Thank you for your great responses this month. We have had a fascinating and productive conversation about the impact that the affective turn has had on the study of nationalism, and it is clear that there is great work being done in this field. Special thanks must go to our interviewee for this month, Reetta Eiranen. Dr. Eiranen shared her expertise on this matter and gave us some great examples of the intersection of emotion and nationalism in practice.
Happy and productive New Year everyone!
Thank you for your great comments so far. This has been a fascinating discussion on the role of emotion and affect in the study of nationalism, and I look forward to seeing the conversation progress over the next several days.
Jünger articulates this desire - described by David above - to "escape from the materialistic, mechanistic, rational-bureaucratic order that was increasingly determinative of modern life" at the beginning of his "In Stahlgewittern" (Storm of Steel, 1920):
Thanks to Joep for bringing Max Weber into the conversation. The interpretation of the war enthusiasm of 1914 as a manifestation of the thirst for charisma, as Weber described it, is quite compelling. I would add that Weber's theories of rational-bureaucratic authority and of the historical interrelation of the three types of legitimate political authority can be quite helpful for understanding this war enthusiasm.
Thanks to Liah for this great comment and also for Michael’s fine follow-up!
Dear H-Emotions Subscribers and Editors,
Over at H-Nationalism, our current Question of the Month focuses on nationalism studies and the affective turn. Please feel welcomed to subscribe (if you don't already) and contribute your thoughts to the growing conversation. We'd love to hear from you:
Much of the work on emotions helps us to trace connections between the individual and the collective, and between the personal and the public, so I think it can teach us a lot about nationalism, particularly as it is experienced as part of the texture of daily life. In terms of methods, this can lead in a variety of different directions. A couple of examples from the literature on the United States:
The 10th Gellner Lecture at the ASEN in 2004, which I gave, focused on the affective impact of nationalism. Indeed, I remember, at that time Anthony Smith found this turn surprising. This was followed by an interesting conference on ennui in Paris at Pantheon-Sorbonne in 2007, organized, among others, by Nathalie Richard. There I, again, connected this particular emotion to nationalism. In 2013 Harvard University Press published the third volume of my nationalism trilogy, MIND,MODERNITY,MADNESS: THE IMPACT OF CULTURE ON HUMAN EXPERIENCE.