Epistemic justice and everyday nationalism: An auto-ethnography of transnational student encounters in a post-war memory and reconciliation project in Kosovo
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Authors: Luci, N. and Schwandner-Sievers, S.
Journal: Nations and Nationalism
© 2020 The Authors. Nations and Nationalism published by Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism and John Wiley & Sons Ltd This contribution introduces an exercise in epistemic justice to the study of everyday nationalism in post-conflict, transnational (local and international) encounters. It explores how everyday nationalism, in often unexpected and hidden ways, underpinned a cocreational, educational project involving several local (Albanian) and international (British based) university students and staff collaborating on the theme of post-war memory and reconciliation in Kosovo. The set-up resembled a microcosm of transnational social encounters in project collaborations in which the problem of nationalism, typically, is associated with one side only: here, the Kosovars. Guided by Goffman's (1982) social interactionist framework, the study employs selected participants' paraethnographic and auto-ethnographic reflections of their project experiences and practices after the event in order to trace the everyday workings of mutual assumptions and constructions of a national self and other for all sides involved. In this, it explores how the project participants' asymmetric positioning within a wider, global context of unequal power relations shaped their vernacular epistemologies of belonging and identity. It thereby excavated what otherwise taken-for-granted criteria can become relevant in such local/international social encounters as reflected upon and how the enduring power imbalances underpinning these might best be redressed.