European Culture

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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.   


Call for Nominations!

Gisela Brinker-Gabler Essay Award for Outstanding Article in a Journal or Edited Collection

Gisela Brinker-Gabler was one of the pioneering feminist literary scholars in German and comparative literary studies. She is remembered by colleagues, students, and friends as an innovative thinker as well as a warm-hearted, generous colleague and teacher. She fostered collaboration throughout her career and did so with a generosity of spirit and a joy in knowledge. Her labors reshaped the institutions and fields she worked in, by centering the accomplishments of women. Gisela was a comparatist at the forefront of many areas of research: comparative European cultures, translations studies, Vienna, Austro-Hungary, migration, women’s history, women’s literature, Lou Andreas-Salomé, and Bildepistemologie. Her engagement at the Council for European Studies led directly to the founding of the European Culture Research Network. She conceived of it as a venue to bring the discussion of culture into the research on Europe. Thanks to Gisela’s organizing, the ECRN has become an intellectual home for scholars considering the culture and cultures of Europe.

In her memory, the European Culture Research Network and the Council for European Studies have created a publication award. The award carries a prize of $250. In even years, it will be awarded for an outstanding article in either a journal or edited collection. In odd years it will go to a scholarly monograph or substantial creative scholarship like a film, installation, or performance.

The Gisela Brinker-Gabler Award supports pioneering work focused on European culture in its broadest sense. Essays on national culture in a comparative focus are welcome. Essays should have appeared in the last two years 2020-2022.

At the time of submission authors must be a member of the European Culture Research Network and the Council for European Studies.

The Award Committee members are:

  • Randall Halle (University of Pittsburgh)
  • Jamie Trnka (Xavier University)
  • Giovanni Dettori (SUNY Cortland)
  • Nicole Shea (Council for European Studies)

Please send a copy of the essay as a pdf to Randall Halle by April 31, 2022.

The winner will be announced at the Council for European Studies Conference in Lisbon (June 29-July 1 2022) during the European Culture Research Network business meeting.