Graduate - Spring - 2020

The National


Spring - 2020
  • Monday 2pm - 5pm


This seminar will focus on “the national” as a cultural imagination that purportedly seeks the political organization of modern communities, but that ends up mediating—shaping, transforming, or bringing into existence—almost every aspect of life. While debunking all understandings of the national as a primordial, natural cohesiveness, our approach seeks to track the profoundly material consequences of its mediations. Our primary aim will be to understand how media technologies, forms, policies, publics, and practices play a constitutive role in the production of the national, as well as in the mediations induced by this evolving imagination.

We will critically examine seminal theories of nationalism, national culture and national identity; the relation between the two hyphenated constituents of the nation-state; cognate social imaginaries such as civil society and the public sphere; assumptions and policies that seek to institutionalize and regulate the national past, national culture, or national cinema; and the interfaces between competing imaginations of collectivity and sociality.


Research Interests