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  1. ANTH0029: The Anthropology of Nationalism, Ethnicity and Race 4 items

      2018-2019 Term 2


      Lecturer: Dr Rebekah Plueckhahn




      Student feedback and consultation hours: TBC once my timetable is finalised and by appointment.



      Undergraduate Lecture: Fridays 9-11am, Taviton 16, Room 431

      Postgraduate Seminar: Fridays 2-4pm, Birkbeck Gordon Sq (43) 104.


      Undergraduate tutorials are held on Fridays:

      Tutorial One: Gordon Square (22) B15, Friday 12-1pm

      Tutorial Two: Gordon Square (22) B15, Friday 1-2pm




      This course examines the concepts and practices of 'ethnicity,' 'race' and 'nation,' as bases of social and political belonging and differentiation and as sources of both comfort and conflict. The focus will be on the creation and reworking of categories and forms of identification in different places, where we will examine aspects of the lived experience of 'ethnic' and 'national' attachments and their changing forms. We start with the premise that nationalism, race and ethnicity are socially constructed and emergent forms of affiliation rather than substantial entities. Nationalism, race and ethnicity will be studied, seeking to understand them as relational processes unfolding in the historical contexts in which they have developed. As such, the course is not limited to the specialized fields of nationalism, race and ethnicity but has a broader relevance to anthropology and social and political sciences.


      The format of the course relies on both lectures with some student participation and discussion during the tutorials. All students are required to engage in critical analysis of the required readings. 


      Readings consist of a variety of articles and book selections. The readings are primarily anthropological but we will peruse a few classics from political theory, feminist writings, culture studies and history. For each week there are THREE REQUIRED readings, some more conceptual but at least one of them will present an ethnographic case that has been selected to exemplify theory. Additional recommended readings will appear on your library reading list, however, not all additional readings will be digitised.


      Please note that I will be adding further readings throughout Term 2, so the library list will be live and continuously updated. You might find the 'suggested readings' useful when it comes to writing your essays.


      The readings can be found in:


      1) online


      2) main collection in UCL libraries


      3) Other London libraries, especially the British Library (you need to register).



      Assessment and Requirements

      1.  You are required to complete each week's readings prior to your tutorial. The key readings will be integrated in the lecture but we will discuss them critically during the tutorials.


      2.   There is no exam in this course. 

      For Undergraduates, the course will be assessed by two essays of 2000 words each. Each essay is worth 50% of the final grade.  

      For the Masters students, assessment will be one 3000 word essay. 


  2. 1. Week One (Jan 11): Introduction 15 items
    Introduction to the requirements and themes of the course, followed by a brief historical overview of the genealogy of nationalism. This week introduces students to a number of important theoretical issues. We will do this through exploring how the terms nationalism, ethnicity and race have been used in anthropology and related fields. Questions: Why should we study race, ethnicity and nationalism together? What is the affinity between them? What is the scholarly benefit of the shift between asking what an ethnic group or nation is, to attempts to specify how ethnicity, race and nation work?
    1. Required Readings 5 items
      1. Ethnic Identification and Ideology

        Chapter Essential UCL username and password required for access.

      2. Ethnicity in History

        Chapter Essential UCL username and password required for access.

      3. Nationalism

        Chapter Essential UCL username and password required for access.

    2. Recommended Readings 10 items
      1. Perceptions of Britishness - Jessica Jacobson 07/1997

        Article Recommended

      2. Nations and nationalism - Ernest Gellner 2006

        Book Recommended

      3. What is a nation? - Ernest Renan 1990

        Chapter Recommended 1990 edition - further copies in the library

      4. Writing against Culture - Lila Abu-Lughod

        Chapter Recommended Digitised reading

      5. Waiting - Ruth Visser

        Chapter Recommended Digitised reading

  3. 2. Week Two (Jan 18): Nations and Nationalism 14 items
    We will discuss the origins of nation states and explore how nations become felt, experiential worlds charged with political and ethical dilemmas. We will also ask the ways that the conceptualization of nation-states is changing. Questions: What are the origins of nation-states? Are there ancient and new nations? How do people come to think of themselves as part of a nation? Are they a necessary ideal for the group and what constitutes a group in the first place? How do nations become plausible and persuasive?
    1. Required Readings 3 items
      1. Imagined communities: reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism - Benedict R. O'G. Anderson, c2006

        Book Essential Please just focus on the Introduction - pp.1-7

      2. Whose Imagined Community? - Partha Chatterjee

        Chapter Essential Digitised reading

    2. Recommended Readings 11 items
      1. The origins of nations - Anthony D. Smith 07/1989

        Article Recommended

      2. Nationalism: theory, ideology, history - Anthony D. Smith 2010

        Book Recommended Chapters 1, 3 and 6 will be useful to read for this week. The 2001 ed is also available below.

