From Thomas Jefferson to John Rawls, justice has been at the center of America’s self-image and national creed. At the same time, for many of its peoples-from African slaves and European immigrants to women and the poor-the American experience has been defined by injustice: oppression, disenfranchisement, violence, and prejudice.
In Identity and the Failure of America, John Michael explores the contradictions between a mythic national identity promising justice to all and the realities of a divided, hierarchical, and frequently iniquitous history and social order. Through a series of insightful readings, Michael analyzes such cultural moments as the epic dramatization of the tension between individual ambition and communal complicity in Moby-Dick, attempts to effect social change through sympathy in the novels of Lydia Marie Child and Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s antislavery activism and Frederick Douglass’s long fight for racial equity, and the divisive figures of John Brown and Nat Turner in American letters and memory.
Focusing on exemplary instances when the nature of the United States as an essentially conflicted nation turned to force, Michael ultimately posits the development of a more cosmopolitan American identity, one that is more fully and justly imagined in response to the nation’s ethical failings at home and abroad.
John Michael is professor of English and of visual and cultural studies at the University of Rochester. He is the author of Anxious Intellects: Academic Professionals, Public Intellectuals, and Enlightenment Values and Emerson and Skepticism: The Cipher of the World.
Gloria P. Totoricagüena presents a thorough comparative examination of the remarkable endurance of Basque identity and culture in six countries of the far-flung Basque diaspora. Using the results of interviews and extensive anonymous surveys with more than eight hundred informants in the diaspora, plus extensive research in archives and printed sources in all six of her study countries, Totoricagüena reveals for the first time the complex and interrelated universe of these dispersed Basques. She explores the elements of their migration patterns and the institutions that have encouraged identity maintenance, the impacts on established communities of each new wave of immigrants, and the nature of economic and political ties with the homeland.
Totoricagüena offers a superb quantitative study of an aspect of Basque culture that has been largely ignored by scholars—the diaspora. In doing so, she enlarges the understanding of cultural identity in general—how it is defined and preserved, how it evolves over time, and how both the politics of distant places and the most intimate family habits can shape an individual’s sense of self. Identity, Culture, and Politics in the Basque Diaspora is a major contribution to the knowledge of Basques and their persistent political and cultural traditions.
The concept of cultural identity has become for many a convenient explanation for most of the world's political problems. In The Illusion of Cultural Identity Jean-François Bayart offers a sustained critique of this rationalization by dispelling the notion that fixed cultural identities do, in fact, exist.
In this highly sophisticated book, Bayart shows that the very idea of cultural identity prevents us from grasping the cultural dimensions of political action and economic development. Identities, he argues, are fluid, never homogeneous, and sometimes invented. Political repertoires are instead created through imagined, highly ambiguous aspects of culture—what he calls "imaginaires." For instance, the long beards worn by men in some fundamentalist groups are thought to be key to their core identities and thus assumed to be in conflict with modern values. These beards, however, do not stand in the way of the men's use of technology or their embrace of capitalism—an example Bayart uses to demonstrate the equivocality of cultural identity. The theoretical implications of Bayart's analysis emerge from a fascinating collection of historical examples that often surprise and always instruct.
Ilmatar gave birth to the bard who sang the Finnish landscape into being in the Kalevala (the Finnish national epic). In Ilmatar's Inspirations, Tina K. Ramnarine explores creative processes and the critical role that music has played in Finnish nationalism by focusing on Finnish "new folk music" in the shifting spaces between the national imagination and the global marketplace.
Through extensive interviews and observations of performances, Ramnarine reveals how new folk musicians think and talk about past and present folk music practices, the role of folk music in the representation of national identity, and the interactions of Finnish folk musicians with performers from around the globe. She focuses especially on two internationally successful groups—JPP, a group that plays fiddle dance music, and Värttinä, an ensemble that highlights women's vocal traditions. Analyzing the multilayered processes—musical, institutional, political, and commercial—that have shaped and are shaped by new folk music in Finland, Ramnarine gives us an entirely new understanding of the connections between music, place, and identity.
edited by Luisa Del Giudice & Gerald Porter Utah State University Press, 2001 Library of Congress GR72.I46 2001 | Dewey Decimal 398.42
An international ensemble of folklore scholars looks at varied ways in which national and ethnic groups have traditionally and creatively used imagined states of existence-some idealizations, some demonizations-in the construction of identities for themselves and for others. Drawing on oral traditions, especially as represented in traditional ballads, broadsides, and tale collections, the contributors consider fertile landscapes of the mind where utopias overflow with bliss and abundance, stereotyped national and ethnic caricatures define the lives of "others," nostalgia glorifies home and occupation, and idealized and mythological animals serve as cultural icons and guideposts to harmonious social life.
