Swanson, Jacob: Travel Grant - 2017-2018

College of Arts and Sciences
Project Title: 
Coining a Nation, Constituting a People
Project Abstract: 
Does money play a central role in understandings of nationalism and national identity? This project considers the recent Brexit vote in the United Kingdom to ascertain what role its national currency had in the constitution and maintenance of British national identity leading up to, and subsequently influencing, Britain’s vote to leave the EU. Brexit provides a promising case study in how national currencies and monetary concerns have come to structure national and sub-national political deliberations—in other words, how money has come to in many cases destabilize national sovereignty as it simultaneously works as a key part of the discourse of national identity. Supplementing historiographical and theoretical work with archival research and fieldwork, I argue that, first, the possession of a national currency shapes understandings of national identity, and second, that national monetary systems politically shape the ongoing constitution and articulation of national identity.