Contemporary Europe Option

2020 Curriculum

This option focuses on issues related to contemporary Europe including such key topics as immigration and integration; European identity; post-WWII European history, and European visual culture. Students will be taught primarily by Sewanee and Rhodes faculty members and have the opportunity to engage with their host societies, including home-stay options in Berlin. The program is designed to appeal to students interested in contemporary Europe. A total of 20 credits is possible for the successful completion of this option. All courses are approved as meeting major, general or foundation degree requirements in the appropriate department or division as noted. Since courses in this option are developed annually, some variation in topics may occur from year to year although the departments and general fields of study remain constant.

  1. At Rhodes College or the University of the South: three weeks
  2. At Oxford University, Lincoln College: four weeks (Optional mid-term weekend in Dublin. Its cost is additional to the fees for the program.)
  3. In Berlin, Germany: six weeks
  4. In Strasbourg, France: three weeks

Parts I and II: The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee (July 12 to 31) and Lincoln College, Oxford University (August 15 to September 12 )

The following two courses will be offered prior to the departure to Berlin:

History (1 course, 4 credit hours)

Post World War II European History

A survey of European intellectual, political, and cultural history since WW II, including the rise and fall of the Cold War division of Europe, reconstruction, elaboration of welfare states, national politics, and integration under the European Union and its predecessors. The course begins with the origins and aftermath of WW II, which divided the European Continent and continues with a study of the rise and fall of the Cold War. Students will examine materialism, postmaterialism, postmodernism, and nationalism to understand how these ideological currents relate to economic, social and political shifts in Europe.

  • Lynn B. Zastoupil, B.A., Dickinson State College; M.A., University of Texas; Ph.D., University of Minnesota. Professor of History, Rhodes College.
International Global Studies (1 course, 4 credit hours) G4 Credit

European Integration 

Students will analyze the economic, social, political, and strategic integration of Europe since World War II. The course will analyze the Cold War division of Europe and the founding of integrating mechanisms such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Coal and Steel Community, the precursor of the European Union. Students will study the development of the European Union, including the geographic enlargement of the EU by adding member states and the functional expansion of EU institutions. The course will examine how governance structures developed during the process of expansion. In addition, attention will be paid to aspects of European integration that have given rise to contention among member states, including immigration policy and monetary integration. What defines “Europe” and being a “European?” How does membership in a regional organization such as the EU affect national identity and nationalism in member states?

  • Rodelio Manacsa, B.A., Ateneo de Manila University; M.A. Exec., University of Amsterdam; M.A., Ph.D., Vanderbilt University. Associate Professor of Politics, Sewanee, The University of the South.

Parts III and IV: Berlin, Germany (September 12 to October 24) and Strasbourg, France (October 25 to November 13)

Students will have two of the following courses in Berlin and one in Strasbourg:

Art History (1 course, 4 credit hours) G2 Credit

Post-World War II Visual Culture 

This course will consider issues of identity, migration, and politics in European art after World War II. Students will examine ways in which visual culture has intersected with these issues by traveling to different sites in Berlin to study the work of individual artists, local galleries, and established national institutions. The global art market will also be a topic of study. Students will be prompted to ask questions about the culture industry and its development since World War II. How do art institutions engage with political and social debate? How do changing notions of identity play a role in new categories for visual culture?

  • Jeffrey Thompson, B.A., Birmingham-Southern College; M.A., New York University; Ph.D., Emory University. Associate Professor of Art History, Director, Interdisciplinary Humanities Program, Sewanee, The University of the South.
International Global Studies (1 course, 4 credit hours)

Peace and Conflict/Memory Studies 

A comparative study of the origins and patterns of political violence and nonviolent resistance in contemporary Europe. When and how do cultural traits, such as ethnicity, religion, or language, become politicized? Under what conditions is violence more likely to take place in some regions and during particular historical periods? Why are civilians targeted on the basis of their cultural identities? When is political violence gendered? How are peace and war officially and unofficially commemorated across the European states? How do states achieve both peace and justice in the aftermath of wars? These questions will be addressed by critically assessing existing theories and explanations in political violence literature across social science and humanities disciplines. In addition to analyzing conditions conducive to political violence, students will also examine processes and practices of violence prevention and conflict management.

  • Liesl Allingham, B.A., Tufts University; M.A., Ph.D., Indiana University. Associate Professor of German, Sewanee, The University of the South. 
International Global Studies  (1 course, 4 credit hours)

European Citizenship, Rights, and Identity

The course introduces students to the processes of nation-building, national identity formation, and managing diversity in the European context with emphasis on the changing notions of European identity and citizenship in the second part of the twentieth century. Students will examine factors that facilitate or hinder political, social, and economic incorporation of immigrants across and within different European states in different historical periods.

  • Liesl Allingham, B.A., Tufts University; M.A., Ph.D., Indiana University.  Associate Professor of German, Sewanee, The University of the South.

While in Berlin, students will have the option of replacing one of the above with a German language course. Placement will depend on level of proficiency.

CREDIT. For satisfactory completion of the sixteen-week semester and all academic requirements, Rhodes College and The University of the South offer twenty hours of credit: four in History, eight in International Global Studies, and a choice of four credits each in two of the following: International Global Studies, Art History and German.