Modernist Studies Association (SMA) Pittsburgh - Nationalism & Identity

full name / name of organization: 
Heather Lusty, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
contact email: 

This CFP IS for MSA 16 in Pittsburgh

While the dissolution of empire marked the first half Europe's twentieth-century political landscape, its former colonies and territories are still struggling with the legacies of their occupation: economic trade and infrastructure, education, religious institutions, political regimes, and national identity. Arab Spring is a direct manifestation of the conflict of western models of governance with their local cultures and communities.

Exploring MSA 16's theme of Confluence and Division, this panel will consider the following questions: How are the recent upheavals of government, social orders, and economies in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and India the legacy of European modernism? How did colonial powers' privileging of western values, i.e., race, religion, education, and political persuasion, shape post-war and inter-war structures in former colonial territories? Where do these western structures/values muddy the waters of ongoing protests and civil wars? How has Europe's measured support of particular, pro-western regimes hindered the organic development of these nation states? To what extent are these nation states economically tied to their former administrators? How has early twentieth-century Europe's understanding and categorization of classes, castes, ethnicities, and religions shaped the politics of those countries in the twenty-first century? This session invites paper proposals that address the topics and questions above, or other aspects of nationalism and identity in relation to modernity, the Great War, and the twentieth-century nation state.