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The 2nd Work-in-progress seminar : Dissecting the Nation

Forums, Workshops & Seminars

  • Date6 December 2013
  • Time2:30pm - 4:00pm
  • VenueRoom 715, THEi Building
Speaker: Mr. Angel Garralda Ortega, Assistant Professor / GE
Date: 6 December 2013 (Friday)
Time: 2:30-4:00pm (75 mins talk and 15 mins Q&A)
Venue: Room 715, THEi Building




The concept of nation has proven exceedingly difficult to pin down despite extensive research across various disciplines. The lack of an all-encompassing theory capable of explaining the various national manifestations and the phenomenon of nationalism and its causes continues to obscure the debate (Balfour & Quiroga, 2007).

A number of issues will be covered in this talk: first, I will discuss how different theories have conceptualized the phenomenon of nationhood. Based on these insights, I will propose a theoretical model for the study of the nation and nationalism based on the social constructivist paradigm. Assuming that nations are not external realities independent of human experience and that their existence is contingent upon human intervention, I will propose a theoretical model which conceives nations as discursive constructs: the product of semiotically-mediated social practices situated across time and space operating simultaneously at various scalar levels. It will be argued that such a model reflects the protean complexity of nation-building by combining the nomothetic analysis of social structures and processes over the longue durée with the ideographic study of concrete social practices at specific points in time-space. Based on these insights, implications for research in the social sciences are discussed at the end of the talk.


Bio Data

Angel Garralda Ortega is an Assistant Professor in the Department of General Education at THEi, where he teaches English for Academic Purposes. Angel’s main work has been in the field of language education, where he has co-authored several course books, websites and research articles in this field. Angel holds a Master’s degree in teaching English for Specific Purposes and is currently a PhD candidate at the Department of Hispanic Studies, University of Birmingham. His area of research is the social construction of Spanish nationhood employing a discourse-historical approach combined with corpus linguistics tools.