Nationalism is one of the most widely used explanatory concepts in all of historical writing. It is also one of the most puzzling intellectually: nationalism, for example functions sometimes as a solvent (a regime or system is undermined by rising nationalism) and sometimes as a glue (a new state is pulled together by rising nationalism). As a result, though the term is still constantly used, no real consensus exists as to what it is or how it works. This course presents an examination of both the phenomenon of nationalism and attempts to explain it. We begin with ancient descriptions (Chinese, Latin, and Hebrew) of foreign nations as well as theoretical consideration of how groups form and cohere, still a mystery to social psychologists. Is it that they love themselves? Or that they hate an “Other”. We will go to the original expositions of these ideas. We then turn to the literature of nationalism, from Herder (1744-1803) on, through history and writing of the nineteenth century drawn from Europe, Russia, India, China, and Japan. Finally we will examine classic analytical accounts of nationalism in specific places (e.g. France, China) as well as general theories from the early Marxists and mainstream national historians, focusing eventually on the views of Gramsci, Karl Deutsch, Elie Kedourie, Ernst Gellner, Walker Connor, Benedict Anderson, and others. A research paper on a topic of the student’s choice is the primary requirement—and what a range of choice! Students will also be expected to be able to comment on the reading for each week. Qualified undergraduates interested in the course should talk to Professor Waldron arthurwaldron@me.com 311C College Hall.
Day and Time: 
T 0130PM-0430PM
Cross Listings: