Nations, materialities and affects

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In this paper we demonstrate how writings on affect, materiality and relationality necessitate a rethinking of theories of the nation, focusing on the intermittent emergence and flickering presence of nation-ness and national identity. In moving beyond Billig’s notion of ‘banal nationalism’, we argue that the presencing/absencing, foregrounding/backgrounding, and individualizing/collectivizing of feelings results from the differential capacities for bodies to affect or be affected and the assembling of particular configurations of bodies and materials. We demonstrate this through a discussion of how national feelings and affects have gathered around two infrastructures in Wales, the A470 road and the Severn Bridge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)600-617
Number of pages18
JournalProgress in Human Geography
Issue number5
Early online date18 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2017


  • affect
  • banal nationalism
  • fire spatiality
  • infrastructure
  • materiality
  • mobilities
  • nationalism
  • Wales


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