13 April 2018: Visualizing the Nation

Leiden University’s Central and East European Studies Center cordially invites you to attend the seminar

Visualizing the Nation

with Peter Rutland

  • Date: Friday 13 April 2018
  • Time: 16:00-18:00
  • Venue: Institute for History, Doelensteeg 16, 2311 VL Leiden, Huizinga Building, Conference room (2nd floor)

Political scientists and scholars of nationalism tend to focus on textual analysis at the expense of images. This even applies to Benedict Anderson’s classic, Imagined Communities. How does an analysis of the role of images in national narratives change our understanding of nationalism? This paper draws on findings from a broad range of disciplines: art history, media studies, anthropology and history, and discusses images across a range of media, from photography and cinema to social media. Key features include the visualization of threats; the inflation of a leader cult to deal with those threats; and the representation of the nation as a female vulnerable to those threats. Cases discussed range from the leader cults of Mao and Putin; to movements such as the Easter Rising, Brexit, and Black Lives Matter.

Peter Rutland

Peter Rutland is professor of government at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, and editor-in-chief of Nationalities Papers. He has been a visiting professor at Sophia University, Tokyo and the European University of St Petersburg. He has a BA from Oxford and a PhD from York. In 2016 he was Leverhulme visiting professor at the University of Manchester. Recent articles include ‘Anti-imperialism. The Leninist legacy and the fate of world revolution,’ Slavic Review (2017) (with Jeremy Friedman); ‘The limits of Russia’s “soft power,”’ The Journal of Political Power (2016); and ‘Petronation? Oil. gas and national identity in Russia,’ Post-Soviet Affairs, (2015).

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