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The Politics of English Nationhood$
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Michael Kenny

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199608614

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608614.001.0001

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The Cultural Politics of Englishness

The Cultural Politics of Englishness

(p.131) 4 The Cultural Politics of Englishness
The Politics of English Nationhood

Michael Kenny

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the various ways in which the English imagination has been stimulated and challenged within a variety of different cultural genres in recent years. It highlights an important threat running through a variety of texts and works — the notion that the spirit of the nation can be recreated by establishing new connections with the landscapes and artefacts that have a special place within the English imagination. It also draws attention to the renewed appeal of folk aesthetics in cultural life. Particular attention is paid to how iconic pieces, such as Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem, dramatize some of the major themes of the English cultural revival, and to the emergence within popular culture of a growing interest in commemorating, celebrating, and identifying Englishness in various cultural and institutional arenas.

Keywords:   culture, cultural politics, folk, folk music, arts, St George’s Day, popular culture

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