Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Identity and Culture in Europe

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT European Studies

DESCRIPTION Debates surrounding culture and identity in Europe never abated. Margaret Thatcher claimed that “Europe is not based on a common language, culture and values.” In contrast, during a press conference, Charles De Gaulle remarked that Europe is not just a union concerning itself with the production of coal and steel, but it is also the Europe of Dante, Goethe and Chateaubriand – thus implying a broader cultural underpinning to the European project.

This study-unit is divided into two parts. The first part attempts to uncover the origins of the idea of Europe. It looks at various artistic, literary, architectural and political elements which have become symbols used to nurture the idea of a collective identity.

The second part looks at the contemporary use of art, literature and music to nurture the narrative of European identity. It will examine the use of symbols and events, as well as the importance of cultural exchanges to cement the idea of a collective European identity.

Study-unit Aims:

The study-unit aims to uncover the political undertones of various cultural elements which are often claimed to form the backbone of European identity. It also seeks to outline the political uses of the discourse on identity and to uncover its uses at a European level.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Engage with debates concerning identity and narrative;
- Identify the political undertones behind various works of art, music and literature.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Analyse narratives concerning identity and narrative;
- Write informed short pieces analysing the political significance of identity discourse.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Aulich J and Wilcox T, (1993) Europe Without Walls : Art, Posters and Revolution 1989 – 93, Manchester City Art Galleries
- Bartlett R, (1994) The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization, and Cultural Change, 950 – 1350, Princeton University Press
- Black J, (2008) The Curse of History, Social Affairs uNIT
- Gardner Coates V, (2016) David's Sling: A History of Democracy in Ten Works of Art, Encounter Books

Supplemented with other books / Class readings


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Project SEM2 Yes 30%
Assignment SEM2 Yes 70%

LECTURER/S Andre Paul Debattista

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.