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Defining/Redefining National Identity through the Visual Arts and Museums

Saturday and Sunday, December 9 & 10, 2017

9:30 AM-4:00 PM

Join us for a symposium in association with the Department of Art and Art History and Museum Leadership Program. This program is also supported by the J.J. Medveckis Foundation. Two decades ago it might have appeared that we were approaching a post-nationalist age. Yet the phenomenon of nationalism has come to the fore again, not least within China, Europe and the USA. Nationalism as an idea is associated with the rise of nation-states during the industrial revolution, but nations have, of course, self-identified for millennia. Some of the obvious means by which nations historically emerged as self-conscious political entities have been the enlargement of city-states, the conquest of territory, and the presence of natural boundaries. This symposium addresses the development of national identities in relation to the visual arts and museums. Rather than look in general at the relationship between cultural heritage and place, the focus here is to examine more particularly how the visual arts have contributed to a conscious assertion of national identity. Individual speakers and panels will seek patterns and commonalities, where they exist, and discuss the tensions that arise when efforts to create a coherent national identity confront a plurality of cultures and agendas. To register, visit

Contact Information

Lisa Getz

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URBN Annex Screening Room
3401 Filbert Street
Philadelphia, Pa 19104


  • Everyone