Whither the nation? National identity in the twentieth-century

27.-29.09.2013, Internationale Konferenz, OI Beirut

The Orient Institutand the Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies at the American University of Beirut will be convening a two and half day conference in Beirut (September 27-29) on twentieth-century and contemporary political thought and its dealings with the question of national identity. The aim of the conference will be to discuss recent research on the different political and social ideologies that emerged in the Middle East and South Asia during the following historical times: late nineteenth and early twentieth century; inter-war period; post second-world war with a specific focus on the 1970s-1990s; and the post-cold war period leading to contemporary times.The purpose of this sampling is toallow for a historicization of ideas that is based on the central principle of recognizing the historical specificity and material reality of any theory. The conference seeks to bring together research on identity formation within specific historical moments, both synchronically and diachronically. It thus places importance on the transformations of identitarian politicsacrosstime andwithinthe specific temporal intervals mentioned above. Most importantly, the conference seeks to explore the enduring links between nationalism and modernity as a specific political economic project.