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2008-2009 Seminar Series

Managing Ethno-National Conflict:Beyond Canada: rethinking multinational federalism|
Robert Schertzer, Eric Woods, 24th February 2009, G1, London School of Economics

Far from Innocent Concoctions: the National Cuisines of Africa and Latin America |
Dr. Igor Cusack, 18th February 2009, NAB 115, London School of Economics.

Oral Epic and the Idea of National Literatures in Europe: Hasanaginica, Herder and Vico
|Prof. Joep Leerssen, 21st January 2009, NAB 115, London School of Economics.

English Nationalism and Euroscepticism, 1971-2008
|Dr.Ben Wellings, 10th December 2008, London School of Economics, NAB117.

The Development of Children's National and Ethnic Attitudes|
Martyn Barrett, 3rd December 2008, London School of Economics, room S421.

Three Lions on a Shirt: Sport and English Identity
|Dr. Martin Polley, 19th November 2008, London School of Economics, room S421.

Linguistic Nationalism as Consumption Item
|Professor David Laitin, 11th November 2008, London School of Economics, room R505 (STICERD).

'Brothers' of the Nile: Are Northern Sudanese in Egypt Refugees?
|Dr. Anita Fabos, 15th October 2008, London School of Economics, room H101.

Managing Ethno-National Conflict:Beyond Canada: rethinking multinational federalism

Speakers: Robert Schertzer (LSE), Eric Woods (LSE)
Date: 24th February 2009
Time: 6.15pm
Location: G1, LSE
Abstract: This lecture is free and open to the public. It examines Canada as key case that informs the management of ethno-national conflict via multinational federalism. In particular, the presenters will critique the way the Canadian case has been understood and exported as a means to manage ethno-national conflict across the globe.
The lecture will be followed by a response from Dr. Eric Kaufman (Reader in Politics and Sociology, Birkbeck).
Speakers Biography: Robert Schertzer and Eric Woods are the co-Chairs of the Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism and are both PhD candidates and class teachers within the Department of Government at the London School of Economics. 

Far from Innocent Concoctions: the National Cuisines of Africa and Latin America

Speaker: Dr Igor Cusack ( University of Birmingham)
Date: 18th February 2009
Time: 6pm-8pm
Location: NAB 115, LSE
Abstract: The importance of cuisine to national culture varies greatly among nations. National cuisines are nurtured by national elites and promoted by tourist organisations. They result from various cultural and political ideologies, associated with imperialism, class, gender and ethnicity. African national cuisines have emerged only recently but are well-developed in a few countries such as Cape Verde or Senegal. In Latin America, national cuisines were created following a long struggle between the culinary influences of the Iberian colonisers, the Native Americans and their complex pre-Columbian culinary traditions, together with the 'foodways'; of African slaves. As with most nationalist ventures, what is hailed as being part of a long tradition is often a recently invented myth as in the case of Chiles en nogada a Mexican national dish supposedly presented to the Emperor Agustín de Iturbide in 1821 yet only traceable to the 1930s. On both sides of the Atlantic, national cuisines are far from innocent concoctions.
Speaker Biography: DR IGOR CUSACK, after a first career as a geologist in the oil and coal-mining industries, embarked upon a second in African politics and culture, teaching at the Universities of Birmingham and Bristol. His current research is focused on the development of national cuisines in Africa and in the Hispanic and Lusophone worlds, and how these are represented in literature. He has also written on the discourses of national identity and the literature of Equatorial Guinea and on other aspects of culture such as the representation of masculinities in African literature, African national anthems and the national discourses 'transmitted'; by the postage stamps of Portugal and its empire. He has published many articles, including three in Nations and Nationalism.

Oral Epic and the Idea of National Literatures in Europe: Hasanaginica, Herder and Vico

Speaker: Prof. Joep Leerssen (University of Amsterdam)
Date: 21st January 2009
Time: 18:00
Location: LSE
Abstract: Romantic interest in the oral vernacular cultures of Europe is usually traced to the influence of Johann Gottfried Herder. This lecture will study the case of an oral epic from Dalmatia, the 'Hasanaginica', which first reached European fame in Herder's mid-1770s collection of folksongs. But the considerable and intriguing complexities around the story of 'Hasanaginica's discovery and Europe-wide dissemination highlight, not only a fresh new cultural and ideological investment of vernacular epic after 1800, but also the interaction between literary taste and academic learning in the emergence of historicism and romantic nationalism.
Speaker Biography: Joep Leerssen (Leiden, 1955) is professor of European Studies at the University of Amsterdam. His specialisms are: the history of Irish national thought (Mere Irish and Fíor-Ghael, 1986; Remembrance and Imagination, 1996); the European history and rhetoric of national stereotyping (Imagology; co-edited with Manfred Beller, 2007), and the international dissemination of cultural nationalism in nineteenth-century Europe. He is currently engaged in setting up a Study Platform on Interlocking Nationalisms at Amsterdam, and is this year's Parnell Fellow at Magdalene College Cambridge.

