Wednesday, 23 July 2008

do my job for me, #362 of an occasional series

I am compiling a syllabus for next semester's course on Europe in the Age of Nationalism, to cover roughly 1789-1871 (in theory it shoudl be starting in 1800ish but that's clearly daft). The students will mainly not be historians, many will never have done a day's European history before in their lives.

I need 27 lecture/class themes. Here's how it looks so far, tell me what you think, what you'd like to know that I've missed off, what seems superfluous etc

Sep 1 The Ancien RĂ©gime: Europe before 1789

Sep 3 The French Revolution of 1789

Sep 8 Aftermath of Revolution: Napoleon & European War

Sep 10 Aftermath of Revolution II: Reactions outside France

Sep 15 The Industrial Revolution I: Great Britain

Sep 17 The Industrial Revolution II: Continental Europe

Sep 22 Imperialism I: Industry, trade and the global economy

Sep 24 Political Ideologies I: Conservativism and Conservatives

Sep 29 Political Ideologies II: Liberalism and Liberals

Oct 1 Political Ideologies III: Socialism and Socialists

Oct 6 Reform in Britain: Catholic Emancipation, the Reform Act, Chartism

Oct 8 Reform and Revolution in France: the Restoration and the 1830 Revolution

Oct 13 Social change: population growth, migration, urbanisation and employment

Oct 15 Mid-Term Exam

Oct 20 The rise of Nationalism

Oct 22 Romanticism and cultural reactions to revolution

Oct 27 1848: Paris

Oct 29 1848: everywhere else

Nov 3 Nationalism in practice I: Italian unification

Nov 5 Nationalism in practice II: German unification

Nov 10 Multi-national Empires in an age of nationalism: Russia and Austria-Hungary

Nov 12 Frustrated nationalisms: Ireland, Poland and Eastern Europe

Nov 17 The crisis of authority: religion and science in the nineteenth century

Nov 19 Gender and family life: the changing roles of women and children

Nov 24 Imperialism II: building and losing empires in Asia, Africa, and Latin America

Nov 26 Politics, parties, participation and the public sphere: the growth of civil society

Dec 1 1871: The Paris Commune

Dec 3 Conclusions: thematic discussion session on social, political and ideological change

It seems a bit France-heavy. But frankly, Europe 1789-1871 is basically all about France, no? do I need more fun cultural stuff? art & literature? economics? less ideology more actual things actually happening? should I find room for the Iberian peninsula (other than tangentially at Nov 24)? I aim to keep my geographical perpsective as broad as possible in the comparative/thematic sections.

If you are all good & helpful I will reward you with a quiz, I know you like them.


Etienne said...

I'm not sure what I'd get rid of to fit these things in, as a political history it seems spot on (and yeah, don't worry about Iberia), but I think you need something on race - both white/non-white, and national races in order to provide a framework for the rise of nationalism.

And only one lesson on gender?

chris c paul said...

A theme I think about is from 'repubicanism to nationalism'. How the ideas of the left, and the finance of the right, lead to independence- and then this project gets taken over by the right and the left get left out of it. Hegmony, whatever. I usually think about this from an american (north and south) perspective- using europe as a model but maybe there are ideas here you can integrate especially regards Spain. Help me for a minute- are there any books on this subject already...?

Quiz please!

I live in the home town of John Frost by the way, they display copies of his letters in the local wetherspoons- and you can still see the bullet holes in the wall of the westgate hotel in newport (they say- I can't see them and I've looked). But any discussion on democratic emancipation in Britain needs to look at the English Natinalism and supremacy that led to such articlate reactions, like chartism, against it.

Steven said...

I'd love me a copy of that course :)

garibaldy said...

Excellent course, but I think you need to look at the order of some of your lectures. Surely Romanticism should follow on immediately from the Revolution and Napoleon, and certainly before the bits on the 3 ideologies? And personally, I would put the three ideologies after 1830 and just before the 1848 classes, though I can see the argument for doing it the other way round.

Given the course title, I would consider knocking out the frustrated nationalisms one and doing 1848 differently. Keep a separate one on France; then do one on its origins; then one on its failures, discussing prominently the attitude of nationalist revolutionaries to other nationalists. You can fold the frustrated nationalisms into the multi-national states bit.

NickLazio1900 said...

Are you looking in depth at the Congress of Vienna?

Spangly Princess said...

Race, ethnicity etc: yes this is obviously v important but I think I want to integrate it into nationalism & imperialism classes. I can see that it could easily warrant a class of its own, through.

hell yes only 1 lesson on gender, how much do you think I want to talk about it? (not my thing at all)

Chris: in a sense this is one of the themes which goes through the whole course. The relationship between nationalism and liberalism, and in particular the events of 1848, comes into this.

G: you are of course right about romanticism. I think I had a half an idea about breaking up some of the flow of the course as a whole, but I can't now quite work out what I was thinking.

I shall have a good think about 1848. I can see where you're coming from, but I liked my frustrated nationalisms idea. Unless you are saying that the Irish are irrelevant and should be at all times ignored and marginalised? in which case....

Nick: obviosuly it needs to be talked about. But not in too much detail (ugh, diplomatic history...). I guess I want the focus of the course to be more on thematic developments and ideas and less on specific events, except where necessary, since I think this is better for a class of non-historians. Also, this is the type of material that they will be dealing with in their reading assignments before each class.

But Vienna comes into the Napoleonic wars class, obv, and also fits in to some extent with the conservatives part of the conservatism session, since the idea of the European balance of power is so important to them.