Standing as the world’s two largest economies, marshaling the most imposing armies on earth, holding enormous stockpiles of nuclear weapons, consuming a majority share of the planet’s natural resources, and serving as the media generators and health care providers for billions of consumers around the globe, the United States and China are positioned to influence notions of democracy, nationalism, citizenship, human rights, environmental priorities, and public health for the foreseeable future. These broad issues are addressed as questions about communication—about how our two nations envision each other and how our interlinked imaginaries create both opportunities and obstacles for greater understanding and strengthened relations. Accordingly, this book provides in-depth communication-based analyses of how U.S. and Chinese officials, scholars, and activists configure each other, portray the relations between the two nations, and depict their shared and competing interests. As a first step toward building a new understanding between one another, Imagining China tackles the complicated question of how Americans, Chinese, and their respective allies imagine themselves enmeshed in nations, old rivalries, and emerging partnerships, while simultaneously meditating on the powers and limits of nationalism in our age of globalization.
In his groundbreaking Imagined Communities, first published in 1983, Benedict Anderson argued that members of a communityexperience a Ÿdeep, horizontal camaraderie.Œ Despite being strangers, members feel connected in a web of imagined experiences.Yet while Anderson’s insights have been hugely influential, they remain abstract: it is difficult to imagine imagined communities.How do they evolve and how is membership constructed cognitively, socially and culturally? How do individuals and communitiescontribute to group formation through the act of imagining? And what is the glue that holds communities together?Imagining Communities examines actual processes of experiencing the imagined community, exploring its emotive force in a number of case studies. Communal bonding is analysed, offering concrete insights on where and by whom the nation (or social group) is imagined and the role of individuals therein. Offering eleven empirical case studies, ranging from the premodern to the modern age, this volume looks at and beyond the nation and includes regional as well as transnational communities as well.
The double-sided nature of African nationalism—its capacity to inspire expressions of unity, and its tendency to narrow political debate—are explored by sixteen historians, focusing on the experience of Tanzania. The narrative of the nation of Tanzania, which was created by the anticolonial nationalist movement, expanded by the Union after the Zanzibar Revolution, and fused by the ideology of Ujamaa by Julius Nyerere, has shaped Tanzanian political discourse for decades, but has not obliterated the great wealth of political discourses and identities which exist within the nation.
The central question for both the victors and the vanquished of World War II was just how widely the stain of guilt would spread over Germany. Political leaders and intellectuals on both sides of the conflict debated whether support for National Socialism tainted Germany's entire population and thus discredited the nation's history and culture. The tremendous challenge that Allied officials and German thinkers faced as the war closed, then, was how to limn a postwar German identity that accounted for National Socialism without irrevocably damning the idea and character of Germany as a whole.
In the House of the Hangman chronicles this delicate process, exploring key debates about the Nazi past and German future during the later years of World War II and its aftermath. What did British and American leaders think had given rise to National Socialism, and how did these beliefs shape their intentions for occupation? What rhetorical and symbolic tools did Germans develop for handling the insidious legacy of Nazism? Considering these and other questions, Jeffrey K. Olick explores the processes of accommodation and rejection that Allied plans for a new German state inspired among the German intelligentsia. He also examines heated struggles over the value of Germany's institutional and political heritage. Along the way, he demonstrates how the moral and political vocabulary for coming to terms with National Socialism in Germany has been of enduring significance—as a crucible not only of German identity but also of contemporary thinking about memory and social justice more generally.
Given the current war in Iraq, the issues contested during Germany's abjection and reinvention—how to treat a defeated enemy, how to place episodes within wider historical trajectories, how to distinguish varieties of victimhood—are as urgent today as they were sixty years ago, and In the House of the Hangman offers readers an invaluable historical perspective on these critical questions.
Sara R. Farris examines the demands for women's rights from an unlikely collection of right-wing nationalist political parties, neoliberals, and some feminist theorists and policy makers. Focusing on contemporary France, Italy, and the Netherlands, Farris labels this exploitation and co-optation of feminist themes by anti-Islam and xenophobic campaigns as “femonationalism.” She shows that by characterizing Muslim males as dangerous to western societies and as oppressors of women, and by emphasizing the need to rescue Muslim and migrant women, these groups use gender equality to justify their racist rhetoric and policies. This practice also serves an economic function. Farris analyzes how neoliberal civic integration policies and feminist groups funnel Muslim and non-western migrant women into the segregating domestic and caregiving industries, all the while claiming to promote their emancipation. In the Name of Women's Rights documents the links between racism, feminism, and the ways in which non-western women are instrumentalized for a variety of political and economic purposes.
