Call for Papers: Exploring the Edges of Citizenship, Workshop 1: Nationhood and Nationalism

Call for Papers: Exploring the Edges of Citizenship, Workshop 1: Nationhood and Nationalism

International Interdisciplinary Workshop at the University of Portsmouth on 4th July 2019

Confirmed keynote speakers: Gurminder Bhambra, Jon Fox, Shruti Kapila, Siniša Malešević, Henning Melber, Sivamohan Valluvan


On 4th July we will hold the first in a planned series of international workshops at the University of Portsmouth. We invite contributions from scholars in all branches of the humanities and social sciences interested in developing new angles of research on the logics of citizenship. The topic of this first workshop addresses nationhood as a component of the citizenship problem, the theoretical and methodological issues raised by nationhood, and its intersections with citizenship. This may be in any global region, in contemporary or historical contexts.

The majority of humanities and social science research relies on methods that effectively create rather than critique the importance of ‘national identities’, even though we know very little about whether, when and how nationhood becomes salient. The workshop seeks to address these issues in particular, while engaging the implications of renewed assertions of nationhood and citizenship that are being seen around the world today. We encourage contributions that engage with any related issue, though proposals may include historical or more contemporary debates regarding:

–       ‘Race’, racism and nation

–       Nationalism and populism

–       National identity, citizenship and globalisation

–       Nationality, citizenship and migration

–       Everyday nationhood and banal nationalism

We invite abstracts (max. 300 words) for proposed 15-minute contributions, which may be given either in-person or via weblink – please indicate preference. Abstracts should be accompanied by a max. 2-page summary CV. Please submit by email to  no later than 26th April. Registration costs to follow at a later date. We hope to be able to subsidise PGRs and part-time, PTHP academics.


The interdisciplinary research project ‘Exploring the Edge of Citizenship’ draws together humanities and social science approaches to questioning what is meant by defining ‘community’ and ‘citizenship’ as positive values. It investigates how the practices and assumptions of citizenship always come with an edge: a potential or actual burden of exclusions, marginalisations and disparagements of those who do not fit as well as others into the dominant models of citizenship. Just as ‘communities’ often function best when closing ranks against outsiders, so ‘citizenship’ is often easiest to implement in practice by drawing sharp lines between insiders and outsiders.

All of this, both conceptually and in everyday political and social practice, represents a significant challenge to building futures which are grounded in the democratic participation of highly-diverse populations of individuals. The ‘edge of citizenship’ is not just a descriptive matter of centres and peripheries, but often an active cutting edge of division and harm.

This workshop is the first in an initial planned series of four. The later workshops will engage with ‘New- and Non-State Citizenship Regimes’, ‘Education and Citizenship’, and ‘Embodied Citizenship’, and will take place during the academic year 2019/20.

Workshops will be accompanied by web-based resources; selected papers will be developed towards essay-collections; further development of significant collective research is planned.

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