      3. Nationalism: theory, ideology, history - Anthony D. Smith c2001

        Book Recommended

      4. Past glories, present politics - Michael Herzfeld

        Chapter Recommended

  4. 3. Week Three (Jan 25): Ethnicity. 21 items
    This lecture adopts a constructivist approach to ethnicity as an agentive historical process of categorizing people. We will look at these complex issues through multiple ethnographic examples and explore the implications of coupling culture and ethnicity for our understanding of diversity. Questions: How do ethnic categories come into being? What is erased in the process? What does it mean to be of a particular descent?
    1. Required Readings 5 items
      1. Introduction - Fredrik Barth

        Chapter Essential This reading cannot be digitised.

      2. Introduction - Uradyn Erden. Bulag

        Chapter Essential Digitised reading

    2. Recommended Readings 16 items
      1. Ideologies of identification - Richard Jenkins

        Chapter Recommended Digitised reading

      2. Ethnic Groups - Max Weber

        Chapter  Digitised reading

      3. “Identity” - Lauren Leve 2011

        Article Recommended

  5. 4. Week Four (Feb 1): “Race” and the process of racialisation. 25 items
    This week our focus is on race. Is race rooted in human biology or culture? How is race constructed in relation to the colour of skin? If race is an obsolete category of anthropological analysis (as some have argued), how can we account for enduring, sometimes unwitting forms of racism? We will explore ethnographic particularities and historical change and continuity in attitudes towards “race” and racism.
    1. Required Readings 4 items
      1. Fact of Blackness - Franz Fanon 2008

        Chapter Essential Digitised reading

      2. Human Nature and Race - Peter Wade 2004

        Article Essential

    2. Recommended Readings 21 items
      1. Soul Citizenship: The Black Hebrews and the State of Israel - Fran Markowitz, Sara Helman, Dafna Shir-Vertesh 2003

        Article Recommended

      2. Race/Related - The New York Times

        Webpage Recommended A weekly newsletter in the New York Times focused on race, identity and culture.

      3. Childish Gambino - This Is America (Official Music Video) - YouTube

        Audio-visual document Recommended **Trigger and Content warning** This video contains depictions of gun violence.

      4. Racialization: the genealogy and critique of a concept - Rohit Barot, John Bird 2001

        Article Recommended E-journal

      5. 'Difference', cultural racism and anti-racism - Tariq Modood

        Chapter Recommended Digitised reading

      6. Is sex to gender like race is to ethnicity? - Verena Stolcke

        Chapter Recommended Digitised reading

  6. 5. Week Five (Feb 8): Performance, Art, Culture and Ethnicity 20 items
    This lecture explores ethnicity through the lens of musical performance and visual art. We will look at the links between artistic practice, national, transnational and local conceptualisations of ethnic and cultural identity and experiences of racialisation. Questions: Is ethnicity a performance? How does performance constitute ethnicity? What role can performance and art play in experiences of racialisation? What role does performance and art have in constituting social worlds? How do performed ethnicities or cultural identities become a commodity for sale? And how does this become implicated in circulations of prestige, value, politics and meaning-making between people?
    1. Required Readings 3 items
      1. Three or Four Things about Ethno-Futures - John L. Comaroff, Jean Comaroff

        Chapter Essential Digitised reading.

    2. Recommended Readings 17 items
      1. Nationalism and hybridity in Mongolia - Uradyn Erden Bulag 1998

        Book Recommended

      2. Where rivers and mountains sing: sound, music, and nomadism in Tuva and beyond - Theodore Craig Levin, Valentina Süzükei c2006

        Book Recommended

      3. Becoming art: exploring cross-cultural categories - Howard Morphy 2007

        Book Recommended

      4. Ethnicity, identity and music: the musical construction of place - Martin Stokes 1994

        Book Recommended

      5. Nationalists, cosmopolitans, and popular music in Zimbabwe - Thomas Turino, American Council of Learned Societies c2000

        Book Recommended

  7. 6. Week Six : Reading Week - Beginning February 11th 1 item
    1. No class

  8. 7. Week Seven (Feb 22): Whiteness 19 items
    Many studies of ‘race’ take whiteness as self-evident. It is an implicit frame of reference. Is whiteness invisible? How can 'whiteness' be unproblematic if it continues to be a location of privilege? Who and under what conditions is perceived as white? Can affirmation of whiteness be studied as a non-racist phenomenon? What is it like to be white in South Africa? We will explore the neglected problem of whiteness from multiple perspectives. How do white people see themselves and are seen by black persons? This lecture is crucial for understanding 'whiteness' as an ethnographic category.
    1. Required reading 3 items
      1. The souls of white folk - W. E. B. Du Bois

        Chapter Essential Digitised reading

      2. Waiting - Vincent Crapanzano

        Chapter Essential Digitised reading

      3. White men - Mary Weismantel

        Chapter Essential Digitised reading.

