Spring 2024 History GU4963 section 001

Nations and Nationalisms

Call Number 11780
Day & Time
W 2:10pm-4:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Points 4
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required Instructor
Instructor Samuel F Coggeshall
Method of Instruction In-Person
Course Description

This seminar offers a critical overview of recent literature on the historical emergence of national identities and the creation of national states. We will examine a series of books that present new ways of problematizing the nation and its construction and consolidation. These works take novel approaches foregrounding gender, temporality, memory, religion, economic development, local affinities, networks, and empire, among other frameworks. Building on classic literature on the nation and its origins from history, anthropology, political science, and political economy, the texts covered in this course nevertheless suggest new conclusions about the foundations, conditions of emergence, and persistence of national states and national identities.

What is a nation? How are nations formed? What could the nation have been, what other forms could it have taken, and what other types of political organization could have provided the basis for group identification or the structure of global order? To what extent did regional identities, on one hand, and imperial or supranational identities, on the other hand, affect the development of specific nations and of the nation-state in general? Why does every national group implicitly deserve or possess a state? Why are those nation-states territorial? How do nation-states generate and maintain the allegiance of their citizens and instill or ascribe membership in a national group? How do nations police or depend upon the gender, racial, and class identities of their subjects?

This seminar also seeks to raise a set of other questions about historical method and craft. How do we write and think about nationalism today? With histories of the nation rightly challenged by transnational approaches, does the nation still constitute a meaningful unit of historical analysis, and if so, in what ways? How do we take account of the nation as a historical fact while acknowledging the nation as a construction? With more virulent forms of right-wing nationalism and nationalist populism on the rise around the world, on the other hand, how should national histories and mythologies be questioned, reframed, and undermined?

Drawing on this recent literature, this seminar will seek to propose provisional answers to these questions and others about the nation and nationalism. Texts examined will cover both classic works on the nation and new works that revise or supplement them, as well as works that take novel approaches. Part of the course will historicize earlier theories

Web Site Vergil
Department History
Enrollment 10 students (18 max) as of 9:06PM Tuesday, July 23, 2024
Subject History
Number GU4963
Section 001
Division Interfaculty
Note Add to waitlist & see instructions on SSOL
Section key 20241HIST4963W001