To what extent are intellectuals artisans of nationalism? In this chapter we review past and present anthropological research that has helped to reveal the agency of intellectuals in the projects and operations of states and nations. If the intellectual has long been defined in the Marxian-Gramscian tradition as a social actor with a special praxical investment in ways and forms of knowing, then what we discuss as “intellectualism,” the social formation of knowledge, should be understood as a central dimension of the (re)production of nations and nationalism both inside and outside of states. We suggest that further drawing anthropological attention to intellectuals and their knowledge practices (ranging from the poetic-literary to the technical-administrative) will help the anthropology of nations and nationalism to () locate the role of human agency in the creation, circulation, and contestation of national culture, () capture the intellectual work involved in nationalism and bureaucracy in its full diversity, and () imagine a new series of ethnographic access points among educated professionals for the study of nationalism in action.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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