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“It’s complicated…” Europe Facing Cultural Memories and Nationalist Sentiments

ALLEA – All European Academies, The Conversation UK | Joep Leerssen, Antonio Loprieno, Laura Hood

Joep Leerssen, 2020 Laureate of the ALLEA Madame de Staël Prize for Cultural Values and cultural historian, is one of the most remarkable figures in the critical analysis of ethnic and cultural stereotyping, will offer insights into image shifts and trends of European identities.

Europe is defined by its memories, and many of those are Romantic in nature – Romantic, because they speak to the sentiments and affects, and because they were created by the artists and intellectuals of the Romantic 19th century – Goethe, Sir Walter Scott, Victor Hugo, Pushkin. Romantic sentiment nowadays is still with us. It is carried by tourism and streaming videos, but new media still celebrate heroism in the service of the nation, the discovery of exotic lands and lifestyles, and the wholesome comforts of traditional ruralism.

Political Romanticism also continues to be strong: loyalty to one’s nation is an unquestioned and universally-accepted political virtue. Nationalism has proved the most resilient of the 19th century political doctrines. It shows its colours most stridently in ethnopopulism but is also present, in a diffused, “banal” form, in all other sectors of the political spectrum.

With its first public webinar, ALLEA explores a new platform for intellectual dialogue between experts and the public. This digital event will analyze how “feelgood nationalism” is still an important part of consumer culture, and as such forms an unobtrusive but pervasive presence in our everyday lives without which we cannot understand the contemporary forces of xenophobia and illiberal anticosmopolitism.

The Madame de Staël Prize for Cultural Values is awarded by ALLEA, the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities, jointly with the foundation Compagnia di San Paolo as major supporter.

PUBLIC ROUND TABLE ON WEBEX. PLEASE REGISTER.

This is a digital event. If you would like to attend please book your spot here. For a sneak preview follow this link.

The access to the event will be provided through the organiser and after registration.

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© Johannes Timmermans

Joep Leerssen

University of Amsterdam

Professor, Researcher, 2020 Laureate of ALLEA Madame de Stael Prize for Cultural Values
Joep Leerssen is a cultural historian with training in Comparative Literature. He is currently Professor of European Studies at the University of Amsterdam, additionally holding a part-time research professorship at the University of Maastricht. In course of his professional career, he has held visiting appointments at Harvard, Cambridge, Göttingen, and the ENS (Paris), among others. He is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. This year, he became the Laureate of the ALLEA Madame de Stael Prize for Cultural Values awarded by ALLEA, the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities.

© ALLEA - All European Academies

Antonio Loprieno

ALLEA - All European Academies

President
Professor Antonio Loprieno assumed the Presidency of the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities, ALLEA (All European Academies), in May 2018. He additionally serves as President of Jacobs University Bremen. Antonio Loprieno studied Egyptology, Linguistics and Semitic studies at the University of Turin in Italy. In the 1980s, he taught at various European universities, including the University of Göttingen in Germany and the University of Perugia in Italy. From 1989 to 2000, he was Professor of Egyptology at the University of California Los Angeles. He served first as Professor at the University of Basel from 2000–2006 and then as Rector from 2006-2015. Among other positions, he was President of the Rectors’ Conference of the Swiss Universities (CRUS) from 2008–2015, and holds the Presidency of the Austrian Science Board (Österreichischer Wissenschaftsrat).

Laura Hood

The Conversation UK

Politics Editor and Assistant Editor

Laura is the politics editor and assistant editor at The Conversation UK, a news and analysis website that produces evidence-based journalism. She leads on the publication’s European political content. Prior to joining The Conversation just after launch, Laura was news editor at Research Fortnight and a reporter at Research Europe, two specialist publications specialising in science and research policy and higher education.

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