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Seminar: What Can a National Anthem Tell Us? The Tale of the 'New' Balkan Anthems
 
 
Date: 28 April 2010 
 

You are cordially invited to attend the following talk as part of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures Seminar Series

What Can a National Anthem Tell Us?
The Tale of the 'New' Balkan Anthems

 
Christopher Kelen and Aleksandar Pavkovic
(University of Macau)

Date: 28  April 2010 (Wednesday)
Time: 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Venue: LE1 (Library Extension)

Abstract:
An anthem - national  or  otherwise - is an identity focused instance of unison.  The singing of anthems shows the reverenced anonymity of the subject worshipping the state as apotheosis of the state worshipping subject (the citizen). Anthem quality is the soul stirring effect of  a  tune  and  the  lyrics  it  carries or connotes. A particular kind of tune carries the affective investment of a people; it is the means  by  which they recognise themselves among themselves, a kind of self-welcoming  gesture. There are  two  key paradoxes of anthem quality: these  are  the uniformity of differences and the automatisation of strong affect.
 
After the break-up of Communist Yugoslavia, each emerging new state took up a new anthem – except that in most cases, these were 19th century national songs. New states thus resurrected old songs which were slightly yet suitably changed to reflect new circumstances. The old songs were thus given new meanings and new political roles. These songs provide good examples both of the uniformity of differences and of the political aspirations of the governments that introduced them.  

About the speakers:
Christopher (Kit) Kelen is a well known Australian scholar and poet who has taught Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Macau for the last ten years. He has published many articles about Australian national songs and apart from his current work on Balkan anthems with Prof. Pavkovic, has recently begun a study of the national anthem of the Philippines 'Lupang Hiniran'.

Aleksandar (Sasha) Pavkovic has taught political theory and European Studies at the University of Macau for the past three years. Previously he taught at Macquarie University, Sydney and Belgrade University, Serbia. He has written extensively about Yugoslav national ideologies and the break-up of Yugoslavia as well as about secessions world-wide. Apart from the current work on national anthems, his work is mainly focused on the comparative study of secessions.

All are welcome. No registration is required.

For enquiries, please contact Dr Marie Berne, mberne@hku.hk.

Please find below details of upcoming talks in the Seminar Series:

May 5 (Wed), 4.30-6 PM, Main Building Convocation Room
Denis Meyer (French Programme)
"A Floating Sense of Selves: Kikou Yamata's Cultural Mediation of Japan"

May 19 (Wed), 4.30-6 PM, Main Building Convocation Room
Mercedes Vazquez Vazquez (Spanish Programme)
"Politics of Realism in Contemporary Venezuelan Filmmaking"

 
 
     
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