Cinema and Nationhood

CinéNation is a project whose aims are to present and support scholarly research into how cinema contributes to constructing and sustaining cultural and national identity. The main focus of the project is on communities at the margins: diasporas, refugees, exiles, and national groups without adequate representation within states. Such communities, which may have endured the trauma of partition, ethnic cleansing or forced assimilation, and which frequently suffer as a result of conflicting claims to territory and/or resources, inevitably provide the most immediate and vivid insight into the causes, objectives, and consequences of nationalism.

The site supports this research by bringing together a number of resources, texts that may be downloaded, and annotated links to other web sites that provide related material.

One starting point is the debate among social and cultural historians, anthropologists, and philosophers on the origins and persistence of nations and nationalism. This debate, illustrated by the sidebars, opposes the contingent modernist views of scholars such as Gellner, Anderson, and Hobsbawm, with those, such as Anthony Smith, who argue for an inclusive approach that acknowledges the influence of deep-rooted cultural, ethnic, and other ties. The discussion recently has spilled over into a number of other fields. In particular, it has influenced scholarship on national cinemas, challenging the concept that such cinemas should simply be viewed within the narrow boundaries of the nation-state. It is these concepts that inform the CinéNation research project and the material presented on this website.

The Resources section describes the materials on films, filmmakers, and critical writing that are available to be downloaded from this website on the specific topic of "Cinema and Nationhood". Bibliographies and Filmographies are available for download as texts (in Adobe® pdf format) or as databases in EndNote® format. Online facilities are provided for displaying details on films that have been analysed for their representation (or 're-imagining') of national identity. Where possible, information is given about sources of supply or library holdings of each film. The section also provides online biographies of filmmakers who, through their work, have demonstrated a significant interest in and understanding of nations and nationalism. In the Sources sub-section, an online annotated bibliography will be available soon. Any use made of these sources should be properly acknowledged.

The Texts section is devoted to critical writing on the topic. These texts are also held in Adobe® pdf format and may be downloaded. Any use made of these texts should be properly acknowledged. Current holdings include a PhD thesis on the subject of Cinema and Nationhood, with particular reference to the Armenians, the Kurds, and the Palestinians. An 'escript', which is an updated and extended form of the original thesis, is an ongoing part of this project and will be developed over time. Further articles and texts, from a variety of sources, will be added as appropriate.

The Links section provides annotated information about a variety of websites which are relevant to scholarly research on the topic. Many of these have useful links to critical writing on specific films, and sometimes short clips that give an insight into works that researchers in the field should be interested in examining.

The About section is a more detailed introduction to this research and provides a contact form for those who are interest in participating.

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