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Book Discussion Roundtable with H-German - Department of Germanic & Slavic Languages and Literatures

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Book Discussion Roundtable with H-German

September 24, 2021 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Book Discussion: Germany – A Nation in Its Time: Before, During, and After Nationalism, 1500–2000

This book shows how the concept of the German nation developed and changed over half a millennium, demonstrating that nationalism was only one possible way of imagining the nation. Using evidence from maps and literature, material culture, and high politics, this book precisely delineates constantly altering constellations of national imaginings and charts epistemological ruptures between chronologically distinct and essentially different ways of defining the nation. Modern nationalism is part of this larger story, but only a part, and one, moreover, with both productive and extremely destructive dimensions to it. The book also suggests that while Germany has not left the age of nationalism, it has made considerable progress in this direction, the partial successes of right-wing populism notwithstanding. For this reason, it makes sense to speak of the German nation before, during, and after nationalism.

HELMUT WALSER SMITH is the Martha Rivers Ingram Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. From 2005-2008, he was Director of the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities at Vanderbilt. His recent book publications include: Germany – A Nation in its Time: Before, During, and After Nationalism (2020); The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History, editor (2011); and The Continuities of German History: Nation, Religion, and Race across the Long Nineteenth Century (2008).


Friday, 24 September 2021
2:00–4:00 pm I Zoom Seminar

We will communicate the Zoom URL for each NCGS seminar before the event via our NCGS list serve.

If you are not on this list serve please contact the NCGS graduate assistants KEVIN HOEPER ( and KENNETH ALARCÓN NEGY  (kennethalarconnegy@unc.eduand ask them to be added to the NCGS listserve or request the URL for a specific event in the weeks before the event.

Moderator: KAREN HAGEMANN, James G. Kenan Distinguished Professor of History, UNC-Chapel Hill, Dept. of History

Introduction: JASPER HEINZEN, Review Editor of H-German, University of York, Dept. of History) I MATTHEW UNANGST, Review Editor of H-German, Jacksonville University, Dept. of History

Comments: TERENCE V. MCINTOSH, Associate Professor, UNC-Chapel Hill, Dept. of History I JOHN BREUILLY, Professor of Nationalism and Ethnicity, London School of Economics, Dept. of Government I KONRAD H. JARAUSCH,
Lurcy Professor of European Civilization, UNC-Chapel Hill, Dept. of History I EVE ROSENHAFT, Professor
Emerita of German Historical Studies, University of Liverpool


***More information on the NCGS website:

CONTACT: Karen Hagemann I UNC-Chapel Hill, Dept. of History, email:

CONVENERS: Duke University: Dept. of German Studies I Dept. of History I The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Carolina Seminars I Carolina Center for Jewish Studies I Dept. of Germanic and Slavic Languages & Literatures I Dept. of History


September 24, 2021
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category: