Symposium III: The Nations Within

Written on March 12, 2010 by Felicia Appenteng in Arts & Cultures & Societies, IE Humanities Center

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 Symposium Series, Winter Semester 2010

with Dr. Rolf Strøm-Olsen, Professor of Humanities

Sala Capitular, Segovia Campus, IE University

Wednesday March 24, 18:30-20:30


Symposium III: The Nations Within



examined the emergence of nationalism as a relatively recent creation of historical and economic forces, our next symposium will deal with the important and often controversial question of what rights accrue to and within the nation in a modern political, constitutional and cultural context.


 If our understanding of national identity is circumscribed by a specific type of historical development, what does that mean for the persistence of the nation state today and tomorrow? In the context of cultural pluralities in countries like Belgium and Canada, Romania and China, Spain and the Ukraine, how can we accommodate nations with nations? The idea that modern nations must move beyond traditional forms of nationalism has been referred to as "cosmopolitan nationalism," a form of identity that is broad enough to contain multiple distinct cultural, religious, ethnic and/or linguistic identities within the mantle of a single national culture.  But as the serious and often fractious movements of independence or autonomy in many of these regions demonstrate, the principles of cosmopolitan nationalism are fraught with tensions: between majority and minority, between competing language groups and within political superstructures.


Our third symposium will confront these idea head on. Where does the national boundary stop? And how sacrosanct is the idea of the nation and national identity? What rights should distinct cultural groups enjoy under a national political heading, and should these rights be restricted to "historical" communities or enjoyed by everyone who can stake a claim to a distinct heritage? Should questions like immigration, education, language and taxation reflect a national or cosmopolitan agenda? Finally, looking forward, how might our definition of national identity change under the pressures and stresses of competing agendas under the nationalist umbrella?


To confirm your participation and to receive the readings, please send an email toArtsHumanities@ie.edu, with the subject 'Symposium.'

Prof. Rolf Strøm-Olsen received his doctorate in History from Northwestern University and is a professor of Humanities at IE University.


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