Joep Leerssen, profesor moderne europske književnosti na Fakultetu za humanistiku (Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen) Sveučilišta u Amsterdamu, gostuje u okviru međunarodne suradnje Sveučilišta u Zagrebu na Filozofskom fakultetu 29. i 31. listopada. Profesor Leerssen održat će na engleskom jeziku dva povezana predavanja pod naslovom “The nation as comfort zone: how auto-images facilitate ‘feelgood nationalism’: The historical and idyllic imagination” (ključne riječi podnaslova označavaju tematsku razliku dvaju predavanja).

Predavanja će se održati:

  • u utorak 29. listopada u Vijećnici Fakulteta s početkom u 19 sati;
  • u četvrtak 31. listopada u Vijećnici Fakulteta s početkom u 9 sati.

Niže se donose sažetak predavanja, upute na literaturu i kratka biografska bilješka.

Joep Leerssen, The nation as comfort zone: how auto-images facilitate feelgood nationalism: The historical and idyllic imagination

Most national movements in Europe were carried, in the course of the 19th century, by an intense wave of cultural consciousness-raising, a “cultivation of culture” (Leerssen 2006). The nation’s auto-image, as a cultural community with an authentic, specific tradition and character, was activated to provide the main inspiration and focus for artistic production and knowledge production (in literature, painting, music, folklore, design, linguistics, history-writing, archaeology, ethnology, mythology); it was also instrumentalized into the core element of a political programme aiming at social empowerment and constitutional autonomy, and at creating a nation-state drawing political charisma from the cultural solidarity of its citizens.

Nationalism can thus be defined as the political activation and instrumentalization of an auto-image.

The quest for the nation’s authentic and “characteristic” identity turned to two fields of inspiration: the past and the peasantry. The two proposed lectures will successively address both fields of inspiration.

Romantic historicism activated that aspect of the national auto-image which articulated a sense of identity as being transhistorically permanent, establishing a meaningful connection between the past (usually conceived in terms of the aesthetic sublime: heroic, epic, mythical) and the present. Romantic idyllism activated that aspect of the national auto-image which stresses organic authenticity, usually conceived in sentimental terms: innocent, virtuous, in harmony with nature, familial/communitarian.

The lectures will explore these fields and suggest how, following their cultural heyday in the Romantic decades, they survived into twentieth-century modernity as quasi-“unpolitical” forms of banal nationalism: the nation as “brand” and feel-good factor.

Related reading:

Joep Leerssen, “Nationalism and the cultivation of culture”, Nations and nationalism, 12.4 (2006): 559-578. Online at

http://consellodacultura.gal/mediateca/extras/NationalCultivationOfCulture.pdf

Joep Leerssen, When was Romantic Nationalism? The onset, the long tail, the banal (NISE Essays; Antwerpen: NISE, 2014). Online at http://test.www.nise.eu/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Nise-Essays-2_web.pdf

Some articles from the Encyclopedia of Romantic Nationalism in Europe (ERNiE; book version 2 vols. Amsterdam University Press 2018; online at http://ernie.uva.nl)

https://ernie.uva.nl/viewer.p/21/56/object/122-276820

https://ernie.uva.nl/viewer.p/21/56/object/122-159208

https://ernie.uva.nl/viewer.p/21/56/filter/0-OR:91-140090|Introductory~survey/grid

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Joep Leerssen studirao je komparativnu književnost u Aachenu i anglo-irske studije u Dublinu, a doktorat je stekao u Utrechtu 1986. godine. Težišta su njegova istraživačkog rada poredbena povijest nacionalnih pokreta, imagologija (proučavanje nacionalnih stereotipizacija), povijest i teorija humanističkih znanosti, kulturna povijest Irske. Profesor je moderne europske književnosti na Sveučilištu u Amsterdamu od 1991. godine te usto i honorarni profesor na Sveučilištu u Maastrichtu. Kao gostujući profesor i stipendist boravio je na sveučilištima Harvard, Cambridge (Magdalene College), Göttingen (Lichtenberg-Kolleg), Liege i Ecole normale supérieure (Pariz). Dobitnik je Spinozine nagrade, najvišeg nizozemskog priznanja za znanstvena postignuća, te istraživačke profesure Kraljevske nizozemske akademije znanosti. Među njegovim publikacijama ističu se Comparative Literature in Britain, 1800-2000 (2019), Encyclopedia of Romantic Nationalism in Europe (2018), Commemorating Writers in 19th-Century Europe; Nation-Building and Centenary Fever (suurednik s Ann Rigney, 2014) and Imagology: The Cultural Construction and Literary Representation of National Characters (suurednik s Manfredom Bellerom, 2007, sad dostupno i na mrežnoj stranici https://imagologica.eu).