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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Heidi Taylor Magi
HSTEU 303
Seattle Campus

Contemporary European History Since 1815

Political, social, economic, and cultural history from the fall of Napoleon to the present.

Class description

Course Overview

This is an upper division lecture and discussion course in which we will explore selected themes in European history by examining how Europeans have invoked the concepts of identity to describe, critique, and challenge aspects of their society. Beginning with the emergence of nationalism and ending with the creation and growth of the European Union, we will focus on how individual and collective identities are imagined, described and enacted across Europe. In particular, we will pay attention to how nationalism, industrialization, class struggle, political ideologies, empire, revolutions, intellectual movements, war and debates about the legacy of war and possibility of peace have shaped how Europeans have thought about themselves, their place in local, national and ethnic communities, their nation, their world, and their relationship to the world beyond Europe. How have Europeans thought about what it means to be European? How have nations defined themselves? Their relationship to other nations? Who counts as a citizen of a nation and why? Who gets left out? To what degree? To what effect? How have nations defined their relationship to non-Europeans? How does Imperialism shape understandings of European identities? Of the identity of non-Europeans? What happens to conceptions of the self as regions of Europe industrialize and urbanize? What kinds of identities are contested, rejected, invented and embraced out of this process? In what ways did Europe’s wars lead to re-evaluations of identity? What has the legacy of decolonization been? How have peoples across Europe re-thought their communities and their place in them in the face of increasing immigration and European unification?

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

This course meets for one hour every day. Students will participate in lectures, small group discussions, and large group discussions. Lectures will provide an overview of historical narratives, and demonstrate historical thinking and methods. Discussions will focus on analyzing assigned historical texts—we will practice contextualizing, close reading and critically responding to texts.

Recommended preparation

There are no pre-requisites for this course. Students should have a general knowledge of European history. An optional textbook will be available for reviewing modern European history.

Class assignments and grading

Students will write weekly response papers, as well as two 5 page essays. Students will also be required to participate in weekly discussions.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Heidi Taylor Magi
Date: 04/08/2005