Loughborough University Nationalism Network

News and events



On 3-5 April 2023, LUNN will host the 2023 annual conference of the Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism (ASEN)

Marco Antonsich has been awarded a British Academy/Lverhulme small grant for the project entitled "Beyond the white nation: Exploring the nexus between race and nation among Black Italians in the Uk" (2022-2023).

Two LUNN colleagues have featured prominently at the ASEN 2022 annual conference in Antwerp: Sabina Mihelj has offered the biennal Anthony D. Smith lecture and Michael Skey one of the three keynotes.

The journal article “Digital nationalism: Understanding the role of digital media in the rise of ‘new’ nationalism”, written by Sabina Mihelj and César Jiménez-Martínez, has won the 2021 Anthony D. Smith Article Prize awarded by Nations and Nationalism. The article is available here

In November 2021, Alan Bairner has been appointed to the editorial board of the journal National Identities. Alan has also been asked to guest edit a special issue of the journal on sport and national identities.

Conference session: Ruth Kinna, together with José Antonio Gutiérrez (Dublin City University), has convened three panel sessions on 'Anarchism and National Question' for the European Social Science History Conference (24-25 March 2021)

In November 2020, Dr Michael Skey was invited to participate in a UK Parliamentary briefing on migration which was chaired by Thangam Debbonaire MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Housing.

Professor Michael Billig has been appointed as Fellow of the British Academy (2020)

IAS nation theme. Dr Marco Antonsich will lead on a series of events on 'nation' as part of the 2019 semester programme of the Institute of Advanced Studies  at Loughborough University.

Post-doc: Dr César Jiménez-Martínez (London School of Economics) is to join Loughborough University in October 2018 as a ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, working with Professor Sabina Mihelj on a project entitled “Communicating the Nation in Troubled Times: From the Brazilian June Journeys to Post-Brexit Britain”

Prize: LUNN PhD students Peny Sotiropoulou, Leila Wilmers and Cuomu Zhaxi were awarded the TS Shipman prize (£800) for the ESRC funded event “Our Nation's Future: Loughborough Youth Creative Visions”. The prize is given to those LU students who have contributed most to the development of co-operation and aid between the University or Colleges and the local community.

ESRC Social Sciences Festival: LUNN PhD students Peny Sotiropoulou, Leila Wilmers and Cuomu Zhaxi, in collaboration with Marco Antonsich, were successful in securing ESRC funding for the organisation of a week-long series of events around the theme “Our Nation's Future: Loughborough Youth Creative Visions” (6-10 November 2017). This series of events was part of the national ESRC Social Sciences Festival 2017. This was the first time that Loughborough University hosted this Festival.

Funding: our PGR members Leila Wilmers (Geography), Peny Sotiropoulou (Geography), and Cuomu Zhaxi (Social Sciences) have been awarded £300 from the Graduate School Research Culture Fund to support the organisation of a LUNN PGR conference entitled ‘Nations and Nationalisms: Theories, Practices and Methods´ (12-13 September 2018). They have also secured match funding of another £300 for this event from the School of Social, Political and Geographical Sciences.

New book: Michael Skey and Marco Antonsich (eds) (2017) Everyday nationhood. Theorising Culture, Identity and Belonging after Banal Nationalism. Palgrave Macmillan.

Grant: Helen Drake (PHIR) has been awarded an ESRC grant worth £300,000 entitled ‘28+ perspectives on Brexit: a guide to the multi-stakeholder negotiations’. Over the course of the next 18 months Helen and a team of co-investigators, drawn from across the University, will conduct new research designed to inform the UK’s Brexit negotiations in real time. With reference to the forthcoming national elections in key EU member states (including France and Germany), the team will analyse the significance of populist pressures on the setting of national ‘red lines’ towards Brexit, and will explore the processes by which ‘Brussels’ aggregates national positions. Thanks to a network of partners and consultants (including Loughborough alumni), the project will maintain a dynamic stakeholder map in order to identify and benefit as many end users as possible. The project co-investigators are Nicola Chelotti (Loughborough London), Borja Garcia Garcia (School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences), Elena Georgiadou (School of Business and Economics) and Stijn van Kessel (School of Social, Political and Geographical Sciences), and work begins in April 2017.

Visiting scholar: Dr Martin Lundsteen, assistant professor at the Open University of Catalonia (Barcelona, Spain), will spend one month (March 2017) in Loughborough, thanks to a Santander Mobility Award. He will be working with Marco Antonsich on a grant proposal.

Parliamentary meeting: Michael Skey has been invited to attend a meeting organised by the UK Parliament to reflect on Brexit at Westminster on 10 November 2016. He will be discussing his research on the ethnic majority and how their attitudes towards migration, cultural change and European integration have shaped the current political landscape in Britain.

