The Celts, however defined, have had propaganda value at least since Julius Caesar's campaigns in Gaul in the 1st century BC. In the 21st century they are touted by some as the original European Union, while at the same time various nation-states and ethnic groups base their sense of separate identity on their Celtic roots. Not surprisingly, the question of what the term "Celtic" means, and who should be able to define it has been a major focus of current debates centering on national and ethnic identity. A diverse number of academic disciplines have been drawn into this debate, from folklore and linguistics to genetics and archaeology. Many practitioners in these fields and subfields are unaware of how their research and interpretations are appropriated and applied by others. Submissions to this theme could include the following:

  • Representations of Celtic archaeological monuments, folk heroes, and other symbolism in the material culture of nationalist or ethnic revival movements past and present
  • Appropriation by political figures, factions, parties etc. of explicitly Celtic symbolism
  • References to Celtic cultural patrimony in the context of literary manifestations of nationalism
  • Celtic musical traditions and their significance in nationalist movements
  • Archaeological evidence and its interpretation in the construction of national identity in the Celtic world
  • Nationalism as a positive force in cultural survival



Biographie-Memoires, by Célestin Lainé (Neven Henaff)
Daniel Leach, University of Melbourne
Guillaume Legros