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International Congress: Anthems and songs as symbols of collective identity.....
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International Congress: Anthems and songs as symbols of collective identity in comparative perspective

5/22/2014 to 5/23/2014
When: May 22-23, 2014
Where: Universidad del País Vasco
Contact: Virginia López de Maturana

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International Congress: 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.

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 particular collective.

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