The first issue of JAm It! tries to explore the intricacies of contemporary U.S. politics by addressing notions of hyper-nationalism and post-nationalism.
The last few years have seen a revitalization of hyper-nationalist movements, which are not only exaggerated forms of nationalism but also belie a growing yearning to safeguard established hierarchies based on race, ethnicity, and social status. Fueled by fears of terrorism, racial hostilities, and recent iterations of the vigilante syndrome, these movements rally the most intolerant parts of U.S. consciousness. On the other side of the political spectrum, many anti-nationalist and post-nationalist movements have sprouted out of a transnational outlook, disengaged from notions of national order and control. These reactionary radical sentiments are not only directed at the rising nationalist wave, but are also reared by discursive practices and global narratives that transcend a state’s domestic interests and extend to international struggles for socio-environmental and climate justice.
Despite the schismatic nature of contemporary U.S. society, spaces of protest, dialogue, and confrontation have proliferated far beyond geographic boundaries. Technological advances have rendered most of these boundaries obsolete and have thus championed new means to express dissent and connect with other dissenting voices across the world to create transnational sites where ideologies, claims, and conflicts are difficult to distinguish or gauge. Given these developments, nationalism and its afterlives become not only problematic but also call for further scrutiny.