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Wednesday 18 March 2020 11.00 - 13.00
G-2 CUL02 Emotional Construction of National Belonging and Agency
P.N. van Eyckhof 3, 005
Networks: Culture , Politics, Citizenship, and Nations Chair: Hannu Salmi
Organizer: Reetta Eiranen Discussant: Hannu Salmi
Leyre Arrieta : Women’s Emotions in the Construction of Basque National Belonging (1895-1936)
The aim of my presentation is to explore the role that nationalist Basque women (emakume) played in the transmission of elements of identity in the early Basque nationalism. Nationalist leaders believed that women had an innate ability in the emotional sphere, and that the domain of feelings was largely a ... (Show more)
The aim of my presentation is to explore the role that nationalist Basque women (emakume) played in the transmission of elements of identity in the early Basque nationalism. Nationalist leaders believed that women had an innate ability in the emotional sphere, and that the domain of feelings was largely a feminine one par excellence, were the main reasons why this role was assigned to Basque women.

Firstly, I will briefly discuss the vision of women held by Sabino Arana (the founder of the Basque nationalist movement) followed by a brief review of the history of EAB (Emakume Abertzale Batza, Basque Women’s Association). Secondly, I will focus on the functions given to women by Basque Nationalism and on the prominence of the emotional side of the assigned roles. Thirdly, I will explain the reasons for the gradual acceptance of a female presence in political activity by the PNV (Basque Nationalist Party) and will reflect on Basque women’s agreement with the party’s official discourse on women. Finally, I will draw brief conclusions about the role of Basque women in the transmission of the feeling of belonging to a Basque collective. (Show less)

Anna Bohlin : Grief and Loss as Nationalism in Nineteenth-Century Scandinavian Literature
A sense of loss is a driving force in most nationalist movements. In nineteenth century Scandinavia, territorial losses as a result of the wars at the beginning of the century sparked off nationalism in Denmark and Sweden. However, the ceded territories, lost from the former empires’ point-of-view, constituted the new ... (Show more)
A sense of loss is a driving force in most nationalist movements. In nineteenth century Scandinavia, territorial losses as a result of the wars at the beginning of the century sparked off nationalism in Denmark and Sweden. However, the ceded territories, lost from the former empires’ point-of-view, constituted the new borders of Norway and Finland. Nevertheless, the Norwegian and Finnish nationalist movements also used loss as a powerful trope. By the mid-nineteenth century, the issue of a lost language, and in the Norwegian case the idea of a lost, Medieval Golden Age, had become defining features of the construction of nationhood in Finland and Norway respectively. These ideas of loss were heavily charged with different emotions – grief, nostalgia, anger – often changing over time. Literature was essential for the spread of nationalism, not in the least for establishing and circulating emotions promoting a nationalist agenda in nineteenth-century public debate. In this paper I will examine the emotional construction of the sense of loss in Scandinavian literature, more specifically, grief as nationalism. Grief over the Norwegian mountains in poetry by the Danish N.F.S. Grundtvig (1783–1872), and grief over Finland and the Finnish people in Swedish literature, such as Esaias Tegnér’s poem “Svea” (1811) and novels of the 1840s by Fredrika Bremer (1801–1865) and G.H. Mellin (1803–1876), will be compared to grief over language in mid-nineteenth-century Finnish literature by Zacharias Topelius (1818–1898) and Sara Wacklin (1790–1846). In the Norwegian national poet J. S. Welhaven’s “Billeder fra Bergenskysten” (“Pictures from the coast of Bergen”, 1842), the cultural remnants of the lost Medieval, independent kingdom, are found in a forgotten area. Literature provides a fruitful source for exploring the temporal aspect of loss and the emotional structure of grief motivating nationalism. (Show less)

