History of Europe: Science & Technology

History of Europe: Science & Technology

Learning objectives: Knowledge:·

  • A general knowledge of European History
  • A better understanding of the role of Science and Technology in European History, and in the history of European Integration.
  • A better understanding of the relations between Science, Technology and Society.

Learning Objectives: Skills:

  • Ability to analyze and discuss European integration from top-down and from bottom-up perspectives.
  • Ability to apply bottom-up perspectives to critically evaluate European Union centered perspectives, and views of what Europe is.
  • Ability to write analytical and coherent historical papers, based on a historical question and thesis.

Course description.
The theme of the course is a critical introduction to the question ‘what is Europe’, i.e. how we should approach Europe as a historical concept, and how we should talk about the topic ‘European Integration’.

Besides attention to political and economic developments, the course theme will be addressed by paying attention to the role of science and technology in the definition and making of Europe. The national and transnational creation and use of scientific knowledge and Technologies such as Railroads, highways, electricity and the telephone  created social, cognitive, institutional, and material links between European nation states and European actors (groups, individuals, organizations)  long before there was an explicit project of creating Europe. This course deals with this long term ‘making’ of Europe that is usually absent in histories of European integration. It  shows how politics, economics, science and technology were (and are) intertwined, and asks how these ‘package deals’ contributed to  the question ‘what is Europe’.

Course Content.
Each week two meetings will be held, a formal lecture (Hoorcollege) and a seminar (Werkcollege). During the lectures the emphasis will be on the 'general' history of Europe in specific time periods. These lectures provide the contexts for the texts to be read and for the seminars during  which specific subjects and European initiatives will be dealt with.

Students will be divided into assignment groups. These groups submit 3 written assignments. All seminar topics, seminar assignments, and literature to be read, will be made available on Blackboard.