An onion, an artichoke or a vegetable stew? Reviewing Anthony D. Smith’s ethno-symbolism

Ion Pagoaga Ibiricu (SPS Researcher)

17 November 2016, 17:00-19:00, Seminar Room 4, Badia Fiesolana

Is the nation like an onion that can be peeled until it is reduced to nothing, or rather like an artichoke that contains a core? The ethno-symbolist understanding of the nation has traditionally argued for the latter. Anthony D. Smith, who passed away last July, was one of the main theorists in this vein. The Nationalism Working Group would like to kick off this academic year by bringing in a discussion on Smith’s contribution to the study of nationalism. This first session will present some of his main points in Nationalism and Modernism (1998) same as some criticisms of his work. The aim of the discussion is to touch upon one of the most important issues in nationalism studies, that of the origin of nations and the debate on their (re)construction or invention. The meeting will be a good opportunity to compare modernist, perennialist and postmodernist theories with ethno-symbolism as well. Through these words, we would like to forward an invitation for an open discussion to current members and newcomers to the Nationalism Working Group, which intends to be an interdisciplinary framework for discussion in the field of nationalism in a broad way.


Benoit Vaillot

Ph.D. Researcher (European University Institute, Florence) / doctorant en histoire (EHESS, Paris). Chercheur associé Arche EA 3400 (Université de Strasbourg). Coordinateur du séminaire doctoral "Nationalism Working Group" hébergé à l'Institut Universitaire Européen.

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