CGS Mithilesh Mishra and Asha Sarangi, "Language and Nationalism in South Asia"
From Saori Kataoka
Due to an emergency, the series of talks with Mithilesh Mishra (UIUC) and Asha Sarangi (Jawaharlal Nehru University), originally scheduled to begin on February 15th, will be rescheduled to now begin on March 8th. We hope to reschedule the subsequent talks accordingly.
In this, the first of three talks dedicated to the intersection of language and nationalism in India, they will explain historically the relationship between language/s and nation/s and its complex and dense interface with concepts of culture, identity and history. They interrogate and contest the idea/s of cultural nationalism that emerged in different parts of the world in the 19th and 20th century.
The problematic of language nationalism, commonly addressed as linguistic nationalism, is predicated on the thematic of language as culture, an ideology, as race, class, caste and state to unfold its specific forms and modes of articulation and propagation. The questions central to this inquiry would be to locate the political economy of linguistic nationalism, multiplicity of language movements invoking the idea of language community and identity for people, and enshrining the idea of nation-formation through language nationalism/s. The three dominant modes of discursive, cultural and political formations of nations and states in the last two centuries have shown that language- based nationalism is not just an invented nationalism but a socially and historically contested nationalism based on notions of linguistic-cultural heterogeneities, pluralities and collectives of all sorts. The conceptual and normative understanding of the relationship between language and nationalism reveals how the idea of nation-states have been conceptualized theoretically and realized historically woven within the heteroglossic social reality.