In a campaign for state or local office these days, you’re as likely today to hear accusations that an opponent advanced Obamacare or supported Donald Trump as you are to hear about issues affecting the state or local community. This is because American political behavior has become substantially more nationalized. American voters are far more engaged with and knowledgeable about what’s happening in Washington, DC, than in similar messages whether they are in the South, the Northeast, or the Midwest. Gone are the days when all politics was local.
With The Increasingly United States, Daniel J. Hopkins explores this trend and its implications for the American political system. The change is significant in part because it works against a key rationale of America’s federalist system, which was built on the assumption that citizens would be more strongly attached to their states and localities. It also has profound implications for how voters are represented. If voters are well informed about state politics, for example, the governor has an incentive to deliver what voters—or at least a pivotal segment of them—want. But if voters are likely to back the same party in gubernatorial as in presidential elections irrespective of the governor’s actions in office, governors may instead come to see their ambitions as tethered more closely to their status in the national party.
Indian Nation documents the contributions of Native Americans to the notion of American nationhood and to concepts of American identity at a crucial, defining time in U.S. history. Departing from previous scholarship, Cheryl Walker turns the "usual" questions on their heads, asking not how whites experienced indigenous peoples, but how Native Americans envisioned the United States as a nation. This project unfolds a narrative of participatory resistance in which Indians themselves sought to transform the discourse of nationhood. Walker examines the rhetoric and writings of nineteenth-century Native Americans, including William Apess, Black Hawk, George Copway, John Rollin Ridge, and Sarah Winnemucca. Demonstrating with unique detail how these authors worked to transform venerable myths and icons of American identity, Indian Nation chronicles Native American participation in the forming of an American nationalism in both published texts and speeches that were delivered throughout the United States. Pottawattomie Chief Simon Pokagon’s "The Red Man’s Rebuke," an important document of Indian oratory, is published here in its entirety for the first time since 1893. By looking at this writing through the lens of the best theoretical work on nationality, postcoloniality, and the subaltern, Walker creates a new and encompassing picture of the relationship between Native Americans and whites. She shows that, contrary to previous studies, America in the nineteenth century was intercultural in significant ways.
In this book, Umut Uzer examines the ideological evolution and transformation of Turkish nationalism from its early precursors to its contemporary protagonists. Turkish nationalism erupted onto the world stage in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as Greeks, Armenians, and other minority groups within the Ottoman Empire began to seek independence. Partly in response to the rising nationalist voices of these groups, Turkish intellectuals began propagating Turkish nationalism through academic as well as popular books, and later associations published semipropagandist journals with the support of the Unionist and Kemalist governments.
While predominantly a textual analysis of the primary sources written by the nationalists, this volume takes into account how political developments influenced Turkish nationalism and also tackles the question of how an ideology that began as a revolutionary, progressive, forward-looking ideal eventually transformed into one that is conservative, patriarchal, and nostalgic to the Ottoman and Islamic past. Between Islamic and Turkish Identity is the first book in any language to comprehensively analyze Turkish nationalism with such scope and engagement with primary sources; it aims to dissect the phenomenon in all its manifestations.
What kinds of intellectual practices are influential in the making and remaking of nations? How do literary texts shape nation-making? When are intellectuals most and least relevant to developing the nation? How do liberal, socialist, and nationalist intellectuals shape national ideologies?
One of the principal debates in the study of nations concerns the relative significance of elites, specifically intellectuals, in inventing the nation. Intellectuals and the Articulation of the Nation delimits the capacities of intellectuals for shaping nations, as well as the ways in which the development of nations shapes intellectual practices. The introductory chapter presents the principal debates around nation-making and the identity and practices of intellectuals. Contributors from anthropology, history, literature, political science and sociology then explore the capacities and limits of intellectuals in the formation and restructuring of national identities in general, and in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union in particular.
Each essay is followed by a brief intellectual autobiography in which the author's own relationship to nations is explored. The editors conclude the volume by developing a general theory of national intellectual practice.
The principal focus of this book--the mutual articulation of intellectuals and nations--is a key subject for students and scholars of history, cultural studies, political science, anthropology, and sociology.
