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National Histories, Natural States: Nationalism and the Politics of Place in Greece (Peckham, 2001)

Sunday, June 15th, 2008 @ 10:33 pm
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Posted in  Literature

This is a book from a non-Greek about Greece, and it is available on line if somebody googles the title. A brief description i found is the following:

“Recent conflicts in southeast Europe have drawn attention to the close relationship between place and national identity. Robert Shannan Peckham here explores the conscious linkage between identity and homeland as this was articulated in 19th- and early 20th-century Greece, a period important to the understanding of the present Balkan crisis. He demonstrates how territory was appropriated through a range of social practices and institutional activities: writing fiction, identifying folklore, sponsoring archaeology, studying geography and cartography. The particularities of place, Peckham argues, were construed both as underpinning a territorial expansion and as a resistance to the homogenizing drive of a state-sponsored nationalism. This book makes an innovative theoretical contribution to the debate on nationalism and nationhood and suggests new ways of thinking about geography and cultural politics”

I have found that in my interviews with the Greek participants, such a book is very relevant as it desctibes certain dynamics that are not easily articulated and go beyond the immediate experience of the therapits but seem to operate at an unconscious level within their cultural identity

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