English Nationalism and Euroscepticism, 1971-2008

Speaker: Dr. Ben Wellings (The Australian National University)
Date: Wednesday, 10th December 2008
Time: 6.15pm – 7.30pm
Location: NAB117, LSE
Abstract: This paper will argue that the means of legitimizing sovereignty in England and Europe have led to a truncated English nationalism ill at ease with the ongoing process of European integration. Taking nationalism as the legitimization of sovereignty, and English nationalism as the legitimization of Crown-in-Parliament sovereignty, this paper will contrast English nationalism to what we might call "European nationalism", that is to say the legitimization of the European Union, through an examination of the links between efforts to resist European integration since 1971 and a resurgent English nationalism.

Picking out two main points of divergence in English and 'European' understandings of sovereignty (that sovereignty in English political thought is unitary, but contracting; whilst sovereignty in European political thought is diffuse, but expanding) and two main points of divergence in English and 'European' versions of the past (the past in England is often presented as one of greatness followed by decline; whilst the past in Europe is often presented as one of defeat followed by renaissance) this paper will argue that these conflicting versions of the past have resulted in an uneasy relationship between England and Europe, further complicating and weakening popular English support for closer European integration.

The research presented here has been conducted whilst on a Senior Visiting Fellowship to the LSE's Department of Government between August and December 2008.

Speaker Biography: Dr Ben Wellings is Convenor of European Studies at the Australian National University in Canberra. His first degree was in Contemporary History and French in the School of European Studies at the University of Sussex. He gained an MSc in Nationalism Studies from Edinburgh University before completing his PhD on nationalism and Britishness in Britain and Australia at the Australian National University. Between these stints in academia he has been a museum curator, a public affairs consultant, a parliamentary researcher and a merchant seaman – helping to keep England's supply lines to cheap French lager open during the mid-1990s. He is currently a Senior Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics researching the links between euroscpeticism and English nationalism.

The Development of Children's National and Ethnic Attitudes

Speaker: Martyn Barrett: Department of Psychology, University of Surrey
Date: 3rd December 2008
Time: 1800-1930
Location: London School of Economics, room S421
Abstract: Developmental psychology has traditionally represented children's attitudes to national and ethnic groups as developing through an invariant and universal sequence of stages, with cognitive-developmental changes being the principal driver of children's progression through those stages. In this seminar, I will present evidence which shows that this traditional picture is fundamentally wrong, and that children's attitudes instead develop in a variety of different ways, depending on the particular national and ethnic groups which are involved and the particular societal situation within which the child is growing up. I will also briefly review the evidence which has now been accumulated within the discipline of psychology on the range of social and psychological factors which can impact on children's representations of, and attitudes towards, people who belong to other national and ethnic groups. These factors include: parents' discourse and practices; the contents of the school curriculum; the contents of school textbooks; teachers' classroom discourse and practices; the contents of media representations of national and ethnic groups; direct personal contact with people who belong to other groups; children's cognitive skills; and children's levels of national and ethnic identification. In this seminar, these various factors will be discussed in relationship to each other, and an alternative, more comprehensive, theoretical model will be presented which accommodates not only the multiplicity of different factors which have been found to impact on children's intergroup attitudes, but also the pervasive variability which has been discovered in the development of these attitudes.
Speaker Biography: Martyn Barrett is Professor of Psychology at the University of Surrey. He studied at the universities of Cambridge and Sussex, and is a developmental psychologist. His research focuses on processes of national and ethnic enculturation in childhood and adolescence, the development of prejudice and stereotyping in children and adolescents, acculturation processes in ethnic minority, mixed-heritage and ethnic majority children and adolescents, and the development of intercultural competences. He is especially interested in the use of comparative cross-national studies to examine variability in the development of children's and adolescents' identifications, cultural practices and intercultural attitudes as a function of the specific societal contexts in which they live. He has coordinated two EU-funded cross-national research projects. Two of his most recent books are Children's Understanding of Society (2005, Psychology Press), and Children's Knowledge, Beliefs and Feelings about Nations and National Groups (2007, Psychology Press). He is currently writing a new book with David Garbin, Marco Cinnirella and John Eade entitled From Acculturation to New Ethnicities (to be published by Wiley-Blackwell). He is Academic Director of the Centre for Research on Nationalism, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism (CRONEM) at the University of Surrey, an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences, and (until the end of December 2008) Editor-in-Chief of the British Journal of Developmental Psychology (published by the British Psychological Society).

