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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

IAS Fellow's Seminar - The Affective Atmospheres of Nationalism

2nd December 2013, 13:00 to 14:00, IAS Seminar Room, Cosin's Hall, Palace Green, Dr Angharad Closs Stephens (Durham University)

What would it mean to understand nationalism as an atmosphere? This question will be addressed in this seminar through a study of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. I will draw on critical geographical works on ‘affective atmospheres’ as well as feminist and cultural studies work on affect and emotion to explore alternative entry points to the study of nationalism as well as for political geography more generally. The presentation will argue that an attentiveness to ‘affective atmospheres’ enables a shift away from the focus on a subject identity or a bounded community and invites an attentiveness to affective forces that congeal and resonate across different fields of life. The discussion will draw on macro and micropolitical moments from the London 2012 Olympics, as well as moments from literary fiction in order to engage with the different tonalities and intensities of nationality. I will conclude by asking: how might we resist something as nebulous and diffuse as an atmosphere?

Fellows' seminars take place on Monday lunchtimes in the seminar room at Cosin's Hall.

Places are limited and so any academic colleagues interested in attending a seminar should contact the Institute in advance to reserve a place.

The aim of these seminars is to develop new thinking on the big issues that are of current concern/interest for the Fellows . Each Fellow is asked to present a core idea that informs their current work, or a problem that they are tackling, that could benefit from cross-disciplinary thinking. These seminars are informal and designed to encourage discussion.

Contact for more information about this event.