It’s been a journey, what can I say. In the span of a year, I’ve learned more about Nationalism than I had ever anticipated when I signed up for the course. Beyond my own conceptualization of Nationalism as merely divisive or binaristic, I am left with a profound appreciation for Nationalism’s complexity and a sense that it is intimately bound to the socio-cultural-political frameworks of its locus. Mildly put, I will not likely underestimate little observances such as a flag hanging outside someone’s house or the Nationalist rhetoric employed regularly (and unchallenged by most) by politicians.
The use of a variety of different media to explore and delineate Nationalist themes was very helpful in my opinion. We could have stuck to bare-bones theory only, but that would be missing the point of Nationalism. Nationalism is everywhere, it is entrenched into the material world which we inhabit and discursively produces our cultural knowledge and thus, behavioural norms.
By watching films (both fictional-ex. ‘Welcome’-and documentary-ex. the Balkan-conflict documentary), drawing on electronic media (the blogs and renderings) and bringing up actual examples of Nationalism being mobilized, I found it immeasurably helpful in understanding the scope and implications of Nationalism on a level that would have been difficult to achieve had the course material composed of entirely academic readings.
With that being said, I can imagine that an even greater incorporation of various unconventional media for course material (and discussion to boot) could only help in rendering the relationships of Nationalist themes (both cross-culturally and cross-disciplinary) more salient for future students.