Ronald Grigor Suny is Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago. Michael D. Kennedy is Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Michigan.
Internationalism and Its Betrayal
Micheline R. IshayForeword by Craig Calhoun University of Minnesota Press, 1995 Library of Congress JC362.I73 1995 | Dewey Decimal 320.54
Internationalism and Its Betrayal was first published in 1995. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
A new world order, proclaimed Western leaders after the cold war, could extend liberal democracy and human rights around the globe. Yet the specter of nationalism once again haunts the world, threatening to extinguish the spirit of internationalism.
Although internationalism is typically understood to be diametrically opposed to nationalism, Micheline Ishay argues to the contrary, maintaining that internationalism often incorporates an individualist element that manifests itself as nationalism during critical periods such as war. For example, the new liberal internationalism invoked after the cold war is now revealing its limits-as reflected by the UN's inability to interfere promptly to stop ethnic and nationalist conflicts in Bosnia, Rwanda, and elsewhere.
Internationalism and Its Betrayal explores the tensions and contradictions between ideas of nationalism and internationalism, focusing on the major political thinkers from the early modern period into the nineteenth century. Ishay examines the writings of Vico, Grotius, Rousseau, Kant, Paine, Robespierre, Burke, Fichte, de Maistre, and Hegel. She speaks to an audience of individuals interested in the spread of democracy, students of human rights and international relations, historians of the French Revolution, and political theorists.
Micheline Ishay was born in Tel Aviv, and raised in Israel, Luxembourg, and Brussels, Belgium. She is currently assistant professor at the Graduate School of International Studies at Denver University, where she is also serving as director of the human rights program and executive director of the Center on Rights Development. She is coeditor of The Nationalism Reader (1994).
Craig Calhoun is professor of sociology and history and director of the University Center for International Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the editor of the Contradictions of Modernity series for the University of Minnesota Press.
During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Black Power movement provided the dominant ideological framework through which many young, poor, and middle-class blacks made sense of their lives and articulated a political vision for their futures. The legacy of the movement is still very much with us today in the various strands of black nationalism that originated from it; we witnessed its power in the 1995 Million Man March, and we see its more ambiguous effects in the persistent antagonisms among former participants in the civil rights coalition. Yet despite the importance of the Black Power movement, very few in-depth, balanced treatments of it exist.
Is It Nation Time? gathers new and classic essays on the Black Power movement and its legacy by renowned thinkers who deal rigorously and unsentimentally with such issues as the commodification of blackness, the piety of cultural recovery, and class tensions within the movement. For anyone who wants to understand the roots of the complex political and cultural desires of contemporary black America, this will be an essential collection.
Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
Farah Jasmine Griffin
Phillip Brian Harper
Robin D. G. Kelley
Adolph Reed Jr.
S. Craig Watkins
E. Francis White
The Islamic world has experienced extensive social changes in modern times—the rise of new social classes, the formation of massive bureaucratic and military states, and the incorporation of its economies into the world capitalist structure. Yet despite these changes, a national consensus on even the most important principles of social organization—the form of government, the status of women, national identity, and rule making—has yet to emerge.
An ambitious comparative historical analysis of ideological production in the Islamic world from the mid-1800s to the present, Mansoor Moaddel's Islamic Modernism, Nationalism, and Fundamentalism provides a unique perspective for understanding the social conditions of these discourses. Moaddel characterizes these movements in terms of a sequence of cultural episodes characterized by ideological debates and religious disputations, each ending with a revolution or military coup. Understanding how the leaders of these movements formulated their discourses is, for Moaddel, the key to understanding Middle Eastern history. This premise allows him to unlock for readers the historical process that started with Islamic modernism and ended with fundamentalism.
The National Bolshevik Party, founded in the mid-1990s by Eduard Limonov and Aleksandr Dugin, began as an attempt to combine radically different ideologies. In the years that followed, Limonov, Dugin, and the movements they led underwent dramatic shifts. The two leaders eventually became political adversaries, with Dugin and his organizations strongly supporting Putin’s regime while Limonov and his groups became part of the liberal opposition.
To illuminate the role of these right-wing ideas in contemporary Russian society, Fabrizio Fenghi examines the public pronouncements and aesthetics of this influential movement. He analyzes a diverse range of media, including novels, art exhibitions, performances, seminars, punk rock concerts, and even protest actions. His interviews with key figures reveal an attempt to create an alternative intellectual class, or a “counter-intelligensia.” This volume shows how certain forms of art can transform into political action through the creation of new languages, institutions, and modes of collective participation.