Annually, the Delegation of the European Union (EU) in Washington, D.C., holds an embassy open house day for its 27 member nations to celebrate European culture and educate tourists on the functions of EU politics and international relations. Amidst an ongoing debt crisis and a continuing exploration of its identity as a supranational entity, “Embassy Day” affords an opportunity to see the EU as a spatial network uneasily caught in the tensions between the often nostalgic nationalism of its constituent countries and the future-oriented technocratic transnationalism of its composite alliance. By analyzing the cultural artifacts of Embassy Day from its handouts, maps, speeches, architecture, and performances, I treat Embassy Day as a “rhetorical experience” and the EU embassies as a transnational network imposed over the city space of Washington, D.C. In the process, I argue that the very fragmented nature of the open house’s complex simulation of Europe mirrors the fragmented nature of European identity itself, and thus displays the anxiety around how the EU places itself and its power vis-à-vis the global community.
Copyright © 2015 Routeledge. Article first published online 10 NOV 2015.
The definitive version is available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15405702.2015.1084621
Barney, Timothy. "A More Perfect European Union?: The Transnational Networks of the European Union’s Embassy Open House in Washington, D.C." Popular Communication 13, no. 4 (November 10, 2015): 288-309. doi:10.1080/15405702.2015.1084621.
Barney, Timothy, "A More Perfect European Union?: The Transnational Networks of the European Union’s Embassy Open House in Washington, D.C." (2015). Rhetoric and Communication Studies Faculty Publications. 52.