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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Vicente L. Rafael
HIST 504
Seattle Campus

Comparative Ethnicity and Nationalism

Theoretical approaches to, and historical case studies of, the phenomena of ethnicity, nationalism, and ethnic conflict in the modern world. Emphasis on Europe and Asia.

Class description

The topic for this quarter is Comparative Nationalism. We'll start with a reconsideration of one of the classics of the field, Ben Anderson's _Imagined Communities_ and some of the essays from his book _The Specter of Comparison_. We'll then read a series of books that deal with some of the more salient topics raised in Anderson's work regarding the technical reproducibility of nationhood, the cosmopolitcal orientation of nationalism, the ability as well as failure of nationalism to address the traumas associated with the myriad violence of modernity, and those specters that haunt and so constitute the dynamics of nationalist identity such as global capital, witches, and jihadists. Books tentatively will include the following (some changes are possible prior to the start of the quarter; and a small reading packet will most likely be incuded): Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities; Benedict Anderson, The Specter Of Comparison; Pheng Cheah, Spectral Nationality; Marilyn Ivy, Discourses Of The Vanishing; Brooke Larson, Trials Of Nation Making; Nikhil Singhg, Black Is A Country; Faisal Devji, Landscapes Of The Jihad; James T. Siegel, Naming The Witch Geoff Elley & Ronald Suny, eds., Becoming National (optional).

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Weekly readings and discussions.

Recommended preparation

Graduate student standing or if an undergraduate, you must secure permission from the instructor.

Class assignments and grading

Weekly readings, class discussions, short papers, research paper.

Class participation, and seminar paper.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Vicente L. Rafael
Date: 02/06/2010