    2. Recommended readings 16 items
      1. The Century of Whiteshift - Eric Kaufmann

        Chapter Recommended

      2. The matter of whiteness - Richard Dyer

        Chapter Recommended e-book

      3. The Lightness of white men

        Chapter Recommended

      4. Establishing the fact of whiteness - Hartigan, Jr., John Sep 1997

        Article Recommended

      5. White nation: fantasies of white supremacy in a multicultural society - Ghassan Hage 2000

        Book Recommended

      6. Whiteness and culture - Erik T. Withers 04/2017

        Article Recommended

  9. 8. Week Eight (March 1): Religious Nationalism 23 items
    This lecture will examine and discuss religious nationalism. What happens to religion when it becomes a setting for political relations? Is it conceptually sound to separate religion and politics as overlapping fields of practice? Are they different orders of reality?
    1. Required Readings 3 items
    2. Recommended Readings 20 items
      1. Religion, Secularism, and the Nation - Peter van der Veer 2008

        Article Recommended

      2. Rethinking Syncretism: Religious Pluralism and Code Choice in a Context of Ethnoreligious Tension - Janet McIntosh

        Chapter Recommended This reading is also available in the Science Library Teaching Collection (see reading below)

      3. Rethinking syncretism: religious pluralism and code choice in a context of ethnoreligious tension. - Janet McIntosh

        Chapter Recommended This reading is available in the Science Library Teaching Collection: SCIENCE 6421

      4. Introduction and theoretical orientations - Geneviève Zubrzycki

        Chapter Recommended Digitised reading

      5. Managing religion in the name of national community - Lila Abu-Lughod

        Chapter Recommended This reading is also available in the Science Library Teaching Collection (please see reading below)

      6. Managing religion in the name of national community - Lila Abu-Lughod

        Chapter Recommended This reading is available in the Science Library Teaching Collection: SCIENCE 6422

      7. Religious nationalism - Peter van der Veer

        Chapter Recommended Digitised reading

      8. Germanness and the Leitkultur controversy - Katherone Pratt Ewing

        Chapter Recommended Digitised reading

      9. Religious nationalism and the making of the modern Japanese state - Fumiko Fukase-Indergaard, Michael Indergaard 2008

        Article Recommended

  10. 9. Week Nine (March 8): Connectivity and Nationhood 18 items
    It is a popular argument that today’s world is that of connectivity, including new media technologies, transnational trade networks, globalization, cosmopolitanism, and international institutions. This lecture will ask: What are the challenges that connectivity poses to the notion of a bounded, territorially marked nation-state?
    1. Required Readings 3 items
    2. Recommended Readings 15 items
      1. Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection - Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing 2011 (electronic resource)

        Book Recommended

      2. Whither "Nation" and "Nationalism"? - Katherine Verdery 1993

        Article Recommended

      3. The decline of the nation-state and the end of the rights of man. - Hannah Arendt 2004

        Chapter Recommended

      4. The Global Situation - Anna Tsing 2000

        Article Recommended

  11. 10: Week Ten (March 15): Populist politics and new nationalisms 12 items
    This week will examine the role of nationalism in populist political discourse and how nationalism in some areas is being re-framed. We will explore the different ways ethnicity is becoming implicated in these forms of nationalism arising out of populist politics.
    1. Required Readings 5 items
      1. Introduction - R. Eatwell, M. Goodwin

        Chapter Essential Digitised Reading

      2. Special issue - Symposium Populism - Economic Anthropology

        Journal Optional Optional to read any article from the special issue on: How can economic anthropology make sense of and engage with rising global populism? Karen Ho's article examines race, economy and housing markets in the age of populism.

      3. The Populist Surge in Post-Democratic Times: Theoretical and Political Challenges - Giorgos Katsambekis 04/2017

        Article Optional Optional for those who wish to read more about the phenomenon of populism more generally.

    2. Recommended Readings 7 items
      1. On populist reason - Ernesto Laclau 2005


      2. What is populism? - Jan-Werner Müller 2016

        Book Recommended

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