Cheers all.

chris c paul said...

should Russia and Austria be treated in the same lecture? I see where you are going with this and it is a tricky one.

If they are to be treated together-and you fold frustrated nationlism into that lecture too- as garibaldi suggests- you race through two distinct semi-slavic empires, and the frustrations of the irish (as a kind of aside), and pretty much all of eastern europe- all in one. This would seem to be a bit biased towards western europe really. and not in no good way.

Given frustrated nationalisms later role as a catalyst to WW1 I would surely keep it as a seperate lecture.

Nothing on the decline of the Ottoman Empire either?

Andy H said...

I think it's France heavy because it's Western Europe heavy. Russia and Austro Hungary get mentioned a bit, and the Ottomans not at all.

I think it sounds like a great course, mind you, but seems to lack something from Eastern (and especially South Eastern) Europe.

But I could be biased.

garibaldy said...

It is France-heavy, and western Europe heavy, but that strikes me as a good thing bearing in mind the audience. Who, frankly, are unlikely to be able to find Europe on a map. The thematic issues in the course (with the possible exception of nationalism) seem to me to be more easily explored in western Europe too.

The race thing, I'd be less inclined to go with. I think that the obsession with empire and race has skewed British historiography and taken us further away from contemporary perceptions rather than closer. As for the struggle of the races within Europe, a late C19th/early C20th thing I'd have thought outside the scope of the course. Nationalism seems to me to be more important for the period at hand.

The frustrated nationalism one is a good idea. But less dramatic and less easy for non-historians to get their teeth into than Magyrs oppressing others, or Germans versus Danes in 1848. As for marginalising Ireland, it's in the Mazzinian tradition, and certain people are slowly turning into Italians.

Spangly Princess said...

hehe Mazzini did indeed have very rude things to say about the Irish, yes. And who's to say he's wrong? [G, must call you, will be around briefly next month]

It is a Western Europe centred course. Andy H yes, you would of course say that (*magics up course on Romania*) but it doesn't mean you're wrong.

But with the maximum respect to Eastern & South-Eastern Europe, what is there in this specific period which happens there that is half as important, on a global and long-term scale, as what happens in France (or Britain or Germany)? I am not an advocate of equal weighting for its own sake, I think it's appropriate to focus more on the geographical areas which are most important in a specific period. My post-1945 course - which I'll put up in a few days - is much more Eastern Europe heavy & has very little in the way of France.

The issue of race/ethnicity is of course our preoccupation not theirs. I don't think I'd dismiss it as wholeheartedly as Garibaldy does but I do think that it can be fitted in amongst other issues.

Some of my students will already have taken, or will go on to take, the 1878-1945 course I taught in the spring. So I don't need or indeed want to encroach on things better covered there.

The Ottoman Empire: yes, it'd be nice to cover it. But what would you drop to fit it in? I can't possibly crowbar it in on top of Russia & A-H as a multinational (multi-ethnic) empire, nice as the idea is.

What I will try to do is to incorporate Eastern/Southern Europe, Scandinavia etc into the general thematic classes. They can be discussed as examples when talking about nationalism or conservatism or social change. Hopefully this will help to communicate to US students that Europe does exist east of Germany.

Andy H said...

No, I think you're right on the overall importance of what was going on in France and neighbouring countries, though, for example, the policy of Magyarisation which followed 1848 (or 1867, really) in the Hungarian bit of the Austro Hungarian empire in many ways defined modern day nationalistic oppression and discrimination. The backlash effects of that policy are still felt in the Hungarian speaking world outside of modern day Hungary. Likewise the Ottoman empire could be said to have sown the seeds of the civil wars that we saw recently in what was Yugoslavia (or at least sown the seeds of the extent of the brutality).

But given your audience and the limitations of the course length etc, I think what you propose is pretty much spot on. I think if I was going to teach such a course (which obviously I'm not and never will be) would be to start with whatever Marx said on these issues and move outwards :-)

Etienne said...

I quite understand why you might not want to teach gender, in which case I'd suggest scrapping the one class on it. On it's own it's tokenistic and (unless you are some kind of super-teacher) can't possibly convey anything more than received wisdom.

I take garybaldy's point to an extent, but while race as a category may not have been a preoccupation, it was still present as a factor - for example, the abolition of slavery by the republic and Napoleon's re-introduction of it, the battles for control of Haiti, and European attitudes towards the American Civil War (a pivotal moment in the evolution of nationalism in itself) as well as the general interaction with empire.

chris c paul said...

how about- rather than russia-austria followed by the frustrated natinalisms-

a 2 parter on south and eastern europe- part 1 russia, empire, and nationalism. Looking at nations frustrated by russian expansion.

part 2- austro-hungary and the ottoman empire- this will look at the growth of austria at the expense of the ottoman empire- and bring in frustrated balkan nationalism too. Or jubiulant natinlsim in the case of greece.

Ireland can be mentioned in relation to catholic emancipation and reform- or lack of, and also in relation to british liberalism and the seeds of the home rule movement.

difficult this... I'm impressed you managed ot get as much in as you have and cover so many topics logically.

TrentToffee said...

...following on from garibaldy's comment "...bearing in mind the audience. Who, frankly, are unlikely to be able to find Europe on a map." You need a colour scheme in their somewhere to help your students. When I studied Electronics the Physicists always sneered at us because Electrons were coloured blue, and Protons were coloured red. Or was it the other way around ? Anyway, they'll learn a lot more if the French are blue, the Russkies red (obviously), The Brits pink, the Germans black, the Italians...