Universiteit Leiden

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Conference | Workshop

European regionalisms in the long 20th century (1890-2015)

Thursday 10 November 2016 - Saturday 12 November 2016
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

The interest in regionalism is rapidly growing, particularly in Europe. The issue of regional versus national identities is making headlines nowadays, with strong regional movements in Scotland, Catalonia, Flanders and supposedly also in the Ukraine. Regional movements and processes of regional identity construction are crucial to understand our current globalizing world, where the nation-state loses relevance and ethnic, regional, transnational and supranational identities are becoming more important.

Regional identities and regionalism, however, are a constant feature of European modernity since the end of the 19th century. Developed as a side-effect of the emergence of national identities, regionalism has often been regarded as an inward-looking, reactionary and nostalgic phenomenon and in some cases as a direct forerunner of a sub-state nationalism eventually leading to separatism. Yet, the regional is not only a complementary dimension of the national, but also a product of modernity, which has been able to adapt itself to the transformations experienced by European societies throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. As with nationalism, regional identities and regionalisms have coexisted with liberalism, traditionalism, fascism and communism. They survived the Interwar and the Cold War periods and persist until the present days.

The aim of this workshop is to offer a cross-country and diachronic perspective on the development of regional identities and regionalism, focusing on the one hand on big areas within Europe (Southern Europe, Central Europe, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, etc.), and examining on the other hand the relationship between regionalism and specific ideologies and regimes (Fascism, Communism...), as well as different themes related to them, from food to tourism and the arts.

More information can be found in the workshop's programme.

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