Critical Approaches to the Study of Nationalism

Course Description: 

This course will examine scholarly approaches to the study of nationalism, drawing on a wide range of theoretical and empirical literature, beginning with discussions of key concepts and classical debates in nationalism studies, followed by an exploration of more recent methodological considerations regarding the study of nationalism, ethnicity, and group identity.  In particular, the course will draw on literature from sociology, gender studies, international relations, political science, history, and law, offering a critical and interdisciplinary approach to the study of nationalism.  This course is required for students pursuing a Minor in Nationalism Studies in the Doctoral School of Political Science, Public Policy and International Relations.  

Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of the course, students will have a fuller understanding of the extensive and highly multidisciplinary scholarly literature on nationalism. They will also be able to critically discuss competing theories in the field. They will have extensive knowledge of theoretical and empirical studies focusing on nationalism. Finally, participants of the class will be able to identify the most effective methodology and theoretical approaches tailored to their doctoral projects.



Students registered for this course are expected to attend classes and actively participate in class discussions. Students must read mandatory readings and give presentations on the recommended readings. Class presentations should critically analyze and contextualize the assigned readings, drawing on literature not listed in the syllabus. Students are encouraged to assess the implications of the presented theories through relevant case studies.


Students are to write an extended review essay (4,000 words) on a recent book related to the course. Possible titles will be suggested, but students are also welcome to recommend monographs for review. These review essays should aim for a publishable quality; if this requirement is met, instructors will provide assistance for seeking out potential journals.


Course evaluation:

Class participation:                                         25%

Class presentations:                                       25%

Review essay:                                                   50%