A seminar in Sociology at the University of Edinburgh next week which looks interesting …
Wednesday 29th September
Johan Fornäs (Södertörn University, Sweden), “Symbols of Europe”
CMB Seminar Room 2, 11am-1pm.
European identity is today a contested issue. While some doubt its existence except as a marketing trick from the EU elites, others believe that some kind of common identification and shared public sphere is needed to underpin the political institutions supposed to integrate Europe. One way to identify communities is through the use of symbols, from coats of arms to company logos. European institutions and organisations have developed a set of key symbols meant to signify Europeanness. Scrutinising various ways in which Europe has been symbolically identified (from above and from below) gives an idea of the main facets and tensions in this complex formation process. The seminar will present a wide range of such symbols and discuss how to interpret them as ways of signifying – and understanding – Europe.