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Benedict Anderson

Kate Liu 9/22, 2009
  1. 背景-
    • Guibernau的分類-三種國家理論
      1. Romanticism-the immutable character of nationalism; "the nation as a natural, quasi-eternal entity created by God. Emphasis is placed on emotional and ideational aspects of the community rather than the economic, social and political dimensions" (2).
      2. Nationalism in terms of modernization; [Gellner] "In his view, the economies of industrialized states depend upon a homogenizing high culture, mass literacy and an educational system controlled by the state" (2). Naine: nationalism as an effect of the expansion of capitalism (2-3).
      3. the psychological theories, the emergence of national consciousness--B. Anderson
      4. Guibernau -- nationalism as an ideology closely related to the rise of the nation-state and bound up with ideas about the popular sovreignty and democracy brought about by the French and American revolution. (3)
    • Anderson: Marxism intersects with post-colonialism
  2. Imagined Communities 大綱

1. Introduction

I. Marxism in face of independence of postcolonial nations and China's attack of Vietnam (1-3)

II. 國家/主義的定義:

    1. "nationality, nation-ness, as well as nationalism, are cultural artifacts of a particular kind" (4)
    2. 國家的矛盾性 (paradoxes):
  1. the objective modernity of nations to the historian's eye vs. their subjective antiquity in the eyes of nationalists;
  2. the formal universality of nationality as a socio-cultural concept --vs. the irremediable particularity of its concrete manifestations
  3. The 'political' power of nationalisms vs. their philosophical poverty and even incoherence.  (5)
    1. 國家主義非意識型態 (p. 5); it should belong with kinship and religion. 
    2. 國家定義﹣(pp. 6-7)
  4. Imagined communities,  Imagined, not fabricated. "Communities are to be distinguished, not by their falsity/genuineness, but by the style in which they are imagined" (6)
  5. Limited -- with finite boundaries
  6. Sovereign -- "nations dream of being free, and, if under God, directly so" (7).
  7. community -- "the nation is always conceived as a deep, horizontal comradeship" (7).  

2. Cultural Roots

I. From Religion to nationalism  --

 "the eighteenth century marks not only the dawn of the age of nationalism but the dusk of religious modes of thought.  The century of the Enlightenment, of rationalist secularism, brought with it its own modern darkness.  With the ebbing of religious belief, ...Disintegration of paradise...What then was required was a secular transformation of fatality into continuity, contingency into meaning."   (11)

II. Two relevant cultural systems: religious community and dynastic realm 國家與傳統文化團體--宗教和皇朝--的不同(pp. 14-15; *p. 19)

A. Religious community --

1. linked to sacred language;

2. "The fundamental conceptions about 'social groups' were centripetal and hierarchical, rather than boundary-oriented and horizontal" (15).  

3. The decline -- a. exploration of the non-European world --> the relativization and territorialization of religion with political intent
b. the graduate demotion of the sacred language itself. 

B. The Dynastic Realm

1. Its legitimacy derived from divinity, not from populations;

2. "In the modern conception, state sovereignty is fully, flatly, and evenly operative over each square centimeter of a legally demarcated territory.  But in the older imagining, where states were defined by centres, borders were porous and indistinct, and sovereignties faded imperceptibly into one another" (19)

3. supported by dynastic marriages

--1) a particular script-language offered privileged access to ontological truth

--2) society naturally organized around and under high centers(有階級的、向心的;而非平面的、指向疆界的)
--3) a conception of temporality in which cosmology and history were indistinguishable.

C. Apprehension of Time -- 時間觀念-p. 24-26

1. Christian imagination: the justaposition of the cosmic universal and the mundane-particular (23)

2. simultaneity: "What has come to take the place of the medieval conception of simultaneity-along-time is, to borrow again from Benjamin, an idea of 'homogeneous, empty time,' in which simultaneity is, as it were, transverse, cross-time, marked not by prefiguring and fulfillment, but by temporal coincidence, and measured by clock and calendar" (34)

3. nation = "social organism moving calendrically trhough homogeneous, empty time" (26)

D. The Origins of National Consciousness-print capitalism, which
 a.) created and disseminated printed materials such as books and newspapers (e.g. p. 34-35),

b.) fixed a vernacular language as the national language, and
c.) helped changed the concept of 'simultaneity'?homogeneous, empty time'

2) other aspects of modernity: secular rationalism, disintegration of older cultural communities, techonology (e.g. transportation),

 1) creole pioneer of the Americas (1760-1830);

2) popular nationalism (1820-1920)-in Europe;
3) Official nationalism-e.g. Russification, Anglicization--concealed a discrepancy between nation and dynastic realm.
4) the last wave (*p. 113)
  1. 重要性﹣﹣定義國家的時間、空間;分析印刷﹣資本主義(以及人口調查、地圖、博物館)如何建構國家



    1. his "modular" view of the history of modern nations-e.g. Chartterjee (p. 113)
    2. his view of nationalism﹔過分強調其為自然的自我犧牲或印刷﹣資本主義的重要,忽略政府的操作(e.g. Dissanayake, Balakrishnan)*p. 148,49, 50, 53.
    3. "homogeneous empty time"?  Do we feel it now in our nation in the age of globalization?
  3. 例子--維多利亞小說的敘述者 2.台灣的報紙(解報禁之前、後)、氣象報告
  4. Example for analysis --

    Mansfield Park (written at Chawton Cottage between 1812 and 1814)

    1.  Background of the nation's construction: "1815 marks the end of a period of war and upheaval which began in 1789 with the French Revolution and ended with the defeat of Napolean.  After 1815, dominance in Europe and dominance as a colonial power could become central parts of the British identity."  The abolition of slave trade 1807  (Allen 43)    

    2. Novel and nation: "The novel does not work in a simple way: female narrated or authored, speaking to other women.  It is part of the discursive terrain in which the ideal, unified Enlightenment subject is placed, where a fantasy of unity is created by the invocation and subsequent obliteration of the Other subject, differentiated by class, race and gender" (Azim qtd in Allen 45)

    3. MP and Nation in its construction:

    a. Self: the rural gentry -- 1. Sr. Thomas   2.     Class mobility: Growing importance of Fanny

    b. Other: used and rejected 1. Julia, Maria and Henry Crawford; 2. Antigua