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Culture Europe


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.


The purpose of this course is to provide students with a broad overview of (Western) European culture and its influences inside and outside Europe. The course is designed around key concepts of culture and unity & diversity in Europe. What is the cultural and linguistic meaning of the expression “(Western) Europe”?
The European Union will play a prominent role as the heart of nowadays Europe, and will be of prominent interest as a background entity for the topics at stake in this course.
Diverse dimensions of Europe`s culture (history, globalization/regionalization, religion/secularization, migration, language, film, literature) will be discussed. Specific attention will be paid to such notions as imperialism, post colonialism, migration, identity, memory, etc. Students will be challenged to contrast and analyse more specific individual (historical/thematic/regional) cases.

Course objectives

Students will have

  • a better understanding of the linguistic and cultural aspects in European processes of change (colonization and decolonization ; crises; migration; religious change, shifting borders, etc.)

  • a better understanding of various links between politics, religion, language, arts, and political entities (states) in Europe (post mid XIXth century)

  • a critical comprehension of scholarly concepts such as the “Decline of the West”, “(European) identity”, “memory”

  • a critical comprehension of the impact of political-societal changes on language, film, literature.
    Students will be able

  • to analyse in a scholarly way primary (including political texts, memoirs, fiction, and film) and secondary sources

  • to present and debate intellectually scholarly ideas and analyses.


The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website

Mode of instruction

Lecture and tutorials

Attending lectures and tutorials is compulsory. If you are not able to attend a lecture or tutorial, please inform the tutor of the course. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the final exam or essay.

Assessment method

Tutorials 30%, Essay 30%, exam 40%


Blackboard will be used. Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Blackboard will be used to provide information on the course: reading list, other course materials, for communication with the students, and to hand in papers.

Reading list

The articles for this course will be put on blackboard.


Students are requested to register through uSis, the registration system of Leiden University for this course. General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


In case of any open issues on the contents of this course, contact instructors:

Dr. Karene Sanchez:
Prof. dr. Anthonya Visser: