SPIN aims to chart the cultural and historical root system of European nationalisms and to bring into focus those intellectual networks which carried and disseminated the emerging ideals of cultural nationalism in the Romantic period and in the long nineteenth century (1770-1914).
The 2014 SPIN lecture will be given on Tuesday 25 November by Professor T.A. Shippey. Tom Shippey, emeritus Professor of Humanities at St. Louis University, is famous among the wider public as the world’s foremost specialist on the work of J.R.R. Tolkien and its background in Germanic and Comparative Philology. In the scholarly community, Shippey’s best-known work is on the 19th-century intellectual history of Germanic and Mythological Studies; among his publications in that field are a documentary reception study of Beowulf (Beowulf: The Critical Heritage, with Andreas Haarder) and The Shadow-walkers: Jacob Grimm's Mythology of the Monstrous. He was editor of Studies in Medievalism from 2003 to 2007.
Title and abstract of the lecture: “The Development of Mythography: Contests for Control”
The rediscovery of Old Norse or Eddic mythology from the 16th century on had powerful ripple-effects, reinforced in the 19th century by the effects of the new science of comparative philology: the search for competing national or ethnic mythologies, the collection of “survivor-genres” such as fairy-tale and lay or ballad, the translation into new artistic forms from drama to comic-book. But how was mythology to be interpreted? Many theories evolved, of which those of Jacob Grimm and J.G. Frazer were only the most influential intellectually, and those of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien the most prominent artistically. This lecture surveys some part of this large and largely unexplored field, noting a general movement away from the first narrowly nationalistic intentions.
Date: Tuesday 25 November
Time: 16.00-17.00, followed by drinks
Place: Singelkerk (Singel 452, opposite Spui and Aula) Amsterdam
The purpose of this international project is to investigate the work of Icelandic philologists who were engaged in the study and/or editing of Old Norse-Icelandic literature during the period 1780-1918, with specific focus on the nationalist thinking revealed therein.
Joep Leerssen was awarded this honorary doctorate for his work in the area of imagology (the study of national (self)images and stereotypes) and nationalism studies.
Collective identities play not only a crucial role in the cultural, social and political life, but also in humanities research. The aim of this reading group is to exchange and profit from the theoretical, conceptual and empirical variety provided by humanities research on various forms of collective identities (i.e. national, ethnic, regional, civilizational, artistic, imaginary, political, religious, spatial, urban etc.). Next to reading the work of renowned classic humanities scholars and cutting edge ones, the emphasis however will be on discussing draft versions of participants' own work.
In this way, the reading group contributes both to the scope of knowledge on collective identities (given the different themes and approaches) and to the concrete applicability of this variety to one’s own research. Since many mechanisms and phenomena within collective identities (such as boundary making, stereotyping, essentialism, identification, politicization, etc.) transcend particular case studies or disciplines, scholars can benefit concretely from each other’s knowledge.
All scholars working on collective identities – especially ReMa and PhD students – are cordially invited to participate in the reading group. The readings will be chosen and discussed within the group, reflecting on the ongoing research trajectories of the members. This reading group will take place once every six weeks, and can be joined at any time.
Date: Friday, October 17, 2014
Location: PC Hoofthuis, Spuistraat 134, Amsterdam, room 625
1) Leerssen, J. (2006). ‘Nationalism and the cultivation of culture’, Nations and Nationalism, 12(4), 559-578.
2) Freeden, M. (1998). ‘Is Nationalism a Distinct Ideology?’, Political Studies, 46, 748–765.
For enrolment, or any questions, please contact Josip Kesic (email@example.com).
We are proud to announce that Kim Simonsen, post-doc at SPIN, was awarded the Faroese Literature Price 2014 in the category fiction for his collection of poems "Hvat hjálpur einum menniskja at vakna ein morgun hesumegin hetta áratúsundi" (2013). The judges on the collection: "Words, images and design are a part of an artistic whole, which represents the existential foundation of the persona in the collection. Travels, arrivals and departures as well as heartbreak, boredom combined with the ever-present blind chance of human biology, these forces of life no one can escape are crystallised in how the persona images the role of man and our consciousness. The poems are serious and operate with wide geographical and intertextual angles. Time and space are not fixed, only death defines a natural and endless circulation, questioning if anyone of us did leave any trace in the many billiard years lifetime of the Earth." Check out the ceremony and an interview with Simonsen for Faroese Television here.
Conference Announcement and Call for Papers: ‘Northern Myths, Modern Identities: The Nationalization of Mythologies in Northern Europe ’
University of Groningen, the Netherlands
27-29 November 2014
Deadline for application: 10 July 2014
Funded by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences, a project on “National Music” is being developed at the University of Amsterdam in close collaboration with SPIN. The SPIN website will include a a variety of materials on musical nationalism.
The time-dynamic maps of cultural developments across Europe and across the 19th century (accessible under the menu header "SpInTime mappings") are now demonstrated by means of four short demonstration videos explaining how to use their interface.