Anthems and songs as symbols of collective identity in comparative perspective
22-23 May 2014
Within the field of the history of nationalism, there has been a growing
interest in research into symbols as elements of collective identity.
However, in cultural studies to date, relatively little attention has
been given to national anthems or symbolically charged songs, despite
the fact that they are key symbols of national identity.
This congress aims to bring together researchers working specifically on
anthems and songs as symbols of identity. As well as the official
national anthems, well-established songs or marching tunes associated
with a particular infra-national geographic area or grouping of people
such as a political party, public or private entity and even sports’
association or club will be of interest.
We also invite applications offering different perspectives from
different disciplines within the field of cultural studies, such as
historiography, sociology, philology, anthropology or musicology. We are
particularly interested in receiving proposals which deal with the
period between the 19th and 21st centuries, as this is when modern civil
societies and national identities were established.
The congress aims to draw special attention to the following specific aspects by means of orientation:
Emergence and establishment: This refers to an analysis of the
circumstances surrounding the establishment of a certain melody or song
as the symbol of collective identity for a particular group and would
include the examination on how this particular song or anthem was chosen
over any possible rival. A different perspective might include how a
single anthem can come to represent two or more different collectives.
Persistence and change: This section refers to aspects such as the
capacity of an anthem or song to embrace and adapt to change or to
resist it, particularly in the light of fundamental socio-political
transformations caused by changes in regime or international order.
Conflict: There may be external reasons for a particular song or anthem
becoming a source of conflict. Explicit messages alluding to past
historical events in some melodies and lyrics can sometimes be a cause.
Elsewhere, the dispute may arise when certain groups are thought to have
appropriated the same anthem or song as musical symbol for their
Please submit your proposal (maximum of 250 words) together with a
bio-bibliographical sketch. The deadline for abstract submissions is
Monday, September 16th, 2013.
Proposals may be submitted in the following languages: Spanish English, French, Euskera. These will also be the official languages of the congress:
Please submit your paper to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read the complete call on H-Net.