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How nationalist myths persist in the modern media

* 2 September 2003 *

How nationalist myths persist in the modern media

Why is the British National Party being taken so seriously by the media? Has democratic America become the ultimate imperial nation? How does the gender of Palestinian suicide bombers influence the press coverage they receive?

These are some of the questions that will be addressed at a conference in London from 22-23 October. The conference is organised by the Centre for German-Jewish Studies at the University of Sussex.

Academics, journalists and policy makers from over twenty different countries will explore the recycling of age-old racial and religious prejudices in an age of globalisation and mass media. The conference includes panels on historical revisionism, Holocaust denial, antisemitic conspiracy theories, racist rhetoric, and 'democratic discourse', and participants will analyse these themes in the media of newsprint, film, television, radio, and the internet.

Keynote speakers include Gerry Gable, founder of the anti-fascist journal Searchlight; former New York Times correspondent David Binder; Franziska Augstein, editor of the Süddeutsche Zeitung; and Tanya Lokshina, executive director of Russian human rights organization the Moscow Helsinki Group.

The conference comes at the mid-point of a two-year project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Board and headed by Professor Edward Timms of the Centre for German-Jewish Studies. 

"While the research project focuses on post-Soviet Russia and post-unification Germany, modern media transcends national boundaries, so we decided to look at nationalist rhetoric in a global context during this conference," says Dr Stella Rock, one of the conference organisers.

Dr Rock's paper explores the nationalist campaign for the canonisation of Rasputin which is currently being waged in the Russian media. Jan Herman Brinks, who researches German nationalism on the project, will give a paper on the Anne Frank myth.

* Notes for editors *

For more details of the conference please contact Tiziana Tonna, email Or see

Press Office contacts: Peter Simmons or Jacqui Bealing, University of Sussex,
Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456,
email or

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