Visiting scholar: Mette Strømsø, a doctoral researcher from the Peace Research Institute in Oslo, will spend October in Loughborough, working with colleagues in LUNN.

Grant: Iris Wigger has been awarded one of the British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grants for her new research project: “The end of tolerance?! Race, Sex and Violence in Germany’s media discourse on migration’. Her research – starting in February 2017- will provide a critical discourse analysis of the role and overlapping of racist and sexist stereotypical perceptions of migrant men in Germany's current print media discourse on migration and discuss their representation in wider social and historical context.

Interview: Michael Billig speaks about the British Royal Family and Nationalism in an interview with for Social Sciences Bites (1 Sept 2016)

Key-note: Marco Antonsich, ‘Lived experiences of the everyday nation’, PRIO workshop, Oslo, 9-10 June 2016 

New Book: Line Nyhagen and Beatrice Halsaa Religion, Gender and Citizenship: Women of Faith, Gender Equality and Feminism. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Phd Studentship: Building inclusive nations in the age of migration. Due to start: October 2016. Advisors: Dr Marco Antonsich and Professor Sabina Mihelj.

Special Issue: Immigration societies and the question of 'the national' (edited by M. Antonsich and T. Matejskova), Ethnicities, 15(4), 2015.

Special Issue: Ethno-cultural diversity and contemporary national societies (edited by M. Antonsich and L. Mavroudi), Fennia, 193(2), 2015.

Workshop convenor: Dr Marco Antonsich was invited to convene one of the three workshops organized by ASEN at their 25th annual conference (London School of Economics, 21-23 April 2015). The title of the workshop was: “Nation and diversity - on the possibilities and limits of a pluralist nation”

REF 2014:  studies on nationalism and migration submitted by LUNN members to the REF panel ‘Communication, Cultural and Media Studies’ were deemed ‘world leading’ – a great success for our colleagues in Social Sciences and LUNN.

New book: Dr Daniel Sage, How Outer Space Made America: Geography, Organization and the Cosmic Sublime (Ashgate)

Invited lecture: Professor Alan Bairner Sport, Nationalism and Scotland after 2014, British Sociological Association Annual Conference, Glasgow Caledonian University (Glasgow, April, 2015).

Meeting: Professor Susan Condor co-organizes (with Xenia Chryssochoou, Chiara Volpato, Christina Koulouri & Chantal Kesteloot) an EASP/COST Action Small Group Meeting on: Is fascism on the rise? A dialogue between social psychologists and historians on collective memory and the current revival of fascist ideologies ( Athens, May 2015).


LUNN organises a regular seminar series and occasional workshops, conferences and invited lectures.

Seminar series


Zsuzsa Csergő (Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada), Siniša Malešević (University College, Dublin, Ireland) and Umut Özkirimli(Barcelona Centre for International Affairs, Spain): Nationalism Studies – From the State of the Art to Future Challenges (16 February)

Angharad Closs Stephens (Swansea University): National Affects - The Everyday Atmospheres of Being Political (18 May)

Jon Fox (University of Bristol): Everyday Nationhood - The background of an idea (June 23). In collaboration with the central European University, Edinburgh University, and Leiden University.


Edoardo Marcello Barsotti  (University of Pisa, Italy): Race and Nation: Insights into European Racism from Italian Risorgimento (20 May)

Michael Billig (Loughborough University) Background to the idea of banal nationalism (27 May).

Marta Bivand Erdal (PRIO, Oslo) The nation in migration studies? (28 May). Part of the CRCC ‘MigNation’ seminar series.

Daniel Chernilo (Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, Santiago, Chile - Loughborough University) Beyond the Nation? Or Back to It? Current Trends in the Sociology of Nations and Nationalism (17 June) 


Sivamohan Valluvan (Warwick University): The Clamour of Nationalism: A conversation about nationalism, race and left complicities (23 October). Part of the CRCC ‘MigNation’ seminar series.

Daphne Halikiopoulou (University of Reading): Right-wing Populism in the West: The New Nationalism Revisited (6 November). Part of the CRCC ‘MigNation’ seminar series.


Helen F. Wilson (Durham University): Brexit: immigration, race, and shock as denial (6 February). Part of the CRCC ‘MigNation’ seminar series.

Adrian Favell (University of Leeds): Crossing the Race Line: Brexit, Citizenship and “Immigrants” in the Referendum (13 March). Part of the CRCC ‘MigNation’ seminar series

Jon Fox (Bristol University): From everyday nationhood to everyday nationalism (8 May). Part of the CRCC ‘MigNation’ seminar series.

