Interview with Professor Richard Jenkins

SEN Journal: Online Exclusives is delighted to present this interview with Professor Richard Jenkins, Professor of Sociology at the University of Sheffield. He was one of the keynote speakers at the 2012 ASEN Conference.

Vesselina Ratchev and Karen Seegobin interviewed Professor Jenkins at the 2012 ASEN Conference, held at the London School of Economics and Political Science on 27-29 March, 2012.

1. What are the main themes you’ve been working on this year?

When I was asked to give the keynote lecture, I thought I was going to give a fairly straight forward talk about boundaries and suddenly discovered that I am not really sure what boundaries are. But like Rogers [Brubaker] I also have a long standing interest in religion because of my interest in Denmark and Norway.

2. What is the best book on nationalism that you’ve read in the past year?

Well, actually, I did read a little tiny book by Peter Burke called Cultural Hybridity and I was much taken by its elegance. A very fine little book.

3. What was the key piece of news from the last year that you found the most interesting?

In my case it is a very parochial piece of news about Denmark. It is the fact that when the Social Democrats got back into power, the first thing the new prime minister talked about in his inaugural speech in parliament was  the need to shift and re-define  the public debate about immigration in Denmark and I nearly fell off my chair. Whether anything will come of it is another matter.

SEN Journal: Online Exclusives would like to thank Professor Jenkins for taking the time to speak with us. For more on the topics discussed, please see the following SEN articles, which can be found in the print edition: 

Kahn, R. A. (2008), The Danish Cartoon Controversy and the Exclusivist Turn in European Civic Nationalism. Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, 8: 524–542.

Dyce, J. (2010), N. F. S. Grundtvig: Charismatic Poet and Prophet, Pedagogical Pioneer, and Politician. Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, 10: 453–466.

Elenius, L. (2010), Symbolic Charisma and the Creation of Nations: The Case of the Sámi. Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, 10: 467–482.

Khan, N. (2011), Are Europe’s Migrants Not a Potential Resource?. Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, 11: 324–328.

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