David Blight will participate on a panel at the American Historical Association’s 2018 Annual Meeting "Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism in Global Perspective" in Washington, DC.
Questions of race, racial difference, and ideologies of race typically have been associated with national histories, especially those of the United States, but also of Germany, South Africa, and other countries. Students and scholars of national identity have explored the complex relationships between nation and race, asking how the modern nation in particular has been seen as a racializing form. Comparative histories of the nation often turn on race, ethnicity, or comparable notions of "natural" difference. Feminist historians have investigated how gender and sexuality shape the ways that national experiences of race are lived. And historians of whiteness have shown just how entwined class and race can be in historical processes of nation making.
Our focus in this theme is on transnational and global histories of race and ethnicity—not in order to displace the nation, but to ask what happens when racial identities cross national borders and how that mobility might compel us to rethink the boundaries of the nation itself. Ideas of race as biological, social, and political markers have been a part of human history since ancient times. They have changed dramatically not only over time but also across region, nation, and globe. In opening up race, ethnicity, and nationalism to spatial frames beyond the West and before the modern era, the AHA has invited participants to put a wide variety of national historiographies in dialogue with each other and to explore how individuals and peoples are racialized as they cross borders.
For more information on the 2018 AHA Annual Meeting go to: https://www.historians.org/annual-meeting