Call for Papers: “National Identities”

In the decades following the horrendous European meltdown of the Second World War the foundations of what was later to become the European Union were shaped partly to keep delusional nationalisms from engendering yet another war. One could then expect the idea of national identity as a prime mover in politics and culture to have lost at least some of its pertinence today. However, the last two decades have witnessed the rise of political entities across Europe strongly reaffirming the perceived national identity as a political and cultural factor to be reckoned with. Marine le Pen’s National Front in France, Nigel Farrage’s UKIP in the UK, the Greek right wing extremists of Golden Dawn, and the Danish People’s Party are all examples of political parties actively reaffirming national identity of their countries as an important factor in policy making. Though this nationalistic revival appears first of all as a right-wing phenomenon examples of leftist nationalism also exist.

With this very first issue of Spheres – Cultural Journal of English, Germanic and Romance Studies we ask what role so-called “national identity” plays in our contemporary age of globalization and transnationalism, where numerous social media are tying people together across national borders. Put in another way: we wish to explore how language, literature, political discourse, science, remembrance of past events and so forth participate in the crafting and problematizing of national identities.

Article proposals should have a length of no more than 250 words and be written in Danish or English. We are interested in contributions from within one or more of the language areas represented at our department (see http://engerom.ku.dk/english/education/) but contributors need not be affiliated to it in any way. The following topics are meant as inspiration and should not be considered as strict limits to what could be pertinent for the thematic frame:

  • Literature and national identity
  • Discursive constructions of national identity
  • National myths
  • Politics of identity
  • New directions in national political landscapes
  • National versus transnational memory communities
  • The role of cultural artifacts in the construction of a national identity
  • National identities as exclusive or inclusive factors within nation-states
  • National identity and the body
  • The role of diasporas in the construction of a national identity
  • Nationalism and national identity
  • National identity, extremism, and violence

Deadline for proposals: 15 March 2016 (deadline for full articles: 15 June 2016)  

Proposals are to be submitted to spheresjournal@gmail.com