Theatre and National Identity: Re-Imagining Conceptions of Nation

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Foliocentricism and Anglocentrism go hand in hand. Moreover, if Shakespeare participated in the Elizabethan writing of England, then he also played a crucial role in the Jacobean writing of Britain. The accession of the Scottish King James VI to the throne of England in resulted in English subjects reimaging their place within a dual monarchy that accommodated three kingdoms and four nations.


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For this, consorted with the citizens — Your very worshipful and loving friends, And by their vehement instigation — In this just cause come I to move your grace. As these lines were being delivered on an Elizabethan stage, however, theories about national descent were being debated and invented consider the rise of Saxonism in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Moreover, the concept of race took on additional meanings as the English came into greater contact with non-English, non-Christian, non-white men and women.

One of the principles underpinning this dictionary is that the variety of terms included here were not invented in this period but instead, like the concept of national identity itself, were conditioned by older ideas and meanings and infused with new ones: in short, these terms bear witness to contestation, debate, redefinition and reimagining. It is not easy, for example, to explain why Shakespeare uses kingdom or country or nation or realm or state or land when referring to any or all of these entities.

Consider, for instance, the following passage spoken by the Earl of Salisbury at the opening of King Henry VI, Part 2 , a play that includes a Protector, a young and weak king, a Parliament scene, a reference to Julius Caesar, civil war, rebellion, men and women, exile, references to England, Ireland, Britain and Albion — a play moreover whose title differs significantly between its Q and F versions: [20].

Pride went before; Ambition follows him. While these do labour for their own preferment, Behoves it us to labour for the realm. I never saw but Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, Did bear him like a noble gentleman. And he did so as a subject to two monarchs, one who claimed Welsh descent, the other who could also claim Welsh descent born and bred in Scotland to a mother who was temporarily Queen of France. The following entries, excluding brief ones, are organized into three main sections, signalled by the letters A, B and C.

Section A supplies a definition of the headword. Entries from the invaluable Oxford English Dictionary often appear in this section, for they serve to historicize the headword as well as to highlight varieties of meaning. References to other works in section A are minimal, although there are occasions when a quotation is incorporated to shed valuable light on the headword.

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Section B aims to be full and comprehensive but not exhaustive. Quotations from the play are accompanied by commentary that aims to provide critical reflection on the headword. This commentary combines close reading of material cited with relevant early modern primary sources, some of which Shakespeare may have read and drawn upon, some of which provides a sense of how the headword was being used by other contemporary writers.

Section C functions as a bibliography, inviting further exploration of the headword as covered in journal articles, book chapters and monographs. The formal and informal networks formed by these organizations have shown to ignore the language game of exclusivity and instead cooperated for decades on regional issues Tadem Thus, their networking should be promoted and governments should leverage on their experiences to develop social spaces that promote greater people-to-people interaction and cultural exchanges.

These solidarity-building measures will eventually trickle down to the grass-root level and help construct a collective ASEAN identity. A possible explanation for this absence of identification with the ASEAN identity is that the people of Southeast Asia continue to be trapped in a language game inherited from the colonial era which has defined national identities based on the notion of exclusivity and a worldview that accepts modern state boundaries as a given political reality.

Any memory of pre-colonial affinities and common past that could have served as the foundation of a regional identity have also been erased. A revamp of history education in the region is critical in such a venture. As Benedict Anderson postulates on the possibilities of nation-states as imagined communities, so can a regional identity exist as an ontological object of the mind if Southeast Asians are able to re-imagine a contemporary Southeast Asia not solely defined by territorial borders and exclusive national identity Anderson His research interests focus on Southeast Asian issues, particularly on its pre-colonial history, impact of colonial rule, separatism in the region, politics in Malaysia and the development of ASEAN.

Acharya, Amitav. Singapore: Times Academic Press, London: Routledge, London: George Eyre and Andrew Strahan, Agence France-Presse. Ahmad, Kassim. Hikayat Hang Tuah. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, Andaya, Barbara Watson and Leonard Y. A history of early modern Southeast Asia, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Anderson, Benedict. Imagined community: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso, Association of Southeast Asian Nation. Azmawati, Dian and Linda Quayle. Biba, Sebastian. Caballero-Anthony, Mely. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies: Caporaso, James A.

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Chang, Jun Yan. Chaudhuri, K. Chew, Amy. Chong, Jinn Winn. Christie, Clive J. London: Tauris Academic Studies, Collins, Alan. Denoon, David B. Desker, Barry and Ang Chen Guan.

Bloomsbury Collections - Shakespeare and National Identity - A Dictionary

Singapore: World Scientific, Deutsch, Karl Wolfgang et al. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, Anbumozhi, F. Zen, H. Nishimura and R. Prassetya, Emmerson, Donald K. Heng, Michael S. Hirschman, Charles.

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Boulder: Westview Press, Hooghe, Liesbet and Gary Marks. Hund, Markys.

Jones, Catherine. Jones, Michael E. Khoo, How San. Kim, Min-hyung. Kingsbury, Damien. Koh, Aaron. Koi Kye Lee. Council of Foreign Relations, November Linklater, Andrew. Lubis, Abdur-Razzaq. Berlin: Lit Verlag, Mayer, Franz C. Mcintyre, Angus. McMillan, David W. Moorthy, Ravichandran and Guido Benny. Morgan, James. Munster, Sebastian. Murti, Gita. Narine, Shaun. London: Lynne Rienner Publishers Inc, Nischalke, Tobias. Post-Cold War diplomacy and the idea of regional community. Noor, Farish A. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, Oba, Mie. Pham, Quang Minh. Prasetyono, Edy. Singapore: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Puchala, Donald J.

Kegley and E. Wittkopf, New York: Random House, Rahim, Lily Zubaidah. Reid, Anthony Reid. A history of Southeast Asia: critical crossroads. Roberts, Christopher. Severino, Rodolfo C. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Sharpe, Samuel. Sim, Royston.

Conceiving a Nation

Smith, Anthony L. Steinberg, David Joel. Sign-up now! This free course is available to start right now.


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Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation. You have seen that the idea of representation can be especially important to a small nation such as Wales that struggles to get its voice heard in the world. The circulation of images and narratives of Wales in the arts and popular cultural forms can be a vital part of creating a sense that the devolved nation has a part to play in the world.

This in turn can be part of creating a sense of national confidence that a Welsh identity has genuine significance.