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Europe in Its Own Eyes, Europe in the Eyes of the Other

David B.MacDonald, Mary-MichelleDeCoste

Publication Year: 2014

What is Europe? Who is European? What do Europe and European identity mean in the twenty-first century? This collection of sixteen essays seeks to answer these questions by focusing on Europe as it is seen through its own eyes and through the eyes of others across a variety of cultural texts, including sport, film, literature, dance, cartography, and fashion. These texts, as interpreted here by emerging researchers as well as well-established scholars, enable us to engage with European identities in the plural and to understand what these identities mean in larger cultural and political contexts.

The interdisciplinary focus of this volume permits an exploration of European identity that reaches beyond the area of European studies to incorporate understandings of identity from the viewpoints of both insider and other. Contributors explore diverse understandings of what it means to be “other” to a country, a culture, a society, or a subgroup. This book offers a fresh perspective on the evolving concept of identity—in the context of Europe’s past, present, and future—and expands on the existing literature by considering the political tensions and social implications of the development of European identity, as well as its literary, artistic, and cultural manifestations.

Published by: Wilfrid Laurier University Press

Series: Cultural Studies


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Title Page, Series Page, Copyright Page

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pp. v-viii

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Introduction: Identity, Memory, and Contestation in Europe

David B. MacDonald and Mary-Michelle DeCoste

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pp. 1-14

During the eight years of the George W. Bush administration, Europe seemed to represent a more positive, prosperous, stable, and culturally enlightened antipode to the United States. A large volume of books during this period extolled the virtues of Europe, which was seen as the next...

Section I: Politics, Philosophy, and Sociology

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1. Yet Another American Exceptionalism: The Minor Role of Counter-Cosmopolitan Fan Behaviour in North American Venues Compared to Their Salient Quotidian Existence in Europe’s Soccer Stadiums

Andrei S. Markovits

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pp. 17-38

In this chapter I will continue to compare Europe and America, a topic that has been central to my work for decades. I will look at the following fascinating puzzle: soccer stadiums in many European countries continue to remain cauldrons of racism, xenophobia, and physical assault, whereas...

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2. French Jewish Identity, 1898–1931: The Story of Edmond Fleg

Sally D. Charnow

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pp. 39-54

France was the birthplace of a historic revolution in Judaism at the dawn of the nineteenth century, when Napoleon Bonaparte liberated Jews from ghettos and granted them full citizenship. For the first time anywhere in Europe, Jews enjoyed full equality before the law, along with full freedom...

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3. The Legal Culture of Civilization: Hegel and His Categorization of Indigenous Americans

William E. Conklin

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pp. 55-80

The notion of “civilization” in European Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment writings has recently been reassessed. Critics have especially reread the works of Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) by highlighting his racial categories.1 However, something is missing in this contemporary literature: how European legal culture developed a racial and ethnic hierarchy of societies...

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4. Retrospective, Myth, and the Colonial Question: Twentieth-Century Europe as the Other in World History

David B. MacDonald

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pp. 81-102

As the twentieth century drew to a close, retrospectives entered into fashion, be they boxed set or abridged, chronological descriptions, or fin de siècle memoirs.1 Written by some of the period’s leading historians and political scientists, these attempted, by and large, to portray the twentieth...

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5. Gender Equality Identity in Europe: The Role of the EU

Kimberly Earles

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pp. 103-124

Gender equality between women and men is uneven across the continent of Europe. Many southern European countries, as well as many of the newer European Union (EU) member states, such as Malta and Hungary, lag far behind the Scandinavian gender equality pioneers, but no country has been...

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6. The Emptiness of European Identity and the Discourse on Turkish EU Membership

Dirk Nabers

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pp. 125-144

The European Union (EU), the grand example of every integration process in the world, has grown in size with successive waves of accessions. Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom joined the original six members of the European Communities in 1973, followed by Greece in 1981, Spain and...

Section II: Memory and Identity in Europe

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7. Diversity in the Homeland: The Changing Meaning of Transylvania in Mihail Sebastian’s The Accident

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pp. 147-156

The Romanian writer Mihail Sebastian (1907–1945) was one of the most accomplished Central European novelists, playwrights, and literary critics of the 1930s, and his work continues to be widely read today. Although only his wartime diary was available in English until recently, his novels and...

