globalization and the partnership with the USA as well as cooperation with other major players in the world. The European countries need to understand the elements of history and national identity in other member states as they are the basis for decision making in these matters. The cooperation between the Americans and the Europeans is changing but they still share essentially same values. The USA is focusing on security and the main challenge for Europe is to find a solution to its relationship with Islam. The two partners still need each other in many ways. The lecture will explore these issues.
Speaker Biography: Mikko Heikinheimo is a specialist in European integration and trade policy. Currently a lecturer at the University of Sorbonne, Paris, the Franco-Finnish author was a journalist for the Finnish press between 1967 and 1973, and a diplomat (1973-2000) posted in Brussels, Copenhagen, Paris and Bucharest. He has also served as Finnish ambassador (1996-2000). His new book, Memoirs of Europe, deals with the dramatic history of central and Eastern Europe from the beginning of World War II until the liberation of the region from Communism.

 

Garibaldi: the patriot as global hero

Speaker: Professor Lucy Riall
Date: Wednesday 24 October 2007
Time: 6.30pm-8pm
Location: New Theatre, East Building

Abstract: The Italian revolutionary leader Giuseppe Garibaldi was not only worshipped as national hero in his country but he was also a hugely popular global figure in his lifetime - an estimated 500,000 people turned out to greet him on his arrival in London in 1864. The lecture, which marks the bicentenary of Garibaldi's birth, examines the charismatic leader's emergence as global symbol in the context of nineteenth-century globalization processes, developments in mass media, and political conflicts. Lucy Riall is professor of modern European history at Birkbeck College, University of London, and author of Garibaldi: Invention of an Hero (Yale University Press 2007). John Breuilly is professor of nationalism and ethnicity at the LSE.

 

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