This course will explore how and in what way ideas of Europe have emerged that rely, firstly, on particular understandings of Islam and, secondly, on forms of racialization or race making. Specifically, it will introduce students to contemporary debates about the ambition for a ‘de-colonial turn’ in the humanities and social sciences, something that relies upon a critical understanding of European history, society and politics. Students will therefore engage with materials on (i) Islam in public life and church state-relations in Europe, (ii) the role of whiteness as a prevailing indeed hegemonic norm and (iii) competing visions of what Europe has been in the past, is presently, and may become in the future. Drawing upon sociology, politics, anthropology, history and religious studies, this course will have broad and general appeal to a wide range of students, and not require a great deal of prior knowledge. Materials will be introduced in and accessible and engaging fashion.
The learning objectives of this course are to provide students with an introduction to the current significance of debates about Europe, Islam and race within the context of both specific European societies and of the connections between societies.
On successful completion of this course students will be able:
• To develop and apply a sociologically informed approach to the study of race, ethnicity, and nationhood in Europe;
• To appreciate and treat ideas of Europe as historically variable and contextually situated social constructs;
• To understand and conceptualise Islam at the intersection of both structural determinants and individual agency
Students will be able to reflect on their own experiences, as well as public discussion and media reports, to evaluate these topics in a theoretically and empirically informed manner.