“Civic values, a nation of ideas, ‘e pluribus unum’” – Americans typically narrate their own sense of nationhood as a grand experiment in creating a new political community out of many different creeds and cultures. American civic nationalism is often contrasted with the ethnic nationalism prevalent in European history or in societies that have experienced nationalist violence, separatism, or other forms of communal conflict, from Northern Ireland to Bosnia and beyond. But is the U.S. really exceptional when it comes to matters of national identity, belonging, and community? In this talk Charles King will examine the forgotten history of a distinctly ethnic brand of American nationalism, its influence on countries beyond the U.S. itself, and its echoes in the present.
Charles King previously served as chair of the faculty of Georgetown’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, the country’s premier school of global affairs. King's research has focused on nationalism, ethnic politics, transitions from authoritarianism, urban history, and the relationship between history and the social sciences.
He is the author or editor of seven books, including Midnight at the Pera Palace: The Birth of Modern Istanbul, Odessa: Genius and Death in a City of Dreams, and The Ghost of Freedom: A History of the Caucasus, which was named “History Book of the Year” by the Moscow Times. His work has been translated into more than ten languages.