Overview and Objectives

Overview and Objectives

For close to a century, analysts pondered nations in terms of how these groupings came into existence. Was it through shared history, a document like the Magna Carta, geographical barriers such as a river or mountain range, or perhaps religion? More recently, theories of nationalism have proposed that nations are constructed, even called into existence, by vehicles as different as newspapers, guided forgetting, the labor of elites for elites, and more. This module introduces you to several theories of modern nationalism. It introduces you, also, to definitions of art. By juxtaposing these fields, we create opportunities to enrich your comprehension of nationalism and the arts. Our ‘Singapore Studies’ mandate makes this juxtaposition particularly intriguing as Singapore evolves toward its future with ever more interest in its past.

To sharpen your grip on nations and nationalism, as well as how art colludes (or collides) with the building thereof, class discussions probe assorted arguments with two main goals. One is that every student practice finding his or her way, critically, into abstract arguments. The other is that every student develop insights tuned to nationalism and the arts or not the same thing – works of art that are nationalist.

This is module suitable for all curious citizens of any state rather than for political scientists only, or Arts students solely. The sequence of assignments is designed to stair-step learners toward competence in realms we do not typically conjoin critically. If you bring curiosity to this module, you will find our discussions

  • tough but rewarding
  • rich with opportunities to strengthen your conceptual and communicative skills
  • eye-opening with regard to nations like and unlike your own, but also with regard to what art is for and, thus, how you may engage it.

This module has no final exam; all grading is CA.