Centre for Research in Communication and Culture


23 October 2020

The Clamour of Nationalism: Race, nation and leftist complicities

Presented By Professor Sivamohan Valluvan as part of the CRCC Seminar Series

About this event

In line with the recent publication of Sivamohan Valluvan’s The Clamour of Nationalism, this talk will explore the contradictory ideological field across which today’s nationalism has been able to establish its validity and appeal. Attention will be given to the distinctive ideological cacophony – as spanning the liberal, conservative, neoliberal and left spectrum – that collectively overdetermines the appeal of today’s nationalism and its constitutive racial demons. The talk will draw extended attention to the complicities here of certain left factions and sensibilities. It will be contended that not only is this an abject betrayal of working class struggle as imagined along anti-racist and cosmopolitan terms, but an opportunist left cannot even hope to gain on this terrain  – as it is the political right that retains the more credible and well-trained authority to always triumph if offered these terms. Some concluding comments will also be attempted about how the pandemic present both extends but also challenges the ability of nationalism to monopolise the political imagination. 

Sivamohan Valluvan joined Warwick Sociology as an Assistant Professor in 2018, having previously worked at the University of Manchester. His MSc and ESRC funded PhD study, the latter awarded in June 2014, was also based at Manchester Sociology. Previously, he attained a BA in Political Science from the University of Stockholm.

Drawing upon postcolonial, cultural studies, and Marxist traditions, Valluvan has written widely on debates as pertaining to racism, nationalism, multiculture and cosmopolitanism. His PhD thesis explored urban multiculture as lived in both London and Stockholm.Other prior writing has engaged the 2011 riots, theoretical debates regarding cosmopolitanism and postcolonialism, alongside interrogations of what is meant by ‘post-race’.

Valluvan's ongoing research areas focus on the rise of a contemporary nationalism that traverses a range of ideological and cultural repertoires – a project that culminated in the 2019 monograph, The Clamour of Nationalism (Manchester University Press). This has been complemented by a British Academy funded research project aimed at critically unpacking and challenging recent invocations of a ‘Left Behind’ in much public analysis.

Valluvan is currently on the editorial board for the journals Citizenship StudiesEthnic and Racial Studies, and Sociological Review, as well as serving on the Board of Directors for Commonword, a Manchester (UK) based charity aimed at cultivating the talents and profile of creative writers from underrepresented backgrounds.

Contact details

  • Questions about this event? Contact the CRCC Seminar Series organisers