Nations and Nationalism in Lleida

December 20, 2012 § 1 Comment

Last week I attended to a conference in the Universitat de Lleida entitled ‘National Imaginaries of the Modernity (c. XIX-XXI)’. It has been a pleasure to share my thoughts on the representations of Catalaness in the media. Specifically I had the chance to talk about how Catalan television (TV3) has dealt with the national identity in three fields: fiction, edutainment and historical programmes. I also introduced the topic of how journalism is dealing with the political struggles arising from the current conflicts between Catalan and Spanish governments.

image One of the curious happenings during my session was the intervention of  Gonçal Mayos, who noted the coincidence in the date of publication (1983) of three of my sources used in the speech: Gellner’s Nation and Nationalism, Hobsbawm’s The invention of the tradition and Anderson’s Imagined Communities. All three are key texts for the study of nationalism and the media/cultural systems.

The fact is that I had not noted this coincidence since the moment I was preparing the speech, and he asked whether this date (1983) was a special turning point in the study of nationalism. I wasn’t able to respond, but what seems unquestionable is the relevance of Anderson’s work for the study of the national identity and media representations and its influence in the last 30 years. Of course, it is enought time to have been used and also critizided by some scholars (see, i.e. Mihelj Media Nations p. 11-17)

The conference, organized by the research group GECIEC from UDL, was a chance to gather some of the people interested in the topic of national identity and culture and specially focused on how the notion of Catalaness has evolved through the last three centuries through media and cultural discourse.

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