Understanding European Identities

First year module

Lecturer: Richard Connolly

This module explores the processes of the making and re-making of ‘Europe’ and ‘European Identity’ in relation to current European issues and debates in their historical, cultural, geographical, and political contexts.

The module considers how contemporary understandings of what does and does not constitute ‘Europeanness’ and the ways the meanings of ‘Europeanness’ have been formed by their cultural trajectories. In particular, the module looks at themes such as Empire and the rise of the nation state, religion, the Enlightenment, colonialism, authoritarianism / democracy, post-colonialism, transnationalism, globalization and the processes of ‘othering’.

It also looks at the ways in which competing markers of Europeanness and non-Europeanness are played out in current European debates, with particular reference to the construction of a ‘shared European past’ and a ‘common European identity’.

Learning outcomes  

By the end of the module you should be able to:

  • Outline some historical and contemporary understandings of ‘Europe’ and ‘European identity’ in relation to current European issues and debates.
  • Problematise ‘Europe’ and ‘European identity’ as constructed concepts, which are in constant process and negotiation.
  • Draw on relevant Cultural Studies theory and analytical techniques to analyse the contemporary construction of a ‘shared European past’ and a ‘common European identity’.

Assessment

  • Term One: 2000 word essay/project 50%
  • Term Two: Continuous assessment
  • Term Three: 3 hour examination 50%