Placing Europe: Cities, Regions, Borders
Full course description
This course explores the geographical complexity and diversity of Europe from a socio-cultural point of view. It looks at the different ways in which social, cultural, and political processes are connected to, and thereby shape, geographical places of different scale and character. As will become clear, the political integration and standardisation of Europe has not diminished the role that places such as cities and regions play in social and cultural life. Drawing on a social-cultural theory of place the course will investigate both the processes that make European places similar or distinct from each other. Thereby we will learn to understand European integration as a social and geographical process. In order to address these issues, the module combines conceptual and empirical insights from human geography with relevant scholarship from other social sciences. Please note that this is an elective course and available places are limited.
At the end of this course students will be able to: • “Think spatially” about major processes, tensions, and dilemmas of European integration (formal and “hidden” integration); • Understand, reflect and actively apply basic concepts of cultural geography and related space-oriented humanities; • Appreciate the potential value of cultural science approaches as a complement to more institution-focused methods of European Studies.
If you want to get an idea of the conceptual perspective of the course, please read: Cresswell, T. (2004). Place. A short introduction. London: Blackwell.