Tag national identity

Lessons from the Civil War for America’s Fractured Present: Part Two

Timothy William Waters— Why Remembering the Civil War Matters: Talking about Belonging in America How we remember the Civil War matters for thinking about our increasingly fragile union today—how we talk about identity, belonging, and leaving. The war seems to offer an obvious moral model. But that solution dissolves when

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The Seeds of Spirituality: Swami Vivekanada and Indian Mysticism

One morning in 19th-century India, the followers of Sri Ramakrishna were gathered for breakfast. Ramakrishna, a mystic and spiritual teacher, had died the preceding year, and a monastic order had been established with his followers continuing in their devout practice. One devotee, the future Swami Vivekanada, began to “playfully imitate”

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What Changed When Everything Changed : The Fluidity of American National Identity

When Americans come upon a social arrangement they want to preserve, they do not alter their behavior to fit their values; they alter their values to fit their behavior. They change what it means to be an American… With intensely divisive issues like voting rights, immigration policy, and the war

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John Edwards on His Life with Mary I

Following his “Eminent Biography” post on his new book, Mary I: England’s Catholic Queen, presenting a striking re-characterization of this often misunderstood monarch, John Edwards now writes on his own research experiences and how he came to carefully retell her life.   John Edwards— Anyone who tackles a biography of

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Grudging Love for Country in Switzerland and Norway

“What are men to rocks and mountains?” Elizabeth Bennett asks her aunt in Pride and Prejudice. Although Lizzy wants to deceive herself after “disappointment” regarding certain men, some artists would wholeheartedly agree with her, at least regarding their paintings’ subjects. Rocks and mountains, as well as forests, snow, and rivers,

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The Invention of France: Happy Bastille Day!

Before the trois-couleurs, before the Eiffel Tower, before the Larousse Gastronomique, a 15th-century artist named Jean Fouquet was at work creating images that were utterly and exclusively French – though, at that time, saying “That is so… French!” might not have been very meaningful to many people. In a new book entitled Jean Fouquet and the Invention of France: Art and Nation after the Hundred Years War, Erik Inglis shows us that Fouquet was, in fact, shaping a national identity through his court painting for Charles VII and Louis XI.

To London, with Love: British Hispanists

Ivan Lett For many Britons, there is a certain long-standing fascination with Spain. In the early colonial and modern periods, the great Spanish empire was a Catholic rival to newly-Protestant English prowess on the seas, culminating in the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. So quickly after its rise

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