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This subject explores portrayals and perceptions of perceived “Others” in Europe – such as Jews, Muslims, “gypsies” and refugees - and how they have contributed to European identities in the past and today. Looking at literature, film, philosophy, music, food and popular culture, the subject will seek to understand how Europe’s Others are essential to the formation and maintenance of national, ethnic and religious identities in many European countries. It will examine the role of Others “within” (such as the Jews) and Others “without” (such as colonial subjects) and consider kinds of European “Othering” that position the Other as either appealing and attractive or threatening and repulsive. From colonial-era exoticisation to present day xenophobia, European views of the Other have been central to definitions of the self and shaped the continent’s history, politics, culture and languages. Students will gain an appreciation of nation and national identity in Europe as a discursive and comparative process, and an understanding of the distinct national stories of a number of European countries.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject students should:
- be aware of how nations and national identity in Europe have emerged in the modern era;
- be able to appreciate national identity as a discursive process, something which is created and reflected upon in national myths and legends;
- have gained an understanding of the different national narratives of countries through reading texts and other cultural artefacts;
- have gained an appreciation of how the formation of national identities in Europe is a comparative process.
At the completion of this subject, students should:
- be able to develop effective public speaking and written communication skills;
- have acquired critical thinking and analytical skills;
- have acquired an understanding of cultural, linguistic, national and transnational contexts;
- have developed an international awareness and openness to the world;
- have developed effective time management and planning skills;
- have developed research and essay-writing skills.
Last updated: 22 November 2023