Commercial Nationalism


Commercial Nationalism: Selling the National Story in Tourism and Events, Book to be edited by Leanne White; Chapter abstract deadline 30 Sep 2014

Commercial Nationalism: Selling the National Story in Tourism and Events

Editor: Leanne White

Call for Chapter Abstracts

This is a call for chapter abstracts to be considered for an edited book: ‘Commercial Nationalism: Selling the National Story in Tourism and Events’. The book will combine academic analysis and critical input with fresh perspectives from interested researchers. It will examine national narratives in the context of tourism, hospitality and events around the world.

An academic publisher has expressed interest in publishing this book. They will finalise their decision after reviewing the detailed book proposal which will include the proposed chapter abstracts. While deadlines are yet to be finalised, it is envisaged that completed chapters would be submitted around June 2015 (see proposed timeline below). It is anticipated that final chapters will be approximately 5,000 words in length (including references). Chapters must be strictly original works (that have not been published elsewhere).

Nation branding and national imagery can be explored using a range of methodologies. The focus of this book is on how particular narratives and woven to tell (and sell) a national story. By deconstructing images of the nation, one can closely examine how national texts create key archival imagery that can promote tourism and events while at the same time, shaping national identity.

While numerous theorists have analysed nationalism, Anderson’s 1982 work (revised in 1991) Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism has reconceptualised the way scholars have come to think about nationalism. Anderson popularly conceptualised the nation as an ‘imagined political community’. Ozkirimli argues that Anderson’s work ‘constitutes one of the most original accounts of nationalism to date’ (Ozkirimli, 2000, p. 151) while James claims that Anderson’s key text ‘remains the most insightful book written in the area’ (James, 1996, p. ix).

The imagined community of the nation is maintained by cultural artefacts and institutions such as literature, art, media and the education system, and a sense of nation is established and sustained ‘by the quotidian rhythms of print and electronic media output, along with periodic national ceremonies’ (O’Sullivan et al., 1994, pp. 196-197). Indeed it is the daily ritual, undertaken by individuals of the nation separately, of reading about the events that have been selected as newsworthy that cement the concept of a common national identity. Billig refers to the way in which symbols of the nation are reproduced on a daily basis as ‘banal nationalism’ (Billig, 1995, p. 6).

Studies in tourism, hospitality and events have considered the role of attractions and events in helping create a national identity. Pretes (2003) argues that a shared identity is often an official goal of countries comprised of many different cultures where there exists a common urge to create a national identity to overcome diversity and difference within the nation-state. Another perspective is offered by Spillman (1997) who argues that in a diverse country, diversity itself can become an aspect of national identity.

The topic of commercial nationalism is interdisciplinary. It engages with a wide range of research areas including: tourism, events, hospitality, marketing, history and cultural studies. The complex relationship between commerce and the nation warrants further investigation.

Interested authors are invited in the first instance to send an abstract of approximately 300 words, along with a biographical sketch of approximately 100 words to Dr Leanne White by 30 September, 2014. Please send abstracts (including bio) as word attachment to:

Proposed Timeline:

  • 30 September, 2014 – Abstracts due.
  • 30 October, 2014 – Authors receive feedback on abstract.
  • 30 June, 2015 – Chapters due (date to be confirmed after book proposal approved).

About the Editor:

Dr Leanne White is a Senior Lecturer in the College of Business at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. Her research interests include: national identity, commercial nationalism, popular culture, advertising, destination marketing, events and cultural tourism. She is the author of more than 45 book chapters and refereed journal articles, and co-editor of the Routledge research books: Wine and Identity: Branding, Heritage, Terroir (2014), Dark Tourism and Place Identity: Managing and Interpreting Dark Places (2013), and Tourism and National Identities: An International Perspective (2011).


Anderson, B. (1991) Imagined communities: Reflections on the origins and spread of nationalism (Second Edition). London: Verso.

Billig, M. (1995) Banal nationalism. London: Sage.

James, P. (1996) Nation formation: Towards a theory of abstract community. London: Sage.

O’Sullivan, T., Hartley, J., Saunders, D., Montgomery, M. and Fiske, J. (1994) Key concepts in communication and cultural studies (Second Edition). London: Routledge.

Ozkirimli, U. (2000) Theories of nationalism: A critical introduction. Houndmills: Macmillan.

Pretes, M. (2003) Tourism and nationalism, Annals of Tourism Research, 30 (1), pp. 125-142.

Spillman, L. (1997) Nation and commemoration: Creating national identities in the United States and Australia. New York: Cambridge University Press.