“What is a nation?” Ernest Renan’s famous rhetorical question to an audience at the Sorbonne on 11 March 1882 has remained vital for a wide variety of scholars in fields as diverse as history, literary criticism, sociology, philosophy, and political science. Renan initially posed the question barely ten years after the close of the Franco-Prussian War, which had sparked the establishment of the French Third Republic, the unification of Germany under the leadership of Wilhelm I, and the transfer of the disputed territory of Alsace-Lorraine from French to German control in the months between July 1870 and May 1871. Renan made no overt mention of these events while he was speaking, but he rejected any possible answer to his question that might attempt to base the creation of nations and national identities on shared “race, language, [economic] interests, religious affinity, geography, [or] military necessities.” This explicit refusal constituted an implicit rejection of the entire range of German justifications for the acquisition of the two recently French border provinces.
Jean Elisabeth Pedersen
Violence in Britain’s Twentieth-Century Empire
boasted how “anyone hanging about the line for an unlawful purpose was liable swiftly and silently to vanish away.” 4 Britain’s empire would become as renowned for creating civil wars as they would be for leaving them in its wake, and Palestine was no
The Example of a Gypsy/Roma Group in Modern Iran
Elena Marushiakova and Vesselin Popov
This article presents the community of the Romanies/Gypsies called the Zargar, who live in contemporary Iran. For centuries the Zargar had not been aware of the existence of other Gypsies. Only nowadays, with the means of modern telecommunications, including the Internet, have representatives of the Zargar 'discovered' that there are other Roma in the world, and they have begun looking for their place within the international Romani community. Lacking a clear memory of their own past, the Zargar are trying to construct such a history and an extended identity, while establishing contact with their 'kin' in Europe.
Following Ann Stoler's analysis of 'imperial debris' and Gastón Gordillo's notion of the 'void', this article examines how, in the context of the Mexican-American War of 1846–1848, imperial and religious impulses have endured from the mid-nineteenth century to the present at the US-Mexico border. Using photographs taken at different 'sites of memory' located along the 60-mile corridor that connects Las Cruces, New Mexico, with El Paso, Texas, this analysis demonstrates that the continuing American occupation of Mexican lands has contributed to the oblique inclusion and parallel exclusion or erasure of the historical presence of the Mexican community, as well as its political, cultural, and historical legitimacy in the region. However, the essay argues that ultimately the 'voidable' status of the American presence in the US-Mexico border region continues to reproduce itself. The article closes with a series of photographs of churches that capture religious landscapes that manifest, challenge, and transcend the occupied borderlands through the materiality of their presence.
The Northward Course of Empire, The Adventure of Wrangel Island, 1922–1925, and “Universal Revolution”
published the verses “On the Prospect of Planting Arts and Learning in America,” including the famous line “Westward the course of empire takes its way.” Throughout the eighteenth century into the nineteenth century, increasing numbers of immigrants from
Scouting, Soldiering, and Boys’ Roles in World War I
). Since this fiction served largely as recruitment propaganda, it is hardly surprising that it indulged in exaggerated and unrealistic portrayals of the boy defender of empire, ignoring the real-life limitations placed on boyhood by the state. On its
‘Jews’in Late Tudor England and the Ottoman Jews
Josè Alberto Rodrigues da Silva Tavim
Mendes – the Duke of Metilli referred to by Shapiro – whose role in Elizabethan England helps to illustrate the precarious presence of Jews in Shakespeare`s London, as well as his influence on English politics vis-à-vis the Ottoman Empire and Spain. Dom
Europe and East Asia in Russian Political Caricature, 1900–1905
Westernized empire tried to straddle the line between European and Asian identities. Having recently achieved a swift victory over China in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–95, Japan stood ready to further disrupt the balance of power in the region. Moreover
Women Workers and the 1906 Finnish Suffrage Victory
trace the radical roots of the suffrage victory, with a focus on the autonomous activities of the League of Working Women during the revolutionary upheaval that swept the tsarist empire, to which Finland belonged. I show that full suffrage was won
Pablo Facundo Escalante
future republican zealot and one of the main instigators of the regicide, still insisted on that idea when, in assessing the work of the Constituent Assembly, he affirmed that “this vast empire needed a prince; a republic is not suitable for anything but