Core Course

Humanities 2195 9.0 Defining Europe: Introduction to European Studies

Note: For purposes of meeting program requirements, this course and all other nine credit courses will count as six credits towards the major in European Studies.

From the Middle Ages to the present, Europeans have repeatedly defined their continent and their civilization in contrast to others that do not belong. This continual process of designating insiders and outsiders is the subject of this course. These definitions have been drawn on a number of different scales: within individual countries, among countries in continental Europe and between Europeans and peoples they encountered in other parts of the world. They have also been based on a number of criteria: religion, race, and culture.

The designation of who is an outsider and why has changed significantly over time. Examples of such contrasts between insiders and outsiders include Christians versus Muslims and Christians versus Jews, Europeans versus Africans, Asians and Native Americans, northerners versus southerners and debates over immigration and citizenship in contemporary Europe.

This course provides an introduction to European Studies from the medieval period to the present, exploring the subject both thematically and chronologically using an interdisciplinary approach. The course will draw on a diverse range of sources, incorporating literature, art and film as well as scholarly writings from such disciplines as History, Political Science and Anthropology.