West European Studies | German Cultural History: European Identity
W406 | 26308 | Rasch, W

9:30AM-10:45AM   MW   3 cr.
Obtain on-line auth for above section from department.
Above section meets with HON-H 303 and GER-G 364.

This course will look at a variety of ways Europe and/or European
nation-states (e.g. Germany) have constructed identities.  In
particular, we will look at how political and cultural identities –
the idea of “Europe” or of “Germany” – are fashioned in terms of what
and who they are not.  In other words, we will examine in what way
“selves” are determine by the idea of their “others,” or “friends” by
their “enemies.”  The course will be organized in approximately five
clusters: two will focus on the medieval opposition of Christianity
and Islam (in Spain and during the era of the Crusades), one on the
European conquest of the “New World,” and one on the early
19th-century construction of German identity in opposition to
Napoleon and the French.  The final cluster will look at the idea
of “perpetual peace” as articulated by Kant and both propagated and
critiqued by contemporary thinkers.
	The course will be based on the careful reading and
discussion of literary, historical, theological, and philosophical
texts.  Students will also be encouraged to locate and introduce
related material. Requirements include active participation in
discussion, regular short writing assignments, and a final project
to be determined (which might include the writing of a paper, the
teaching of a class session, taking an exam, or possibly other
	The purpose of the class is at least twofold: to make
ourselves aware of certain recurrent patterns in European history
and give us a historically and theoretically rich background
understanding of contemporary Europe’s attempt to form, as the
saying goes, “a more perfect union.”

Required Texts:

Anonymous, Poem of the Cid, Penguin 0140444467

Richard Fletcher, Quest for El Cid, Oxford 0195069552

Kant, Perpetual Peace and Other Essays, Hackett	0915145472

Las Casas, Short Account of Destruction of Indians, Penguin

J. Riley-Smith, The First Crusade and the Idea of Crusading, 	
Pennsylvania UP 0812213637

G. Rothenberg, The Napoleonic Wars, Cassell 0304359831

T. Todorov, The Conquest of America, Oklahoma 0806131373

Peter S. Wells, The Battle that Stopped Rome, Norton 0393020282