Reetta Eiranen : Emotional Relationships as Resources of 19th-century Nation-building
The paper explores emotional, personal and social resources and motivations of nation-building, especially in connection with national agency and self-construction. The themes are analysed through the correspondence of a family network, who was central in the Finnish mid-nineteenth century nationalism. The family, the Tengströms, brought together a group of culturally, ... (Show more)
The paper explores emotional, personal and social resources and motivations of nation-building, especially in connection with national agency and self-construction. The themes are analysed through the correspondence of a family network, who was central in the Finnish mid-nineteenth century nationalism. The family, the Tengströms, brought together a group of culturally, socially and educationally active people, both women and men, in siblinghood, friendships and marriages. By reading the letters as experiential narrations and combining group biographical data, I argue that the construction of nationalism and close relationships were emotionally tightly intertwined. In more general terms, I propose that personal and emotional meanings of nationalism should be taken into account in order to better understand the emergence of national belonging and agency.

The family formed an ideological-emotional environment where the nationalistic ideas could be nurtured productively. In the marriages, the shared nationalistic commitment helped overcome social discrepancies and was even a prerequisite for the mutual feelings. The close relationships enabled and motivated concrete nationalistic activities, like publications and charities. Importantly, the construction of nationalism in emotional relationships was closely linked to (gendered) self-construction as well. Nationalistic cause gave a sense of meaning and purpose in life. Married couples framed their mutual feelings in national terms. Their shared, nationalistic aims were concretised in the men’s careers and in the education of the children. The emotional friendships between young men gave them latitude to reach towards their adult manhood and their assumed role as the future leaders of the national movement. Also, siblinghood offered space for self-construction where the brother had loving but somewhat patronizing tone towards his sisters and where the sisters among themselves drew the lines of proper national womanhood while feeling the pressure of these demands. The analysis proves that the mutual emotions affected and inspired the nationalistic activities and self-construction, and vice versa, the nationalistic commitment created and strengthened the emotional ties. (Show less)

Marja Jalava : To Hate the Nation. The Ambivalence about National Belonging among the Swedish-speaking Minority Intellectuals in Fin-de-siècle Finland
With the gradual radicalization of Finnish linguistic nationalism in the 19th-century Grand Duchy of Finland, the Swedish-speaking minority was increasingly portrayed as the Other, a foreign, non-national element that did not truly belong to the Finnish nation. This criticism was particularly targeted at the privileged aristocratic upper classes that occupied ... (Show more)
With the gradual radicalization of Finnish linguistic nationalism in the 19th-century Grand Duchy of Finland, the Swedish-speaking minority was increasingly portrayed as the Other, a foreign, non-national element that did not truly belong to the Finnish nation. This criticism was particularly targeted at the privileged aristocratic upper classes that occupied the top civil servant posts at the Senate, i.e. the local government that was the highest authority in the central administration of the Grand Duchy.

This paper focuses on the group of Swedish-speaking young intellectuals of aristocratic descent, above all, the cultural radical philosopher Rolf Lagerborg (1874–1959), who strongly experienced the ambivalence about national belonging and reflected highly mixed feelings and contradictory ideas about his native country. On the one hand, Lagerborg had been brought up in the spirit of bureaucratic-patriotism and old military traditions. His upbringing highlighted loyalism towards the Grand Duchy and the crucial role of the elite in improving the country. On the other hand, however, in the midst of the intensifying Finnification politics, he simultaneously felt like a complete outsider, describing his feelings about Finland as “the prisoner’s feelings towards his prison,” and was ashamed of his “primitive” emotional attachment to the country.

The paper suggests that this conflict or oscillation between a striving for intense, close devotion and a distancing, critical reflexivity can be related to Georges Bataille and Julia Kristeva’s concept of the abject. From this perspective, the nation can be seen as an ambiguous border zone between the “me” and the “not-me,” and thus as something that the subject (in this case, Lagerborg) sought to expel in order to achieve an independent identity. Yet, as indicative of a spatially and historically situated, emotionally laden, and embodied relationship, the “abjective” nation was not something one could get easily rid of. (Show less)



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