Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Images of Europe: the European Imagination
Academic Year
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 1 hour per week
Seminars / Tutorials 2 hours per semester


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   60%
Semester Assessment 2 x 1500 word essay  40%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   written examination (2 essay questions)  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1 Demonstrate a broad understanding of the history and present meaning of the word 'European' and to identify cultural and political nuances across diverse forms of narrative (e.g. film and literature from different European cultures).
2 Demonstrate a broad knowledge of some key aspects of 20th century and contemporary culture in Germany, France, Spain and Italy in the European context.
3 Reflect critically on the construction of a specifically 'European' identity in Germany, France, Spain and Italy and to consider to what extent these identities compare and contrast with each other.
4 Compare perceptions or 'images' of Europe across different countries and cultures.

Brief description

This course examines the construction of European identity. It provides a broad understanding of the history and present meaning of the term 'European' through the study of fiction, film and art. Specific issues raised are representations of Paris as a European city of culture, the French education system and French politics and Europe (in film and writing); the legacy of the Holocaust in German culture (in film and writing) and the idea of Spain and its relationship with Europe (in film and writing).

The course runs in both semesters through a series of lectures and seminars where the frame of reference will be provided by lectures while specific issues are discussed in seminars. All course materials, assessments and teaching will take place in English so the course is open to all students of literature, film, cultural studies, politics, history and geography.


a) Germany
1. Germany's troubled position at the heart of Europe
2. Coming to terms with the Holocaust: Bernhard Schlink, The Reader (1)
3. Europe's guilty nation: Bernhard Schlink, The Reader (2)
4. German Reunification and Europe: Goodbye Lenin!
5. Seminar: Germany and Europe

b) Italy
1. Styling Fascism
2. Styling Fascism and Filming Italy: Ossessione/La Strada
3. Mafia Tales: A. Camilleri, The Shape of Water
4. Bella Figura
5. Seminar

c) France
1. France in Europe: A Historical Perspective 1
2. France in Europe: A Historical Perspective 2
3. Problems of Communication: The Franco-German Couple at the Root of Modern Europe
4. Communication/Incommunicability: Vercors, Le Silence de la Mer
5. Seminar: Code unknown, L'auberge espagnole

d) Spain
1. The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939
2. George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia
3. Dictatorship and Society, 1939-1975
4. Welcome Mr Marshall!
5. Seminar: Views of Europe and Views of Spain


This module is at CQFW Level 4