Europe in Theory

ROMST201

Exploration of the idea of Europe as a political, moral, and cultural identity. Examines the construction of such identity throughout history, ending with today's European Union, at a moment in which integration of "Eastern" countries such as Turkey or Russia remains a hotly debated issue. Consistent attention devoted to literary, cinematic and artistic works which attempt to imagine a European Culture, as well as the evolution of aesthetics, and literary and art history.

Citizenship and nationalism, the creation of the peculiar label of “European literature”.

A look at a world map soon reveals a curious fact: whereas Africa, America and Australia have clear geographical limits — they are, strictu sensu, continents, “continuous bodies of land on the earth's surface” (Oxford English Dictionary) — Europe is instead a land mass continuing, without geographical separations, into Asia. As Paul Valéry once put it, Europe would then be, at most, “a small heading of the Asiatic continent... a western appendix of Asia.” Where, in fact, does Europe end and Asia begin? Despite the absence of any clear geographical marker separating it from Asia, the idea of Europe as a political, moral, and cultural identity is today almost common sense. This course looks at the construction of such identity in history. Particular attention will be devoted to the questions of citizenship and nationalism, and to the creation of the peculiar label of “European literature.”

Crosslisting Numbers

FRENCH201, ITALIAN201, LITERATURE273

Curriculum Codes
ALP, CCI, CZ, R