Sabrina Marchetti, Anna Triandafyllidou, and Hara Kouki

Cultures and Identities in Europe - Past, Present and Future

  • Mid 2016
  • Self-Paced
  • English
  • Social Sciences & Humanities

About this course

This MOOC questions what European identity is and what we understand and promote as European culture. It explains fundamental European policies on culture, creativity and the media, with a specific focus on urban settings. The course critically explores the formation of diverse identities and cultures in Europe, by shedding light on the importance of memories and shared heritages in this process. Finally, it illustrates the policy dimension behind European cultural and media industries and questions dominant economistic approaches to cultural creativity.

Who is this course for?

This course is meant as a general introduction to the issue of "European identity and culture" for students and practitioners in the field of arts, culture and heritage. The core of the course will resemble a BA level course, yet extra materials will be provided to students who want more in-depth information on theories and case studies.

What will I learn?

Students who take the course will acquire knowledge on:
• Current debates on what is the 'European identity' and what is 'European culture' and what it means to talk of them in the singular or in the plural (cultures, identities).
• Relevant terms and understand the relationship between notions of identity, memory, heritage, and culture.
• Main approaches to cultural heritage and the public use of history.
• European policies in the media and cultural sector.
• Critical approaches to cultural industries: what are they? And why urban settings are so important for their development?

What do I need to know?

Knowledge of English is essential. Previous knowledge of basic sociological or economic debates on art, diversity and culture can be an advantage, although it is not a compulsory prerequisite.

Course structure

CHAPTER 1 - WELCOME
Unit 1.1 – Welcome and instructions
Unit 1.2 – Where are you from?

CHAPTER 2 – WHAT IS EUROPE?
Unit 2.1 – Is there a European identity? (Interview with Anna Triandafyllidou)
Unit 2.2 – What is European culture?
Unit 2.3 - Europe seen from the outside
Unit 2.4 – Art challenging what Europe is about (Interview with Ulrike H. Meinhof)

CHAPTER 3 – DIVERSITY IN EUROPE
Unit 3.1 – European identity and national identities
Unit 3.2 – Diversity policies in EU institutions: intercultural cities (Interview with Irena Guidikova)
Unit 3.3 – “Unity in diversity”: really?
Unit 3.4 – Cosmopolitanism in Europe and the Venice Biennale (Interview with Monica Sassatelli)

CHAPTER 4 – THE ROLE OF MEMORY AND HERITAGE
Unit 4.1 – The past in the present of Europe
Unit 4.2 – Memory vs. history: the role of Museums (Interview with Dominique Poulot)
Unit 4.3 – Contested cultural heritages: the case of Holocaust (Interview with Jasper Chalcraft)
Unit 4.4 – A transnational cultural heritage: the case of UNESCO (Interview with Gerard Delanty)

CHAPTER 5 – CULTURAL INDUSTRIES IN EUROPE
Unit 5.1 – What are cultural industries?
Unit 5.2 – Culture, creativity and urban spaces
Unit 5.3 – Culture in urban spaces, today (Interview with Arturo Rodríguez Morató)
Unit 5.4 – Pluralism in European media information (Interview with Pier Luigi Parcu)

CHAPTER 6 – CULTURAL CREATIVITY AND EUROPEAN FUTURES
Unit 6.1 – “European culture” as a brand
Unit 6.2 – Beyond cultural creativity as innovation (Interview with Matías Zarlenga)
Unit 6.3 – The EU “Creative Europe” program: what’s next? (Interview with Philip Schlesinger)