National identity has been one of the principal forces shaping the course of history, certainly since the French Revolution. It has played a key role in revolutions, wars and state-formation. Indeed, since the late eighteenth century the nation–state has become the characteristic state form, though why that should be and whether this situation will continue are matters of legitimate debate. But what shapes these identities and loyalties? How do they develop, or come to coalesce around particular political forms? What are the emblems and symbols which convey and support identity, and how are they used?
This new journal will explore the formation and expression of national identity from antiquity to the present day. It will examine the role in forging identity of cultural (language, architecture, music, gender, religion, the media, sport, encounters with ‘the other’, etc.) and political (state forms, wars, boundaries) factors, by examining the ways in which these have been shaped and changed over time. And the historical significance of ‘nation’ in political and cultural terms will be considered in relationship to other important and in some cases countervailing forms of identity such as religion, region, tribe or class. The focus will be on identity, rather than the contingent political forms which may express it.
The proposed journal will not be prescriptive or proscriptive in its approach. Instead, it will act as a forum within which the growing number of scholars working in this field can explore this important subject. Comparative perspectives will be encouraged, and the journal will feature regular review essays as well as book reviews.
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Redaktion: hsk.redaktion [at] geschichte.hu-berlin.de. ISSN: 2196-5307