Three Lions on a Shirt: Sport and English Identity

Speaker: Dr. Martin Polley, University of Southampton
Date: 19th November 2008
Time: 1800-1930
Location: London School of Economics, room S421
Abstract: At one level, sport serves as a simplistic device through which people can express their sense of national identity. The flag-flying, the singing of national anthems, and the media's celebration of anything that can be classed as an 'English' victory make it easy for us to assume natural and uncomplicated links between who we are and the sports that get played. However, the reality is a lot more complicated and lot more nuanced than this. In this paper, I will explore some of the issues that arise out of historical and contemporary studies of English identity in sport. I will look at some of the ways in which traditional models of sporting Englishness have become more diverse and flexible in line with cultural and demographic changes; and will then explore some of the ways in which trends associated with globalisation have posed challenges to the simplistic links that seem to exist between sport and identity.
Speaker Biography: Martin Polley was born and brought up in west London. He completed his PhD in History on Sport and Diplomacy at the University of Wales in 1991, and worked as a historical research assistant at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office 1990-92. He then taught History and Sport Studies at King Alfred's College, Winchester, from 1992-2001, when he moved to the University of Southampton as Senior Lecturer in Sport. He has written on various aspects of sports history, including diplomacy, identity, and amateurism/professionalism. His main publications are Moving the Goalposts: a history of sport and society since 1945 (Routledge, 1998), The History of Sport in Britain 1880-1914 (editor, 5 volumes, Routledge, 2003); and Sports History: a practical guide (Palgrave, 2007). He is currently writing The British Olympics, a book on Olympic history and heritage for English Heritage's Played in Britain series. He is a past Chairman of the British Society of Sports History.

Linguistic Nationalism as Consumption Item

Speaker: Professor David Laitin
Date: 11th November 2008 (Tuesday)
Time: 1600
Location: London School of Economics, room R505 (STICERD)
Abstract: This presentation addresses the question of the motivation for individuals to support movements for the promotion of linguistic nationalism. Theories focusing on overcoming free riding, or on the creation of protection rackets, or on the rhetorical skills of political entrepreneurs, or on the universal desire to sustain ancestral myths, cannot explain the variation in the success of such movements. The innovation of this paper is in measuring support for linguistic nationalism by the willingness of individuals to pay for its promotion. More specifically, it asks how much people will pay to assure that their children will have the skills and experiences to assure intergenerational transmission of a national culture? A game theoretic model is introduced in which, with a small preference for sustaining a national culture, people will pay more for nationalism the richer they are. An observable implication of the model is that multilingual repertoires will remain in equilibrium as Europe develops more state-like institutions. This model also challenges the now-common claim in sociolinguistics that the world will continue to experience a secular decline in the number of living languages.
Speaker Biography: David D. Laitin is the James T. Watkins IV and Elise V. Watkins Professor of Political Science at Stanford University. He received his BA from Swarthmore College, and then served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Somalia and Grenada. He received his Ph.D. in political science from UC Berkeley, working under the direction of Ernst Haas and Hanna Pitkin. Over his career, as a student of comparative politics, he has conducted field research in Somalia, Yorubaland (Nigeria), Catalonia (Spain) and Estonia, focusing on issues of language and religion, and how these cultural phenomena link nation to state. His books include "Politics, Language and Thought: The Somali Experience", "Hegemony and Culture: Politics and Religious Change among the Yoruba", "Language Repertoires and State Construction in Africa", "Identity in Formation: The Russian-Speaking Populations in the Near Abroad", and "Nations, States, and Violence". Over the past decade, mostly in collaboration with James Fearon, he has published several papers on ethnicity, ethnic cooperation, the sources of civil war, and on policies that work to settle civil wars. He has been a recipient of fellowships from the Howard Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

'Brothers' of the Nile: Are Northern Sudanese in Egypt Refugees?

Speaker: Dr. Anita Fabos, University of East London
Date: 15th October 2008
Time: 1800-1930
Location: London School of Economics, room H101
Abstract: Northern Sudanese in Cairo have played a fundamental role in Egyptian history and society during many centuries of close relations between Egypt and Sudan. Although the government and official press describes them as "brothers" in a united Nile Valley, recent political developments in Egypt have underscored the precarious legal status of Sudanese 'refugees' in Cairo. Refugee policy is largely promulgated upon the idea of discrete categories of nationals who can prove individual experience of persecution on the basis of "race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion". Neither citizens nor foreigners, the uncertain position of Sudanese creates dilemmas for policy makers concerned about their circumstances in exile, but also allows Sudanese flexibility with regard to their continued presence in Egypt. My ethnographic research shows that a Sudanese ethnic identity is created from deeply held social values, especially those concerning gender and propriety, shared by Sudanese and Egyptian communities.
Speaker Biography: Dr. Anita Fábos is an anthropologist who has conducted research in the areas of ethnicity and race, gender, refugees in urban settings, immigration and naturalization policy, Arab nationalism, and Islam. A recipient of an MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown University in 1988 and a PhD in anthropology from Boston University in 1999, Anita Fábos is Programme Leader for the MA programme in Refugee Studies and Co-Director of the Refugee Research Centre at the University of East London. Formerly the Director of the Program in Forced Migration and Refugee Studies and assistant professor of Anthropology at the American University in Cairo, Anita Fábos lived and worked in Cairo for ten years, researching issues of gender, displacement and identity. She has conducted ethnographic research among Muslim Arab Sudanese forced migrants in Egypt, analysing their gendered discourse of propriety and morality as expressed in ethnic terms. Her current research interests include Middle Eastern immigration and refugee policies, transnational strategies of women and men in the Sudanese diaspora, and livelihoods of urban refugees in Cairo.