Volume 91, #4

Summer 2018

SPECIAL COLLECTION:

World Heritage and the Ontological Turn: New Materialities and the Enactment of Collective Pasts

 

phone: 202-994-3215  e-mail: ifer@gwu.edu

 

Volume 91, #4 • Fall 2018

 

ARTICLES

 

Of Spargel and Spiegel: Networked National Feelings in Berlin

Jordan Kraemer, Independent Scholar

ABSTRACT—Social and mobile media, from Facebook to smartphones, bring together social relations in new configurations that transform experiences of space and place. For an emerging urban middle class in late 2000s Berlin, reading national news online comprised a key daily practice linked to feeling German among mobile young people who otherwise sought transnational connections and identified in non- or post-nationalist terms. Feeling German—an affective, unspoken sense of national selfhood—could take place in contexts construed as cosmopolitan and transnational, whether hip districts of Berlin or networked, online media. National selfhood took shape as a form of acceptable subjectivity linked to the nation, owing to scalemaking processes that conjoined selfhood and place, not only expanding the scope of place-based identities. Reading national media online and practices like eating traditional foods linked acceptable selfhood to the scale, that is, contingent territorial ordering, of the nation. In this article, accounts of normative national affect, in the sense of commonality rooted in shared feeling and non-representational modes of being, illuminate an emergent networked cosmopolitan nationalism as a scalemaking project that reconfigures media, selfhood, and place. [Keywords: Media, spatial scale, affect, nationalism, transnationalism, Europe]