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Environment and History

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Environment and History

Nature and Identity in the Construction of the Romanian Concept of Nation

Valentin Quintus Nicolescu

Environment and History 20 (2014): 123-141. doi: 10.3197/096734014X13851121443526

In this article I explore the role played by nature in the construction of the discourse of Romanian national identity. What was the perceived relation between the human community and the natural realm? How was the natural landscape transformed into a constitutive part of the national discourse? Could nature be seen as an essential identity marker for Romanian nationhood, thus shaping a form of Romanian exceptionalism? What form does this exceptionalist view take in the Romanian case? I highlight how the concept of an imagined national community was developed by the Romanian political and intellectual elite of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the role played by nature in the shaping of this discourse of identity.

KEYWORDS: Imagined community; national identity; nature and nation; Romanian exceptionalism

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