Edited by David Storey
Chapter 4: Nation, territory, memory: making state-space meaningful
Geography has been a highly important academic subject in the making of ideas of territorially bounded homelands and nations. Its keywords such as territory/territoriality, place or landscape bring together material and affective dimensions, often in emotional narratives related to collective identity, historical experience and remembrance. Territory is both constitutive of and constituted by the spatialized memories, narratives and symbols of national identities. It is therefore critical in state- and nation-building. Memories and identity narratives do not rise in vacuo. Correspondingly, the significance and ideological uses of memory cannot be underestimated when reflecting the manufacturing of national state territories as homelands. This chapter focusses on the oft-neglected relation between territory and national memory. Homeland is a pool of historic memories, images, and accounts of national landscapes, heroes, past struggles and sacrifices recounted by intellectuals, artists, and politicians who usually play a critical role in crafting them. Territory is hence a dynamic, historically contingent manifestation of materiality, symbolism, emotions, memories and power.
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