This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
(Summer, 1992), pp. 78-82.
Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0162-2870%28199222%2961%3C78%3AD%3E2.0.CO%3B2-J October is currently published by The MIT Press.
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at http://www.jstor.org/about/terms.html. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at http://www.jstor.org/journals/mitpress.html. Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission.
The JSTOR Archive is a trusted digital repository providing for long-term preservation and access to leading academic journals and scholarly literature from around the world. The Archive is supported by libraries, scholarly societies, publishers, and foundations. It is an initiative of JSTOR, a not-for-profit organization with a mission to help the scholarly community take advantage of advances in technology. For more information regarding JSTOR, please contact email@example.com.
http://www.jstor.org Thu Jan 31 22:32:11 2008
Discussion Audience: This is addressed to Andreas Huyssen. No more. My concern is that German national culture in the twentieth century is not just any European national culture-just as American national culture understood. T h e issue. thus have serious doubts about the option you're posing. At the same time-and I'm not very far at this point in my thinking about the question of nationhood and national identity in Germany-I have tried to critique a certain taboo on the left and to show the necessity of opening up a debate on the question. Those of us who belong to peoples that have been trampled over by either one or the other. Andreas Huyssen: I share those kinds of concerns. I also agree with you when you say that German national culture is . I could argue that there should be and that there will be a different kind of German national identity than the one that has been dominant in the past. it seemed that your recuperation of nationhood was not about political. I think this is as far as I would go. has to be addressed. is not just any European-derived national culture. racially speaking. electoral expediency. but about trying to be in step with what is happening in terms of national cultural politics in a unified Germany. in its dominant hegemonic sense. however. Evasion will only strengthen conservative definitions of nation. Where such a discussion would lead in terms of electoral politics I have no way to predict. I understand that the left in Germany has historically had serious problems in terms of establishing a social base. no less. Until the very last comments you made. or both. then the recent history of Germany (that's why I started by focusing on the various anniversaries) will have to remain strongly inscribed within it. one may very well argue that it might not lead very far. and I emphasized at the beginning of the paper that if there were a productive discussion of national identity in Germany. but I don't quite see how what you're posing is a real alternative. particularly given the dangers involved.
There would have to be a discussion of what actually constitutes German citizenship. However. a way of questioning acts of naming carried out according to Enlightenment and modernist notions of progress. But I think that what would have to happen. between two words. concretely. to a new far right. would perhaps be more persuasive. is that there would have to be a discussion of a problem that the left has simply avoided. belatedness. if citizenship were to be determined automatically by place of birth-which would solve a major problem for many of the second. I'm very pessimistic about the current political situation. where Germany. German citizenship is still decided by blood lineage.and third-generation Turks.Discussion not like any other. but at the end. because of its history of forced exile. the left has focused on political asylum. Homi Bhabha: In fact the main frame of what I was talking about was atemporality. has very liberal legislation. it's based on a preWorld War I law. how do you provide a space. The rest of your talk was so focused on the double nature of nation and its internal boundary. You both used a spatial metaphor-one of interval and the other of a space of indeterminacy. literally. the East Germans-what would the representative bodies be? Andreas Huyssen: I admit my paper is very speculative on that level and somewhat distant from what is happening at this point in Germany. "Citizenship" would thus be a concrete space for discussion that should be opened up. the attempt to hook Germany up with Western liberal culture. who live in Germany and have lived in Germany for a long time-then the Habermasian claim. a gap. I think it's . It just seems to me that the question of national identity has been put on the table in a new way by the raw facts of the political events since 1989. and that the discursive terrain should not be left only to the conservatives and. that it has to be addressed publicly by the left. I think. Homi Bhabha: I just wonder a bit about your discussion of the negotiating of this sign of nationhood now: the process of opening up a discursive terrain. in the current Germany you describe. Now. And I wanted to know how such indeterminacy could be a useful agent in discussing identity. for instance. from which those different discourses and their genealogies could be represented in a dialogue where negotiating power would be shared? That is the major problem. The Turks. but one might of course ask whether there is any one that is like any other? I don't mean that as a facile response. where these spaces do not seem to be expanding but actually seem to be shrinking. potentially. But instead of discussing this. even within the left. Audience: My question is directed toward the first two speakers.
