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Gauging the Popular Appeal of Nationalism in the Past: The Case of Belgium, 1880s–1910s

September 7, 2017 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

The idea that nationalism is almost ‘naturally’ popular has been recently strengthened by the rise of populist nationalist movements in the US and Europe. History, however, shows that there is nothing inherently evident or natural about the appeal of ethnolinguistic nationalism. The presentation challenges the widespread understanding of ethnic cleavages as the hard core undergirding national conflict. As such it will question the teleological view that the rise of ethnic nationalism during the late nineteenth century directly caused the ‘awakening’ of Europe’s ‘oppressed peoples’ after 1918.

Maarten Van Ginderachter is Associate Professor at the Department of History at Antwerp University. His research interests include global perspectives on history, nations and nationalism, the Flemish and Walloon movements, socialdemocracy and history from below. His publications include: Nationhood from below: Europe in the long nineteenth century (with Marnix Beyen, Palgrave-Macmillan, 2012). Currently he is preparing his monograph Workers into Belgians and Flemings: Grassroots Nationalism and Socialism in Belgium, 1880-1914 for publication.

Moderation: Lloyd Kramer (UNC-Chapel Hill, Department of History)

This event is sponsored by the UNC-CH Department of History. A PDF flyer for the event.


September 7, 2017
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm


569 Hamilton Hall
102 Emerson Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States
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