Nationalism and Ethnicity: Conferences, Call for Papers, Fellowships

Upcoming Symposium: “National symbols across time and space”

University of Oslo, September 17-18, 2015

Despite the evident weakening of the nation and the national during these times of cultural globalization, nationalisms are not disappearing in the world. Instead, they are reappearing in a range of new forms utilizing both new and renewed symbols. Or perhaps we are witness to a reconstruction of old forms and old symbols? Symbols are often understood as abstract universals (Piercy 2013) raising the question of whether or not national symbols reflect universal patterns in symbolic systems. Or, is the analysis of symbols most usefully understood in relation to the particularities of different national discourses? We are interested not only in discussing concrete symbols (like objects or persons) representing a nation, but also in abstract symbols (like language and ideas).

Symbols give form to the invisible and describe the intangible, constituting in effect a masked pattern of culture. But while symbols can unify a group of people, the interpretation of symbols can also divide them. Contested symbols may be linked to “discursive battles” as to their meaning, acceptance, or rejection. Arguably, self-identified groups wish to avow their own symbols meaning that symbols become an avowed pattern of culture subject to disputation and conflict. In our workshop we would like to discuss different faces of the national symbols and their role in a construction or a deconstruction of the nation.

Organizers particularly welcome interdisciplinary approaches to national symbols, and contributions concerned with symbols in discourse.

Paper proposals should take the form of an abstract (maximum 300 words) in English. The abstracts should clearly state the research questions, and outline the research and the methods used.  Please, add to the proposal your name, institutional affiliation and address (email), as well as your discipline.

Important note: If you would like to participate without presenting a paper, please sign up by sending a message to the project assistant, Mikhail Markelov <>, before September 1st, 2015.

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Call for Papers: “Between Colonial, National and Ethnic Networks: Elmaleh and his Counterparts, 1900-1967”

An International Workshop at Tel Aviv University, November 9-10, 2015

In recent years, many scholars focusing on Jewish intellectuals in the Muslim world have employed new analytical categories in comprehending the intellectual ideas and worldviews that make up the legacy of their subject matter. Quite often, this is done in concert with the general ongoing shift in Humanities and Social Sciences. As a consequence, once rigidly formulated identity categories such as “Judeo-Arabs”,”Zionists”, “Sephardic”, “Westernized”, “secular”, “Mizrahim” are gradually being replaced by more nuanced conceptions and means of interpretation. “Between Colonial, National and Ethnic Networks” seeks to contribute to these ongoing efforts, by exploring the evolution of Jewish intellectual writing and activities as addressed above, from a dynamic, social networks perspective.

The workshop will take place both in Hebrew and English. It will be held on Monday-Tuesday, November 9-10, 2015 at Tel-Aviv University. Researchers from all disciplines are invited to submit a proposal. Please send a 300-400 words abstract together with a short CV to Dr. Aviad Moreno at, no later than August 22, 2015.

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Doctoral Fellowships: University of Oslo

The project “Discourses of the Nation” will announce two doctoral fellowships in June. Successful applicants should develop a sub-topic closely linked to the “Discourses of the Nation” umbrella project and will be part of it. Doctoral fellowships at the University of Oslo are for three years and entail regular employment with no other duties than joining the Ph.D program and writing the dissertation.

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