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Modern European History: Migrations, Nation States, Identities

History 229 - Spring 2020

Politicians in several European countries recently declared the failure of multiculturalism, emphasizing immigration as the cause of social and political conflict. These statements deny that the European continent as a whole has been shaped by various forms of migration, ranging from Teutonic and Slavic settlement migration in the first ten centuries A.D., and rural-to-urban migration and religious expulsions in the Middle Ages, to recent guest worker programs and immigration from former colonies. Encounters between different cultures, religions, and forms of social organization are a staple of European societies' development. The course will begin with a brief overview of significant population movements since the Early Modern Era and then focus on important mass movements since the French Revolution. Course units study the nexus between migration and modernization, people's movement and the nation-state, empire and citizenship, and economic and social development. The class also poses the questions: Why are some migrations remembered and others not? Why do we know what we know about migration and migrant experiences? How do notions of 'otherness' and 'diversity' come to be central points of contention within current discourses in Europe? How do race, class, and gender interact in shaping the experience and perception of immigrants? Primary sources, autobiographical narratives, scholarly analyses and a range of visual material including films and maps are the basis for class lectures and individual and group work assignments, helping students to develop critical thinking and effective oral and written communication skills.

Section 01

Modern European History: Migrations, Nation States, Identities
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