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8. “Rome was in ruins”: Transatlantic Urbanism in Heller’s Catch-22

Spencer Morrison

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pp. 157-174

Sigmund Freud’s famous tour through Rome in the opening section of Civilization and Its Discontents positions the reader as archaeologist uncovering the ruins, the overwritten spaces, of the Eternal City’s palimpsest. Traversing both space and time, we encounter not only contemporary sites like the...

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9. Postcards from Europe: Representations of (Western) Europe in Romanian Travel Writing, 1960–2010

Oana Fotache Dubălaru

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pp. 175-186

Starting with the modern age, Europe has been a constant reference for Romanian intellectuals. The synchronization of Romanian civilization and culture with Western European patterns has been at the centre of numerous ideological disputes against the background of Romanian society’s modern...

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10. On the Ruins of Memory in Miron Białoszewski’s A Memoir of the Warsaw Uprising

Jeannine M. Pitas

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pp. 187-204

Memory is a form of fiction. Very often, it is a projection of present-day desires and beliefs about the past. At times, this type of fiction is created deliberately: perhaps recollecting the past in its full intensity would be too painful for the one remembering, or perhaps too many of the details have...

Section III: Geography and Cartography

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11. The Dynamics of European Identity: Maps, Bodies, Views

Fernando Clara

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pp. 207-226

Written by a North American historian and published in a volume of essays entitled Europe and the Other and Europe as the Other (Stråth 2004), the above passage is interesting in several ways, one of them being that it projects a vision of Europe considerably different from the one usually...

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12. Neighbourhood Identity and the Larger World: Emir Kusturica’s Underground

Gordana Yovanovich

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pp. 227-244

Mikhail Bakhtin’s notion of carnivalesque laughter1 and his concept of polyphony can help viewers understand Kusturica’s complex and controversial film. Made during the destruction of Yugoslavia, and based on Dušan Kovačevič’s novel Once Upon a Time There Was a Country, the film...

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13. Italian Food on Foreign Tables: Giacomo Castelvetro’s Exile

Mary-Michelle DeCoste

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pp. 245-252

Italian food existed before Italy itself. Cut off from the rest of Europe by both the Alps and the sea, a peninsula fragmented into states with shifting borders and various forms of government, Italy did not exist as a unified country until 1861. Already by the second half of the fifteenth century, however...

Section IV: Visual Culture and Fashion

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14. Mediterranean Seafarings: Pelagic Encounters of Otherness in Contemporary Italian Cinema

Elena Benelli

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pp. 255-270

For the last thirty years, immigration in Italy has been viewed as a problem, handled as an emergency, and defined by the Italian mass media in very negative terms. In a recent study that analyzed how immigrants are defined in Italian newspapers, two sociologists from the University of Bologna, Giuseppe...

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15. Euro Chic: Fashion’s Bread & Butter

Susan Ingram

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pp. 271-278

The slogan for the Bread & Butter trade fair in the summer of 2009 was “Bread & Butter is coming home!”—meaning that it was leaving Barcelona, where it had been based for four seasons, and moving back to Berlin, where it had taken place from 2003 to 2005, after which it held back-to-back...

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16. Dancing Up a Storm: Canadian Performance at the Nazi Olympic Games (1936) and the Notion of Cultural Translation

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pp. 279-300

When Russian dancer Boris Volkoff (1900–1974) came to Toronto in 1929 to participate in the Uptown Theatre’s dance program, little did he know that the next time he saw Europe he would be representing Canada in the 1936 Nazi Olympic Games. That year, Germany decided to add a cultural...


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pp. 301-306


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pp. 307-313

Series Page

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E-ISBN-13: 9781554588664
E-ISBN-10: 1554588669
Print-ISBN-13: 9781554588404

Page Count: 322
Illustrations: 6 b/w images
Publication Year: 2014

Series Title: Cultural Studies
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OCLC Number: 860349731
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Europe in Its Own Eyes, Europe in the Eyes of the Other

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Political culture--Europe.
  • Group identity--Europe.
  • National characteristics, European.
  • Europe--Civilization--20th century.
  • Collective memory--Europe.
  • Europe--Civilization--21st century.
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