Prof. Dr. Hatice Sofu gave the lecture, ‘Myths and Symbols in Nation Building’, concerning how language planning and policies can be and have been used in order to stabilize, consolidate and speed up the nation building process, mainly departing from the Turkish nation as an example. Aspects such as legal reforms and the streamlining of customs and practices were the main focus of this analysis.
Andreas Åkerlund gave the lecture, ‘Myths, National Socialism and The Nordic’, showing how old Norse mythology had a central position within the construction of the Germanic mythologized past, and throwing light upon how the relationship between scholarship and politics can be deconstructed, and on how political actions are legitimized through mythological constructions.
Prof. Dr. Bernd Kollmann gave the lecture, ‘The Shroud of Turin – the Myth and its Role in Italian Nation Building’, discussing the history of the shroud and how it has been used during festivals and other ritualized ceremonies related to the building and consolidation of the Italian nation state. Prof. Dr. Kollmann approached his analysis with a particular focus on how the shroud was used by the House of Savoy to legitimize their political power, and how their possession of the shroud was interpreted as a sign that the Savoy bloodline had been chosen by God. The identity switch of the shroud, from religious relic, to political symbol of power, and back to symbol of faith was also discussed.