European Studies

In addition to the European Studies (EURO ST) course offerings, please check the list General Approved Courses and Quarterly Approved Courses for the emphases in the European Studies major.


Fall Quarter

Dept Course No and Title Instructor
The goal of this course is to explore how processes started in Europe helped shape the modern (western) world we live in today. We will concentrate on the period between roughly 1500 and 1800.  This is the period that includes such developments as the Protestant Reformation, the scientific revolution, the rise of capitalism, the origins of political science, the rise of the nation-state, secularization, the Enlightenment, and the French Revolution. We will consider these crucial developments from a variety of perspectives in the social sciences (economics, political theory, sociology) and the humanities (art, literature, music, and philosophy). Topics to be discussed are:
1. Luther, the Reformation, the end of the Middle Ages, the birth of the modern individual (in conscience), and the “spirit of capitalism” in the Protestant work ethic;
2. The rise of science and the mathematization of nature;
3. European encounters with Islam and the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire;
4. The horrors of the Thirty Years’ War and the Age of the Baroque; how the modern system of the nation state and rationalist approaches to God and nature emerged out of the wars of religion;
5. Enlightenment concepts of reason and inherent limits of the Enlightenment project;
6. The French Revolution as a culmination of and challenge to the long history we have studied.
Readings in the course will focus on selections from primary texts.
Grading based on attendance of lectures, short response papers and quizzes on readings, midterm and final exams.


Beginning around the year 1050, medieval Europe experienced a rapid increase in trade, population and urbanization. As more and more people moved from the countryside to trade centers, new towns formed and existing towns outgrew their walls. Town governments evolved and people formed voluntary associations for the purpose of regulating the practice of their trades and/or organizing their religious devotions. This economic, political, and cultural experimentation had a profound affect upon European society as a whole. In this course we will investigate this exciting development in medieval history, paying careful attention to three aspects of medieval urban life: One; what is a medieval town and what caused the rapid increase in urbanization historians have observed for the eleventh and twelfth centuries? Two; what was the range of wealth and poverty in a medieval town and how did medieval townspeople grapple with economic disparities? And Three; what types of urban identities were available to medieval townspeople and what strategies did people employ to confirm their own position and status?
In our study of the history and culture of particular peoples or countries, we most often focus on political and historical events, such as wars, monarchial reigns, or on aspects of social, political and economic change. We also investigate cultural artifacts created by a people, such as music, the visual arts, and literature. Food and the act of nourishing the body are considered by many to be so fundamental that they require no conscious reflection or consideration, that they are somehow independent of culture or history, or perhaps just the (by-)products of those. With a focus on the regions and countries of Europe, in this course we will explore the many ways that culinary culture both relates to, reflects, and in fact manifests historical events, cultural norms, cultural identities, and belief and value systems. Though our primary focus will be on the period from the early modern period to the present, we’ll begin in the medieval period and eat our way through the centuries, stopping at various stations to consider how food and drink, the acts of eating and drinking, and of course the production and preparation of food and drink, related to the many wars in Europe, the maintenance or subversion of social systems, and the regulation of social roles, such as those of men and women, rich and poor etc.

At the end of this course you should have a broad-based knowledge of the history of food and food culture in (primarily western and central) Europe, and you should have become a critical analyst and consumer of food in its relationships to culture and historical events. In the process of our culinary investigation, you’ll also become comfortably familiar with many traditional dishes and culinary traditions of France, Germany, Austrian, Britain, Spain, Italy, and other European countries.

1. Flandrin, Jean Louis, and Montanari, Massimo (Eds.). Food: A Culinary History from Antiquity to the Present (European Perspectives). Penguin Books, 1999/2000.
2. Numerous pdf files, which are chapters and articles on a variety of topics. Each is clickable in the online Canvas site (course participants only). The readings include theoretical texts on foodways and culinary history and culture (e.g. Lévi-Strauss, Bourdieu, Elias, Bakhtin), and secondary literature by historians, anthropologists and sociologists (e.g. Albala, Counihan, Flandrin, Montanari).

Prerequisite: None.
Note: European Studies 200A a graduate course open to undergraduate Juniors and Seniors contingent on instructor permission to add the course.

As a result of globalization, migration, multiculturalism, and integration are important and politically much discussed concepts in contemporary European debates. Yet they have always been part of the history of Europe and as historical and social phenomena, have shaped European spaces and places. From the religious resettlement of French protestant Huguenots to Berlin-Brandenburg in the seventeenth century to European outward migration to North and South America in the nineteenth century, from post-World War Two labor migration and the flight of refugees from the Middle East and Africa today, migration and integration were always rather the norm than the exception on the European continent. Organized trans-historically and trans-locationally, this course offers select examples and foundational texts to understand some of the patterns, motifs, and manifestations of movement on the European continent. We will analyze the role of the state and discuss nationalism and transnationalism as theoretical and interpretive concepts. Identity and alterity, exile and diaspora are further theoretical notions that will play a role in our investigations.