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Lecture | Leiden University Nationalism Network

Nationalism before Modernity? The Dutch case

Thursday 26 September 2019
Drinks afterwards
Leiden University Nationalism Network
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

Is nationalism a modern phenomenon? This is one of the most hotly debated issues in the field of nationalism studies. Ernest Gellner, Benedict Anderson and Eric Hobsbawm argue that nationalism is a consequence of the rise of modernity. This dominant interpretation has been challenged by among others Anthony Smith, Caspar Hirshi and Azar Gat. Most of the often fierce debates between both camps ended in confusion, also because of a lack of empirical case studies. Recently modernization theories seem to have lost much of their persuasiveness, while many fresh studies have been done on territorial identity formation in the early modern period. Leiden University Nationalism Network organizes a roundtable to revisit the relationship between nationalism and modernity. We will focus on the Low Countries. Could a Dutch national identity already be found in the late Medieval period? Should the Dutch Revolt be seen as a nationalist uprising? Should we stick to a modernist interpretation? Four experts from the Faculty of Humanities will shed their light on these fascinating questions.

Participants of this roundtable are:

Claire Weeda (Medieval History): national identities in de Middle Ages

Robert Stein (Medieval History): late medieval Low Countries

Jasper van der Steen (Dutch History): the Dutch Revolt

Gijsbert Rutten (Dutch Language and Culture): the standardization of the Dutch language

Henk te Velde (Dutch History): From the Dutch Republic to the Kingdom of the Netherlands


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