ARENA emerged out of the need for an organization to advance the conversation on nationalism in the Americas. Nationalism is one of the most compelling issues of modern times and it has been the subject of lively debate in recent years. But this discussion has traditionally focused on Europe and on areas of the contemporary world (Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia) that have been especially troubled by ethno-nationalist conflict.
ARENA intends to encompass all aspects of nationalism and national identity, but it seeks in particular to stimulate interest in a comparatively neglected area, the Americas, where nationalism and national identities emerged out of former colonies with multi-ethnic immigrant populations. In addition to expanding the scope of the conversation on nationalism, we hope to bring the experience of the Americas to bear on the nationalism debate.
Until now, there has been no organization in the Western Hemisphere, nor anywhere else, devoted to the study of nationalism in the Americas. Though many scholars are doing exciting work on this subject, most work in isolation within the confines of their national and disciplinary specialties with remarkably few venues for exchange and collaboration.
ARENA aims to play a valuable role in bringing scholars together in a forum of scholarly exchange and collaboration. It has formed an affiliation with ASEN, the Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism, based at the London School of Economics, the leading international organization for the study of nationalism.
Rather than create the typical membership organization with annual meetings, dues, and a journal, ARENA’s mission will involve:
- A series of small conferences that bring scholars from different specialties together in common conversation on topics of compelling interest and significance.
- An internet community, H-Nationalism, that provides a forum for conversation across boundaries of specialization.
- Creating an international network of scholars engaged in research on a topic of timely and compelling importance.
Participation is welcome from all scholars with an interest in nationalism, particularly, but not exclusively, in the Americas and the Atlantic world. Contact us by email at ARENA@sc.edu
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