December 4th: Lecture intercultural Communication by HCSA.
Our world is changing. New information and transportation technologies are accelerating globalisation processes that have radically altered global politics, economics and cultures since the end of the Second World War. For the countries known as ‘the West,’ the twenty-first century is not only a brave new world, it is also marked by what Pankaj Mishra has called ‘the age of anger’: people, increasingly anxious about the future and angry about their leaders, turn to the radical fringes of the political spectrum.
Globalisation fosters transnationalism and creates groups in new ways and in novel spaces: the nation-state, the political unit that structured global politics in the post-1945 era, is no longer the go-to level of operation or the standard frame for identification. At the same time, nationalism is on the rise in those countries where the nation-state loses political and economic importance. Thus, our moment is characterised by what Rogers Brubaker refers to as high levels of ‘groupness’: people seem constantly occupied with forming and defining groups, and contrasting their own group against others.
In this lecture, Mr van Amelsvoort considers the impact these abstract processes have on culture, identity and language. How do people mediate between newly emerging groups – and who does the mediating? His own PhD research suggests we should look at multilingual writers as mediators, among other groups. These figures bridge various cultural and linguistic groups within states.
Jesse van Amelsvoort is a PhD student at the University of Groningen/Campus Fryslân. He has studied comparative literature, philosophy and European studies in Utrecht, London, Göttingen and Groningen. He has published in Interventions. Journal of Postcolonial Studies and Journal of European Studies, and an essay on Zadie Smith’s work will appear in Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature.
An event organised by the HCSA, but all students are welcome to join us!