Since the turn of the millennium, the political, economic, andcultural reality of Europe has changed dramatically. The European Union has radically transformed the meaning of Europe inside and outside its borders. Unlike nations in pursuit of multi-lateral agreements, the EU has distinguished itself in its commitment to unification. While others seek global partnership, the EU strives for economic, political, and cultural union. It is the latter, cultural union, that distinguishes the EU.
Yet Europe is not synonymous with the European Union and European culture is not contained in the Schengen borders. Well beyond those borders. European unification, the forces of globalization, the material relations that form the fabric of Europe have transformed transnational, national, regional, and local relations and identifications, intensifying some while destabilizing others. The questions of Europe increasingly affect and transform national cultures across the continent and beyond; yet Europe also remains multiple and discreet. European Culture Studies require a comparative and interdisciplinary approach.
To this point research in European Union Studies has been undertaken primarily by Political scientists and economists. And by contrast European Studies is typically conducted within a national comparative approach. The proposed network places emphasis on humanistic studies of culture and inverts the national approach by emphasizing a foundational focus on Europe. United by a common orientation toward Europe, the Council for European Studies is a perfect organization to bring scholars together to form this network.
Across the continent and beyond, the project of European unionization has changed the idea of Europe. In the competing models of the EU and Eurasia, of a United States of Europe and a Europe of Nations and Freedom, the questions of culture, identity, heritage play a central role.
The network will gather scholars critically engaged with European culture broadly. It will offer a forum at the CES for academic interest in cultural production and policy, in researching genres, themes and histories, in studying the global impact of European culture, and in analyzing both present and past cultural configurations. Indeed, the network forms a home for research on the present and the past. The transformations of national relations call forth a re-thinking of common European histories that reaches across the Age of Empire, the colonial and neocolonial eras, the history of global migration, the dynamic of bourgeois revolutions, the Industrial Age, the Age of Enlightenment, etc.
- Randall Halle, University of Pittsburgh, email@example.com
- Estela Schindel, Viadrina University, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Katrin Sieg, Georgetown University, email@example.com
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