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UCI EUROST 10 - Europe

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Professor Smith European Studies Department Europe Studies 10 European History Course Code: 24000 Lecture 1 ● What is “Europe” ○ A physical location. How would we describe its location? ○ A continent, a “peninsula” ○ “the West” (thus from what perspective?) ○ A collection of countries, nation-states ○ 28 countries in the present European Union (with six applicants for membership and now one pulling out) ● Europe ○ Greek origin, erebos, meaning darkness or evening, i.e., where the sun sets. Hence, from what perspective? ○ Handed down to Greeks from Phoenicians in Asia Minor. ○ Hence, “Europe” always defined in relation to its (Eastern) “Other” ○ Hence a consistent theme in our readings. ○ How does “Europe” become “Europe”? “Europe” is not one thing but is always coming to be in relation to (internal and external) others. ○ Europe is a “process” not a “thing.” ● “The Rape of Europe” ○ By Titian (1562) ○ Myth of abduction of an Eastern (phoenician) princess by Zeus (as a bull) ● The Abduction of Europa ○ Rembrandt, 1632 ● The Map of Europe ○ This comparison shows that Europe as a collection of nation-states only came to be during the period we will be studying. ○ This is an on-going process (the province of Catalonia in Spain has planned on voting for independence; the Iraqi Kurds voted last year on greater independence; the Palestinians have been struggling for nationhood). ○ In fact, this has global consequences…. ● The Eu is also an ongoing “project” ○ The UK will be exiting [‘Brexit’] ○ Right-wing populist movements, esp. in Eastern Europe, are challenging “Brussels” (the capital of the EU)—also with the support of our own administration (and former advisers like Steve Bannon)○ But there are important and interesting connections between the history we will be covering and the contemporary structure of EuWe will see that the “modern world” as we know it in Europe (and in large part across the globe) took shape as the result of 2-3 centuries of radical instability.rope as a “transnational” entity.Secularization ○ That is, we will be investigating the formation of the modern system of nation states ○ We will see that the “modern world” as we know it in Europe (and in large part across the globe) took shape as the result of 2-3 centuries of radical instability ○ One question for you to consider (also if you eventually take ES 11 on contemporary issues) is whether the European Union as a transnational structure signals a shift into a new world order ■ One that goes back to Early Modern Europe of the Holy Roman Empire ● Key Concepts of modernity ○ Rationalism and rationalization ○ Capitalism ○ Scientific (technological) Revolution; new media (print) ○ Anti-authoritarian, anti-tradition ○ Individual human autonomy ○ Sovereignty of “the people” ○ The Nation-state ○ Democracy ● Why do we care about “modernity” and its “foundations” in Europe ○ To what do we contrast the “modern” ■ Old ■ Medieval ■ Backward ■ Traditional ■ Barbaric ■ Religious ■ Islam? ● Etymology of “modern” ○ Neo-Latin word ca. 1500 meaning “just now existing” ○ 1580’s “of or pertaining to present or recent times” ○ Based on Latin “modo”—in this fashion (mode in French means fashion; or moda in Spanish) ○ The very notion of “modern” is itself a “modern” concept; i.e., before ca. 1500 the idea of the uniqueness of “now” would have been unthinkable. ○ That is, “modernity” defined the very notion of modernity, a break with the past, an emphasis on the present as opposed to the past. ● Mirandola’s Oration○ Most esteemed fathers, i have read in the ancient writings of the arabians that abdala the Saracen on being asked what, on this stage, so to say, of the world, seemed to him most evocative of wonder, replied that there was nothing to be seen more marvelous than man, and that celebrated exclamation of Hermes Trismegistus, “what a great miracle is man, Asclepius” confirms this opinion ● A defining text ○ Francis Bacon, Novum Organum Scientarium (New Tool of the Sciences), 1620 ○ Developed the beginnings of the scientific method ● Frontispiece to Novum Organum ○ Part 1: ■ “Instauratio Magna” (The Great Renovation) ○ “Multi Pertransibunt et augebitur scientia” ○ (many will pass through and knowledge will be increased) ○ “Knowledge is power” ● A defining debate beginning in the 1680s in France ○ La querelle des Anciens et des Moderns ○ Can we (“moderns”) do nothing better than imitate the Ancient writers? Or do we have something unique to offer? ○ To reflect on the foundations of modernity in Europe is to reflect on the self-definition of the “West” in terms of its distinction from the past and its projections of the non-Western world. We explore how “we” came to be what “we” are and thus what “they” were or are not (yet). ● “Postmodern”? ○ Consider: ■ If the rise of the nation-state is a part of European (global?) modernity, and we are now possibly in a trans-national or post-national period, then are we perhaps in a post-modern period? ○ And does this apply to some of the other categories of modernity (secularization/post-secularization, capitalism/post-capitalism, individual/post-individual, etc.)? ● Important Provisos! ○ There are many other notions of modernity and its origins ■ 1. We should not imagine that other cultures did not contribute to Europe’s modernity! (we see hints of that already in Pico della Mirandolla’s oration) ■ 2. We should recognize that developments in Europe are not necessarily the “norm” that other cultures need to follow (i.e., some are “less developed” because “not yet modern”).■ 3. Although we are looking back at some three hundred incredible years in European culture that had a major impact on the entire globe, this is not a pure celebration of “our heritage” (Who would the “we” be?) ■ 4. We will examine the tensions and contradictions inherent in this “heritage” (Not “identity evropa” white supremicism that co-opts this tradition) ● Our basic timeline ○ We are considering what’s usually called “early modern europe”; post-medieval


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