Benjamin G Martin

Historian, Uppsala University

Benjamin G Martin is director of the Euroculture MA programme at Uppsala University in Sweden, and the author of The Nazi-Fascist New Order for European Culture (2016).

Written by Benjamin G Martin

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‘European culture’ is an invented tradition

Benjamin G Martin

Thanks for the interesting comments! Here are some thoughts in response:

1) The question of where the idea of “European culture” comes from is indeed different from the question of whether or not Europe needs a distinctive identity, but they are tightly related. The choice of early-twentieth-century European intellectuals to make high culture the focus of a European identity was a new and significant step in a long history of producing ideas about Europe that could serve various identity-making projects.

That history has of course continued since then, with new points of focus responding to new circumstances. Notice for example that interwar European intellectuals did not ce...

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