Understanding European Identities

Centre for Russian and East European Studies, School of Government and Society

College of Social Sciences


Code 18495

Level of study First Year

Credit value 20

Semester 1 and 2

Pre-requisite modules Where students take this course as a 10 credit unit they will be expected to undertake self directed study of the material not covered from the readin

Module description

The module will start from a brief consideration of typical European issues. It will then consider how contemporary understandings of what does and does not constitute 'European-ness' have been formed by their cultural historical trajectories, looking at themes such as Empire and the rise of the nation state, religion, the Enlightenment, colonialism, authoritarianism/democracy, post-colonialism, transnationalism, globalisation and localisation, and the processes of 'othering'.

The module will then proceed to substantial consideration of how competing markers of European-ness and non-European-ness are played out in current European debates, with particular reference to the construction of a 'shared European past' and a 'common European identity'. A deeper understanding of such identity debates will be achieved by drawing on relevant cultural theorists such as Stuart Hall, Michel Foucault, Homi Bhabha, and Julie Kristeva in a manner appropriate to a Level C course.

Teaching and learning methods

These courses are taught by a combination of lectures, classes and directed reading.

This module is available as:
Autumn term only 10 credit unit – 3,000 word assessed essay
Spring term only 10 credit unit – 3,000 word assessed essay
Whole Year 20 credit unit – 2,000 word summative essay (50%) and 3 hour examination (50%).