Faculty of Arts


Anthropology of Europe

Please note: this is archived course information from 2018 for ANTHRO 364.


Anthropology is traditionally conceived of as the study of "non-Western cultures", but recent critical approaches have focused the ethnographic lens on Europe. This move was prompted by an historic shift in anthropology from studying small self-contained "communities" to macro-level social processes and questioning the construction of geographical categories such as "Europe" itself. After exploring the question "what is Europe/where is Europe?" this course will examine the historical foundations of Europe and the major challenges that the new Europe is facing.

The course will explore the effects of recent political and economic transformations in Europe - the fall of communism, transnational migrations, multiculturalism, EU integration, post-1980s neoliberal restructuring – and the key questions these raise: what are the limits of European integration? Has multiculturalism failed? Can the EU project survive? These questions also include debates over ethnic conflict, immigration and citizenship, religion, historical memory and its role in the construction of national identity. A number of case studies from specific European countries will be used to look more closely at current social issues and trends in European ethnography. We will also consider the development and challenges of doing ethnographic research in Europe today.

Drawing on texts and films, the topics we will cover include:

·       Europe’s borders and shifting boundaries

·       the history and legacy of anthropology in Europe

·       Mediterraneanist anthropology and the study of sex, gender and power

·       patronage, corruption and the modern Mafia

·       history and the construction of social memory

·       immigration, racism and the rise of the far right

·       Eastern Europe and post-Communism

·       Islam, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia

·       Nationalism, regionalism and the future of Europe’s nation-state

·       the EU and European integration

·       debt, austerity and the peripheries of Europe

·       citizenship, democracy and capitalism in Europe

·       ‘Brexit’, security and the future of the European Union


Availability 2018

Not taught in 2018


Coordinator(s) Professor Cris Shore


ANTHRO 364: 15.0 points


ANTHRO 203 or 30 points passed at Stage II 

Contact details | Search | Accessibility | Copyright | Privacy | Disclaimer | 1