Europe’s history and culture have been defined by its encounters with the wider world. This course considers some of those encounters, including migration, colonialism, war, tourism, and trade. Rather than focusing on one country, we will examine how such forces have shaped the idea of Europe itself: what it means to be “European,” whether for individuals, cultures, or states. Topics include European imperialism and decolonization; nationalism and regionalism; the Cold War and the Iron Curtain; and the European Union and its discontents.
This course is taught in conjunction with the UVA Masters Program in European Studies (though masters students will receive additional assignments). It is designed to function as an introduction to the emerging field of European Studies. Our readings thus come from a variety of disciplines: besides historical scholarship, we will read works by anthropologists, literary scholars, political scientists, journalists, and others. You should expect to read roughly 150 pages a week.
The goal of this course is to produce an original work of scholarship related to the theme of Europe and the World. Your research paper is due at the end of the semester and should be 18-20 pages in length. All other assignments are designed to help you research and write this paper. They include in-class participation; a preliminary question; a research prospectus; and a paper draft.