Ali Bilgic (Loughborough University): Doomed to extinct like American Indians”: Nationalism, Modernity, and Kurds in Turkey (30 October)

Dyvia Tolia-Kelly (Sussex University): Decolonising institutional racisms: being and feeling in the spaces of museums and academia (31 October). Part of the CRCC ‘MigNation’ seminar series


Joost Jansen and Gijs van Campenhout (Erasmus University, Rotterdam): ‘Plastic Brits’ and other immigrant athletes. Who can represent the country? (14 November)

Gaia Giuliani (Coimbra University, Portugal): Race, Nation and Gender in Modern Italy: Intersectional Representations in Visual Culture (30 May). Part of the CRCC seminar series.

James D. Sidaway (National University Singapore): Securing urbanization’s multiple frontiers: a view from Yangon, Myanmar (17 May). In collaboration with The Centre for the Study of International Governance (CSIG)

Andrea Ballatore (Birkbeck College, University of London) Digital Hegemonies: Towards A Geography of Web Content (18 April). Part of the CRCC seminar series

Dmitry Chernobrov (University of Sheffield) Idealised national self-concepts in public perception of international crises(31 January). Part of the CRCC seminar series.


Sabrina Vitting-Seerup (University of Copenhagen) National narrative and diversity in Danish cultural institutions (25 October). Part of the CRCC seminar series. Video available here: https://lboro.cloud.panopto.eu/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=cb2aa303-e279-483d-9d2e-08de44a048d4

Taku Tamaki (PHIR, Loughborough University) Japanese national identity representation in nation branding and the Cool Japan initiative (18 October). Part of the CRCC seminar series.

Eunice Romero Rivera (Open University of Catalonia) and Paolo Cossarini (PHIR, Loughborough University) Catalonia’s independence: When nationalism and democracy clash (17 October). Video available here: https://lboro.cloud.panopto.eu/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=01ba948f-ea94-4878-97c4-855b6f42f964   

Helen Drake (PHIR, Loughborough University) The 2017 French presidential election: first thoughts (11 May)

Martin Lundsteen (Open University of Catalonia): An impure nation? Towards an ethnography of ethnic and cultural diversity in the Catalan nation and state-building (29 March)

Stijn van Kessel (PHIR, Loughborough University): The Dutch election of March 15th: a fragmented field and a prominent role for the populist radical right (16 March)

Sarah Mills (Geography, Loughborough University): From Big Society to Shared Society? Geographies of social cohesion and citizenship in the UK’s National Citizen Service (1 March)

Giulia Piccolino (PHIR, Loughborough University): Populist nationalism in Africa: the Laurent Gbagbo regime in Côte d’Ivoire and its aftermath (9 February)


Richard Bramwell (Social Sciences, Loughborough University): Performing Hip-Hop Englishness: Place, race, masculinity and the role of rap in the performance of Alternative British identities (7 December)

Andreas Forø Tollefsen (FFI, PRIO, Oslo): Civil wars: looking beyond the nation (13 October)

Ruth Kinna (PHIR, Loughborough University): Internationalism, anti-militarism and revolutionary violence in anarchism (1 June)

Marco Antonsich (Geography, Loughborough University): International migration and the neoliberal culturalist nation (25 May)

Guzel Yusupova (Russian Academy of Sciences and Kazan Federal University): Performing and consuming ethnicity in the Islamic context: the case of the Tatars in contemporary Russia (16 March)

Line Nyhagen (Social Sciences, Loughborough University): Religion and Citizenship: The Limits of Rights-based Approaches (jointly organized with CulCom and CAMARG) (2 March)

Sophie Hyde (English and Drama, Loughborough University): Narrating Levels of Nationalism: Layering Voices in Verbatim (17 February)


Jon Fox (University of Bristol): The edges of the nation: breaching everyday nationhood (4 December). Video available here.

Robert Knight (PHIR, Loughborough University): From Himmler to Herder? Constructed and organic nations (11 November)

Dan Sage (Business and Economics, Loughborough University): How Outer Space Made America (28 October)

Mariann Vaczi (College of Dunaujvaros, Hungary; University of Nevada, Reno): Football, the Beast, and the Sovereign: Sport and Politics in Spain (July 1) – co-hosted with the LU Sociology of Sport Research Group

Sabina Mihelj (Social Sciences, Loughborough University) and Enric Castello (Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain): Promoting and consuming the nation: Nations in the world of global capitalism (June 3)

Michael Skey (University of East Anglia): Why do nations matter? The struggle for belonging and security in an uncertain world (April 23)

Alexandre Christoyannopoulos (PHIR, Loughborough University): Nationalism and the Politics of Religion in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks (March 19)

Catherine Armstrong (PHIR, Loughborough University): Clio’s contribution?  Historical perspectives on social science research (March 4)

Alan Bairner (Sport, Loughborough University): Playing for the nation? Taiwan’s indigenous peoples and baseball  (February 25)


Marco Antonsich (Geography, Loughborough University):  New Italians: The Re-Making of the Nation in the Age of Migration (November 19)



Building Inclusive Nations in the Age of Migration (An encounter between academics and stakeholders) - Loughborough, 24 September 2015