New Forms of Nationalism Between Politics and Popular Culture 2023/24 Spring

Graduate Program (& Advanced Certificate) Status

Course Level: 
Course Open to: 
Students on-site
Academic Year: 
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Course Description: 

The course examines nationalism in current political and cultural context and in relation to present social developments of globalization, migration and the rise of the far-right and populism. Students are introduced to theoretical approaches for studying new nationalism and are invited to process sociological and anthropological case studies investigating the topic in various institutional and mundane environments.

The course is asking how old contents related to nationhood and nationalism are produced and spread in new forms in politics and popular culture while they are generating new social meanings. A special attention will be given to institutions, political and cultural elites who play a major role in constructing new discourses of the nation and seek power through control of people’s cultural identities and collective memories.

The course also emphasizes the everyday; the banal and mundane forms of nationalism have recently appeared in works of sociologists and anthropologists. Thus the “view from above” will be complemented with a “view from bellow” by investigating the meanings that various social groups give to and the uses they make of myths and symbols of neo-nationalism.

The course also offers a conceptual framework grounded in anthropology and linguistics to understand the discursive realization of the nation.

The course emphasizes the structural and cultural explanations of how the local responsiveness to nationalism can be explained by social resentments and anxieties of the people living in different European and non-European countries.

Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

-  orientate between theories, approaches and methods in the study of new forms of nationalism and perceptions of nationhood

-  critically discuss competing theories in the field of nationalism studies

-  to process and present empirical case studies

-  to identify new issues and formulate novel research questions in the field

-  undertake sensitive analysis (both orally and written) of the issues raised and questions formulated


(1)  Regular reading of the mandatory literature and participating in their discussion (20%)

(2)  Oral presentation (40% of the final grade). Students are invited to contribute to the class once with a lecture. The student(s)’ lecture is based on the literature suggested in syllabus, but for a good lecture additional scientific and media resources should also be used. Power point presentation is required which should be sent before the class and shared during the online class. The length of the oral presentation should be between 20-30 minutes, the written version should contain 7-10 slides.

(2) Research question(10% of the final grade). This is a question which connects your research interest to the literature to be discussed in this course; it can be an empirical question but also a theoretical one, can be related to your own empirical field and also to another empirical investigation. The first version of your research question should be formulated in relation to the conceptual and methodological readings for Class 1 and should be presented in the second part of the first class in 3-5 minutes.

(3) Final reflection (30% of the final grade).  The final reflection is based on your research question and it can be completed in various forms. The final reflection can be (1) a well elaborated research proposal; (2) a theoretical essay; or (3) just an elaborated version of the concept paper presented in the first class. It has to be submitted by the end of the trimester and its length should not exceed 1500-2000 words (6000-8000 characters).