Loughborough University to host a prestigious global conference on nationalism and multiculturalism

Loughborough University will for the first time host an international gathering of experts in the fields of ethnicity and nationalism.

The 2023 Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism (ASEN) starts on Monday 3 April, and is being held on campus at the Stewart Mason building.

It is the first time that Loughborough University has hosted the event, which will see about 100 presentations by scholars from over 30 different countries across the world.

Bringing the 2023 ASEN Conference to Loughborough has been possible thanks to the pioneering research, critical mass and international reputation of the Loughborough University Nationalism Network (LUNN), which gathers over 30 scholars and PhD students based in four Schools at Loughborough and in the Institute for Diplomacy and International Governance at Loughborough University London.

LUNN was founded in 2014 by Dr Marco Antonsich, Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, who leads the network and has been instrumental in the organisation of this conference.

He said: “It’s a privilege and honour to host the ASEN Annual Conference at Loughborough. This is a testament to the significant research that LUNN colleagues have produced in the field of nations and nationalism.

“The conference is also an opportunity to celebrate the ground-breaking work in the study of banal nationalism of Michael Billig, LUNN member and Emeritus Professor of Social Sciences at Loughborough, who will offer the first keynote of the conference.”

ASEN is one of the two main associations worldwide for the study of nations and nationalism, a highly cross-disciplinary field bringing together scholars in history, politics, sociology, psychology and geography, among others.

Michael Hoyler, Head of Geography and Environment, said: “I’m delighted to see this important event come to Loughborough.

“The conference addresses a theme of immense relevance in our turbulent world, and one to which colleagues in the School of Social Sciences and Humanities and the wider Loughborough University Nationalism Network have made agenda-setting contributions.”

The 2023 ASEN Conference will be preceded by the traditional Ernest Gellner Lecture on Sunday 2 April, delivered by Professor Andrew Wilson (UCL) on “Ukraine at War: Baseline Identity and Social Construction”, which will also be live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube.

More information about the conference is available on the ASEN and LUNN websites.