Europe and Its 'Others': Race and Nation, from the Age of Imperialism to the 'New Europe'

Term: Spring 2010

Subject Code: GHIS

Course Number: 5160

Urgent questions about the meaning of 'Europeanness' emerged in tandem with the creation of the EU at the end of the twentieth century. Scores of books and articles have been written, for example, on the subject of what it means to be British, or what constitutes French culture. Beginning with Benedict Anderson's concept of 'imagined communities', this course studies patterns of belonging and exclusion in European society and culture from the period of high imperialism to the emergence of the New Europe. It examines the meanings and lived experience of race and ethnicity, as the question of identity was formulated and reformulated over the course of more than a century in response to changes produced by imperial expansion, war, immigration, decolonization, and the global market. Focusing on the interrelations of metropole and colony, it examines hierarchies of power and strategies of resistance produced within the colonial encounter; the circulation of ideas and images representing this encounter; the emergence of individual and collective identities; class and racial difference in the post-colonial city; and changing understandings of state and nation. It studies both national policy and the patterns of everyday life, using primary sources, critical historical and literary writings, novels and films.

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