Amsterdam, 19-22 September 2018 – Call for Papers
A major international conference on Cultural mobilization: Cultural consciousness-raising and national movements in Europe and the world will be held in Amsterdam between 19 and 22 September 2018. The conference is organized by SPIN in association with NISE (Antwerp) and ASEN (London). Proposals for papers or panels can be submitted until 31 October 2017.
Nationalism relies heavily on cultural consciousness-raising. After 1789, states increasingly invoked the national culture they claimed to incorporate--national movements asserted their rights within or against the state by defining their identity in cultural terms (language, ethnicity, collective memory), cultural production (literature, the arts, music) and knowledge production (philology, folklore, history-writing). They invoked--indeed often constructed--the nation’s cultural identity.
That state institutions or political activists instrumentalize cultural notions of collective identity for propaganda purposes is well known. But the cultivation of culture is more than a propaganda tool: it is a broadly-based social praxis, involving both cultural production and knowledge production, carried by artists and intellectuals, with its own inner dynamics, social agency and mobilizing power.
The artistic and intellectual undercurrents of cultural nationalism, its intermedial entanglements and transnational diffusion, have been studied as part of the modernizing dynamics of, specifically, 19th-century Europe. On that basis, the conference proposed here aims to broaden the scope in two directions:
 How did cultural nationalists exercise their agency? How might we analyze the relationships between political and cultural nationalism if we trace causality and agency from cultural practices into politics?
 To what extent is cultural mobilization peculiar to Europe? What parallels, interactions or differences were there with nationalism and national movements in the wider world?
Possible fields of attention:
Historical cases of culturally triggered or motivated activism; cultural producers and knowledge producers as conduits between elites and masses; the European and global networks of cultural producers and knowledge producers; colonial nationalism; cultural activism in anti-imperialism and anticolonialism; (non-)European empires and their multi-ethnicity; theory of culture-political relations; Bengal Renaissance; Pan-Africanism; Meiji Japan; Turanism; indigenous rights movements.
Papers/panels with a comparative/transnational scope will be particularly welcome.
Please address proposals for papers or panels to SPIN (SPIN@uva.nl) before 31 October.