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European Identities and the Identity of Europe

SEMINAR OVERVIEW:

The idea of Europe and what it means to be European are among the most hotly debated issues today. This seminar will consider how ‘Europe’ as a concept and ‘European’ as an identity evolved in the early modern period. Civilization rather than Christianity came to define the differences from the rest of the world and non-Europeans. The seminar will also discuss how ‘Europe’ and ‘Europeans’ were represented in texts and images.

 

SEMINAR QUESTIONS:

  • What were the characteristics of ‘Europe’ and ‘Europeans’ between c. 1450 and c. 1800?
  • How were these characteristics represented in texts and images?

 

PRIMARY SOURCE:

Montesquieu, C.-L. de Secondat, baron de, Persian Letters, trans. M. Mauldon, with an introduction and notes by A. Kahn (1721; Oxford, 2008), Introduction, Preface and Letter 22.

Questions about the source:

  • How are Europeans and Europe portrayed in The Persian Letters?
  • How are non-Europeans and the rest of the world portrayed?

 

ESSENTIAL READING:

Pagden, Anthony, ‘Prologue: Europe and the World Around’, in Euan Cameron (ed.), Early Modern Europe (Oxford, 2001), pp. 1-28.

 

RECOMMENDED READING:

Burke, Peter, ‘How to Write a History of Europe: Europe, Europes, Eurasia’, European Review 14/2 (2006), 233–239.

Burke, Peter, ‘Did Europe Exist before 1700?’ History of European Ideas 1 (1980), 21–29.

Duindam, Jeroen, ‘Early Modern Europe: Beyond the Strictures of Modernization and National Historiography’, European History Quarterly 40/4 (2010), 606–623.

Kläger, Florian, and Gerd Bayer, ‘Introduction: Early Modern Constructions of Europe’ in Florian Kläger and Gerd Bayer (eds), Early Modern Constructions of Europe: Literature, Culture, History (London, 2016), pp. 1-14.

Wilson, Kevin, and Jan van der Dussen (eds), The History of the Idea of Europe (London, 1995), pp. 1-45.

Wintle, Michael, ‘European Images of Europe: Historical Perspectives’ International Area Studies Review 5/1 (2002), 3-26

Wintle, Michael, ‘Renaissance Maps and the Construction of the Idea of Europe’, Journal of Historical Geography 25/2 (1999), 137-165

 

FURTHER READING:

Anderson, Benedict, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, rev. ed. (London, 2003)

Bartlett, Robert, The Making of Europe: Conquest, Civilization and Cultural Change 950-1350 (Harmondsworth, 1994)

Branch, Jordan, The Cartographic State: Maps, Territory and the Origins of Sovereignty (Cambridge, 2014)

Chakrabarty, Dipesh, Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference, new ed. (Princeton, NJ, 2008), Introduction.

Delanty, Gerard, ‘Conceptions of Europe: A Review of Recent Trends’, European Journal of Social Theory 6/4 (2003), 471–488.

Delanty, Gerard, Formations of European Modernity: A Historical and Political Sociology of Europe (Basingstoke, 2013)

Greengrass, Mark, Christendom Destroyed: Europe 1517-1648 (London, 2014)

Hale, J. R., The Civilization of Europe in the Renaissance (London, 1993)

Molho, Anthony, ‘A Harlequin’s Dress: Reflections on Europe’s Public Discourse’, in Anthony Molho and Diogo Ramada Curto (eds), Finding Europe: Discourses on Margins, Communities, Images ca. 13th–ca. 18th Centuries (New York, 2007), pp. 1-17.

Perkins, Mary Anne, Christendom and European Identity: The Legacy of a Grand Narrative since 1789 (2004; rept. Berlin, 2014)

Ramada Curto, Diogo, ‘Rethinking the History of Europe: Old and New Approaches’, in Anthony Molho and Diogo Ramada Curto (eds), Finding Europe: Discourses on Margins, Communities, Images ca. 13th–ca. 18th Centuries (New York, 2007), pp. 19–35.

Seth, Catriona, and Rotraud von Kulessa (eds), The Idea of Europe: Enlightenment Perspectives (Cambridge, 2017) [A wideranging selection of contemporary texts]

Wintle, Michael J., The Image of Europe: Visualizing Europe in Cartography and Iconography (Cambridge, 2009)

Woolf, Stuart, ‘Europe and Its Historians’, Contemporary European History 12/3 (2003), 323-337.

ELECTRONIC RESOURCES:

David Rumsey Map Collection

https://www.davidrumsey.com/

 

Web Gallery of Art [Search for ‘Europe’ and ‘Europa’]

https://www.wga.hu/index.html

 

Seth, Catriona, and Rotraud von Kulessa (eds), The Idea of Europe: Enlightenment Perspectives (Cambridge, 2017) [A wideranging selection of contemporary texts]