the politics of oppression. of people who try to find or apprehend an identity as fighters through the very dismissal of their sociological identity. both in discourse and in practice. we're all migrants. metaphors which lead to saying unthinkingly.OCTOBER important to think about temporaility. It is a movement of subjects. You know. For me. we're all diasporates. as the possibility of reconstructing other kinds of histories. But that raises a problem (as I think Cornel said) of how the politics of desire can operate in a world when libidinal politics tends to fragment identities. who always bears the name of the other and incorporates an impossible identification. the identity given to them by a social order. draw upon racist identifications. And so really. we are now also living in the Third World. as far as I'm concerned. So I think that my specific point is really about how belatedness functions to critique certain priorities and myths about culture and modernization. but with a certain way of being at one and the same time inside and outside the symbolic order of the distribution of social identities. Audience: When Andreas spoke of the libidinal investment in nationhood. This is not just an abstract idea. These subjects both assumed and did not assume the label worker. If we look at the everyday world and the way desire is constructed. one dismissed the inner division that was at the very heart of the assumption of the label worker or proletarian. that is. "New York is a new Calcutta. instead. A social movement is not the movement of a sociological group. Jacques RanciZre: In answer to your question. and Countermodernity") operates against that kind of thing. Against those who treated them as "workersw-"their" workersthey took on this label. years of miscegenation. it is grounded in my research on French workers' history. I wish to take to task the growing spatialization operating in postmodern critical metaphors. What I wanted to question by means of this example is the deceptive appearance of self-evidence of a "social" movement as the expression of a "social" group. So that they did not identify the name worker or proletarian with a definite technical and social activity. it's based on the politics of domination. There it became obvious that one couldn't simply apply social types and categories to this movement. Time. So at . ones that d o not require-as I said in my comments-a kind of sovereignty of desire. he seemed to suggest that we should shy away from those kinds of identifications. because. I would say that it is really just the opposite: the social construction of an identity must be conceived in terms of a logic of the subject. in so doing." My argument in the longer study of which this is a part ("Race. in terms of the logic of an actor who cannot be identified with any sociological category or constituent group.
I agree with you that negating the reality of a strong German identity is nonsensical. But I think that the assertion of a German identity can take place in a variety of ways. Ernesto Laclau: What keeps some room for hope in the question of German nationalism is perhaps that today the ideological changes are taking place in an overdetermined context. The widely divergent reactions to the Gulf War in England. as I said earlier. France. and.Discussion the same time as we raise this question. T h e overdetermination of the contexts within which this identity is asserted is what counts." European identity. nonrepressive libidinal investment? ndreas Huyssen: That is the question I'm posing with the paper: Do we have to identify the politics of desire with racism and oppression? I have not. much happier in the Federal Republic when he was part of a "Westernized. European unification contains and alters the ways in which national identities in Europe will be constructed in the future. found an answer for this. in Germany. Today he must live with the brute fact of German nationalism. Germany. for example. But let us not fool ourselves. how can we think about drawing upon libidinal investment in nationhood in a constructive way? Is there a way to imagine a nonracist. That is to say that German national identity is being asserted in a context very different from that of the emerging European nationalism of the nineteenth century. . even Czechoslovakia showed how national histories still determine the thoughts and actions in different parts of Europe. But I'm convinced that the question has to be asked in order to create alternatives. The relationship between nation and nationstate is already no longer what it used to be. I think. and he is clearly uncomfortable. Andreas Huyssen: Ernesto's comment is very pertinent here. the context of the European Community puts some important limits on the development of a purely xenophobic politics. Even if the sovereign nation-state disappears. And internally. If it does not get asked. not all of them producing reactionary effects. I don't think for one minute that older national identities will simply disappear with European unification. it will only have been displaced by a larger unit-"Europev-that may very well act like a traditional nation-state toward other parts of the world. as I suggested. Someone like Habermas was. T h e fact that presentday national identities are being asserted in the context of the construction of the European Community gives to progressive forces room to maneuver. then that kind of political terrain is left to those who are occupying it so successfully now.
. from Pakistan. and from most African countries. There was opposition to the Gulf War from India. in many cases. but with other sorts of things: with death. I just wanted to know if you could elaborate. In the process of enacting equality. postcolonial response would feed yet again into a kind of polarization. with his kind of political regime. with desires to modernize which would in some senses be to destroy. vocalize. homogeneous response on the part of the-1'11 use the word-Third World. You can turn to Derek Walcott or Toni Morrison or Sonia Sanchez and see how the question of race and history and identification was being negotiated at each one of those sites. we could address the example of what appeared from a certain distance to be a coordinated. Homi Bhabha: It would be precisely the response of a once-colonizing world now to see a homogenized postcolonial world. The identification was not with Saddam Hussein. origins of the other-things that Homi Bhabha addressed. with despair. So the Gulf issue was being used in very differently negotiated ways. it seems to me. That's the really important issue. So there are a number of ways in which that opposition to U. but it is not. and author a sense of "I"-whether collectively or individually -that would exist in isolation from your history of racism and colonialization? Because. do you have the right. If we think of the Gulf War. postcolonial world.S. policy might be seen to be invariant. That is why it's very important to mark various different sites of the "1"'s enunciation. It's too easy to homogenize that response. Further. as opposed to this. So the very idea of a homogeneous. to imagine. I think one of the most interesting nonhomogenizing effects in many Third World countries was the surfacing of a desire actually to identify with loss. as I attempted to do today.82 OCTOBER Audience: My question is related to postcolonialism and the origins of self. the social right. Yet. undemocratic regimes. what was interesting in each one of those responses was the way in which the Gulf War was being used by groups of peace protesters in each country to oppose their own dominant and. this issue of postcolonialism doesn't deal with the whole problem of a homogeneous.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.