IDS385-8: Special Topics

Topic: The New Europe

August 23, 2017 - December 5, 2017
DaysTimeLocationInstructorGERCreditOPUS #
4:00pm - 5:15pm
Emerson Chemistry Bldg. E101
Easton, Whitney

Fall, spring. Highly focused courses, drawing on multiple disciplines of the humanities and social sciences; may be repeated for credit when topics vary.

Crisis, Solidarity, and Change in the “New Europe”

This course draws on anthropology’s contributions to understanding insiders’ perspectives and “microhistories” of how people are making sense of the anxieties and deep uncertainties that characterize the “new Europe” as they attempt to renegotiate their lives, social identities, and futures. The “new Mediterranean” is united in shared conditions of structural adjustment policies and concomitant structural violence and social suffering (Knight and Stewart 2016). We will examine topics such as life with and resistance to austerity measures, the “refugee and migrant crisis” and constructions of European borders; social mobilization and creative forms of cooperation, resistance, and hope; new economic forms such as bartering, solidarity economies, alternative food provisioning, and the anti-middlemen movement; and the unity and future of the Eurozone and European Union. Ethnography will lead us into the intimate spaces of second-hand clothing markets in Southern Italy, mushroom hunting in Greek Macedonia, migrants in the Neapolitan underground economy, use of ironic slogans and humor to voice political protest in Greek cities, anti-mafia farming cooperatives in Sicily, volunteer-run health clinics and pharmacies in Greece, solidarity purchase groups in Northern Italy, the Refugees Welcome movement, and performances of protest songs in Portugal, among others.

Films will be used as a point of departure and opportunity for extra credit. We will read several ethnographies, along with articles and book chapters available on Canvas. Assessment is based on class participation, five short reading response memos, and two essays. Deep engagement with readings and anthropological concepts will be emphasized through regular assignments spread evenly throughout the course in lieu of a final research paper.

The schedule of courses on O.P.U.S. is the official listing of courses, including days and times they meet and the General Education Requirements they satisfy. Students should use course descriptions as general guidelines. Course requirements, grading details, book lists, and syllabi are subject to change.