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Germany—A Nation in its Time: Before, During, and After Nationalism, 1500- 2000

September 24, 2021 at 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

This book shows how the concept of the German nation developed and changed over half a millennium, demonstrating that nationalism was only one possible way of imagining the nation. Using evidence from maps and literature, material culture and high politics, this book precisely delineates constantly altering constellations of national imaginings and charts epistemological ruptures between chronologically distinct and essentially different ways of defining the nation. Modern nationalism is part of this larger story, but only a part, and one, moreover, with both productive and extremely destructive dimensions to it.  The book also suggests that while Germany has not left the age of nationalism, it has made considerable progress in this direction, the partial successes of right-wing populism notwithstanding. For this reason, it makes sense to speak of the German nation before, during, and after nationalism.

HELMUT WALSER SMITH is the Martha Rivers Ingram Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. From 2005-2008, he was Director of the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities at Vanderbilt. His recent book publications include: Germany. A Nation in its Time. Before, During, and After Nationalism (2020); The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History, editor (2011); and The Continuities of German History: Nation, Religion, and Race across the Long Nineteenth Century (2008).

With TERENCE V. MCINTOSH (UNC Chapel Hill) I JOHN BREUILLY (London School of Economics) I KONRAD H.
JARAUSCH (UNC Chapel Hill) I EVE ROSENHAFT (University of Liverpool)


September 24, 2021
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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