Is there a new Europe? If so, is it a product with a brand name, packaged and wrapped in national flags of members of the European Union, a package that can be marketed, sold and then bought with Euros? Or is it a work in progress, an idea undergoing development, a socio-cultural and political phenomenon, the unfolding of which we witness today? If a new Europe does exist, is its identification possible in verbal and visual aesthetic expressions of Europeans with ancestral links to Europe, and of immigrants and 'newer' Europeans who have changed the face of Europe both literally and figuratively? In other words, given that Europe has been renovating and remodeling itself--more so in the latter half of the 20th century--how have literature and cinema by and about the new 'insiders' documented this renovation, or perhaps even caused it?
Varied and at times polarized perceptions of Europe within the European community, and the irreconcilability of geography and history within the new Europe motivate the course, Identifying the New Europe. This course is an exploration of the idea of Europe. In this course, we will be reading/ viewing and critically examining theoretical, literary, journalistic, and cinematic depictions of Europe. The texts selected for this course will give us an opportunity to extrapolate critical perceptions of Europe among European and non-European authors, thinkers, and film-makers. The primary focus of the course will be Europe in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.