Fall Courses: Nationalisms and Racisms in Modern Europe (Patriarca)



As registration for Fall graduate courses is upon us, we will be profiling the courses offered in the department in Fall 2015. Professor Silvana Patriarca will be offering a new course, HIST 5561 Nationalisms and Racisms in Modern Europe. The course deals with an exciting area of research currently being explored by Professor Patriarca and some of her students. Read on for a description of the course and what can be expected for those who enroll. 

The seminar will focus on the history and historiography on the construction of “race” and nation in modern Europe (from the Enlightenment onwards) and in particular on the multiple connections and intersections between nationalism(s) and racism(s).  As issues of cultural identity and questions of immigration and national belonging have become hotly contested in today’s European societies, the historiography on these subjects has been steadily growing.  We will discuss different historical approaches, theories, and methodologies that emerge from the growing body of works addressing these issues and pay particular attention to socio-cultural histories and to transnational and comparative perspectives.


-Regular attendance and active participation in class discussion (30%).

-Two presentations of assigned readings (20%). They must provide an accurate description and critical evaluation of the arguments, sources, methodology, and implications of the readings assigned for the session, including some questions for discussion. An outline of the presentation should be circulated the day before our seminar meetings.

-A review of one of the required or recommended books due on the day of the assignment (if you choose a required book, it must differ from the objects of your oral presentation) (10%).

– A historiographical essay (namely, a review essay) on one of the topics covered in the class (or related to it) or, alternatively, a research proposal describing the question you seek to answer and its significance and providing a critical discussion of the relevant secondary literature, sources and methodology. Topics must be cleared with the instructor. The length of the essay should be about 20 pages (40%). If you choose to do a historiographical paper you should review a number of relevant works on the topic of your choice and offer a critical discussion of their approaches and methodologies. For examples of review essays check recent issues of The American Historical Review or The Journal of Modern History. The paper is due on the last day of the course.

Readings: a list of readings will be circulated in mid-May.

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