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HYM4590 - Imagining Europe: representations and images of a continent

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: David Garrioch


Clayton First semester 2008 (Day)


Imagining Europe surveys the ways that Europe has been thought of from classical times to the present. Through literature, painting, architecture, travellers' tales, cinema and other sources, it traces the development of the idea of Europe as a region defined both geographically and by its culture, distinct from other 'non-European' cultures. The unit will trace the idea of multiple Europes: of a culturally defined 'Eastern Europe'; of regions within Europe, each with its own special character; and after World War II, the images of Eastern and Western Europe as politically distinct entities. The unit will conclude by looking at the impact of the European Union on images of Europe.


In addition to the general objectives for students in Honours in the relevant area (History or European Studies), a student who has successfully completed this unit at Level 5 should have:

  1. A knowledge of the way that ideas and representations of Europe have changed across its history;
  2. An understanding of the way that apparently natural, even geographical entities are defined culturally, and of the role that visual and literary images play in defining and redefining such categories;
  3. A sound grasp of the debates surrounding the concept of Europe, and of the different cultural, national, and ideological positions that underlie them;
  4. An awareness of different disciplinary approaches to the concept of 'Europe' and of the way that each one provides specific understandings of the way our perceptions of the world are structured;
  5. An ability to undertake independent research;
  6. An ability to use material from a range of disciplines and to apply interdisciplinary perspectives


Visual analysis (1000 words): 10%; Short essay (2000 words): 20%; Research essay (6000 words): 70%

Contact hours

2 hours per week


A relevant undergraduate degree.



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