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The 21st Annual ASEN Conference
5 – 7 April 2011, LSE

Forging the Nation: Performance and Ritual in the (Re)production of Nations

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The Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism (ASEN) is holding its 21st Annual Conference, entitled Forging the Nation, from the 5th – 7th of April 2011 at the London School of Economics and Political Science. The fundamental purpose of this conference is to address the role of performances and rituals in the production and reproduction of national identity. This is an important issue for the study of nations and nationalism, however, it remains under-theorised. It is therefore the intention of the conference to gain a deeper understanding of this issue by moving beyond written texts. The conference will consider how far everyday and extraordinary practices can explain the perceived binding and enduring quality of national identities and whether these practices are constitutive of national identity, or whether they are merely ornamental.

The three day conference will attempt to address this question through a consideration of various dichotomies, for instance: elites and masses; high and low culture; individual and collective experiences; conscious and unintentional association with the nation. The conference will adopt an interdisciplinary approach and will explore historical, theoretical, and contemporary aspects of the theme. Suggested themes include:

  • The arts (e.g. fine art, music, performing arts and fashion)
  • Authenticity, appropriation and cultural ownership of performances and rituals
  • Social spaces (e.g. the built environment, architecture and urban planning, public spaces such as museums, pubs and cafes)
  • Crowds and collective experiences and participation (e.g. sport, dance)
  • Social actors (e.g. elites and masses, practitioners and audiences)
  • Technology, telecommunications and change (e.g. print media, television, internet)
  • Exporting the nation (e.g. tourism, food, drink and ‘world cinema’)
The 2011 Conference Committee is now calling for papers to be presented at the conference. The
application is open to researchers interested in the study of ethnicity and nationalism. PhD students and young scholars are encouraged to apply. Abstracts of the proposed papers should not exceed 300 words and are expected by Monday 1st November 2010. Suggestions for panels and additional themes are also welcome. The Committee will notify applicants with its decision in December 2010. Please see the ASEN website http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/ASEN/ for more information and to submit your proposal.

Papers submitted to the conference will be considered for publication in a special conference issue of Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism. Please note that ASEN cannot cover travel and accommodation costs. Presenters are expected to register for the conference. Further enquires are welcome at asen.conference2011@lse.ac.uk
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The Association for the Study of Ethnicity& Nationalism (ASEN),
London School of Economics, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7955 6801 Fax: +44 (0)20 7955 6218
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