Our world is a world of nations. The existence and fundamental importance of nations, national identities, or national boundaries is rarely questioned. Yet, the scholarly literature on nationalism has shown that national communities are socially constructed, that national identities are fluid, and that national boundaries are constantly contested. Clearly, maintaining nations requires a great deal of collective effort. How is it that this effort is rendered invisible? How have nations come to be seen as natural? Why do individuals buy into the idea of national identity?
In order to fully answer these questions, we need to examine the links between nationalism and popular culture. Movies, TV series, popular music, sport, video games, comics and other elements of everyday culture are intimately involved in the production (and contestation) of nationhood. Showtime’s hit series Homeland, for example, closely reflects American values and sensibilities; Britpop played a prominent role in British nation-branding; and the Beijing Olympics offered an important venue for the dissemination of official Chinese nationalism.
This volume will focus on three themes in analyzing nationalism and popular culture:
- Communities (e.g., what are the links between nationalism and social inequality? What, if anything, do members of the nation owe one another? What are the core beliefs, myths, and values of the nation? What are the origins of the nation, and what is its future?)
- Limits (e.g., what are the borders of the nation? Who belongs to the nation and who does not? Who are the nation’s “Others”? Are national boundaries secure or under threat?)
- Sovereignty (e.g., who is seen to rule the nation? What is the relationship between nations, states, and markets? Where does the nation fit in the global order? What actors, rules, or power structures govern the production of national identity and popular culture?)
The editor invites proposals for chapters that address one of these broad themes. The volume is primarily designed as an examination of empirical cases, but theoretically oriented chapter proposals are welcome as well. The editor aims to include case studies from a wide range of geopolitical contexts, covering both the Global North and Global South.
Please email chapter proposals of about 300-500 words to the editor (Tim Nieguth, firstname.lastname@example.org) by November 15, 2015, together with your full contact information and a short biographical statement. The editor will review proposals by early December. If accepted for inclusion in the volume, chapters should be completed and submitted to the editor by April 30, 2016. Chapters should be 7,000-8,000 words in length, must be original work, and must not be under review or accepted for publication elsewhere. Please note that it is the responsibility of individual contributors to secure permissions for any copyrighted material included in their chapter.