Understanding
Europe

Joint program for BA students

“Understanding Europe” is a joint interdisciplinary program (30 ECTS) offered by the Aurora European Universities Alliance and open to BA students of all disciplinary backgrounds. Students have the unique opportunity to get a multidisciplinary introduction to Europe – its history, politics, societies, arts, and popular culture.

The program consists of two core courses (5 ECTS each, in English) and an area of specialization (20 ECTS) in which students can choose from a number of courses which have been selected for the program by participating universities. There is also a possibility to receive credits for internships and spending a semester abroad.

Students gain a comparative perspective in their university experience and have access to various forms of mobility. Students will also benefit from the innovative teaching methods developed within Aurora and the special attention paid to the Sustainable Development Goals. Students are awarded a certificate from the Aurora European Universities Alliance after successfully completing the courses.

For further information, please contact: florian.freitag@uni-due.de

Perspectives on Europe in a Global Context

Core course 1

ECTS credits: 5
Period: weekly, October 2022 – December 2022
Mode of repetition: annually

This course introduces students into studying the visions and challenges of Europe and European integration in the making. Trans-European conflict, cooperation and integration is addressed from a historical and contemporary perspective. The historical constitution of Europe, its political institutions, societal objectives and symbolic representations in media, film, literature, popular culture and arts are looked at in this course. In six learning units, it will cover:

  • The European Union: History and Current Challenges
  • Migration and Mobility
  • Philosophical and Political Concepts of Europe
  • War and Conflict in Europe
  • Imagined Others and Memory Cultures
  • Narratives of Europe in film, literature and art

Challenges in Europe

Core course 2

ECTS credits: 5
Period: weekly, April/May 2023
(student conference: early June 2023)

Mode of repetition: annually

Are you ready to meet the sustainability challenges that face Europe in the 21st century? In „Challenges in Europe,” students select from a wide range of topics, each of them linked to a specific Sustainable Development Goal, to examine case studies with 3-4 fellow students and to develop their own research project under the supervision of an instructor. Students and instructors will then meet up for a conference in Amsterdam in early June 2023 to present their ideas for a more sustainable Europe.

Sample topics

Religious Heritage:
Claims and Contestations (SDG 11)

In this group, we seek to understand the processes that make religious heritage a growing political and cultural presence in Europe.

Across the continent, processes of de-churching and secularisation go hand in glove with the growing importance attributed to religious heritage. Redundant religious buildings, sites or objects deserve a second life as ‘heritage.’ Similarly, religious festivals or rituals may be preserved as part of people’s cultural identity, worthy of being transferred to future generations. Interestingly, also societies where religion is still part and parcel of everyday life, religious communities or political elites may strive for a heritage status of their site of religious worship or religious ceremony.

Processes of heritagization of religion are multi-layered and never without contestations. Some may morally object against what they consider profanation through festivalization and commercialisation and see a decline of authenticity. For others, heritagization of religion entails emancipation, enabling religious minorities to claim recognition and protection by being acknowledged as heritage. 

Sustainable Tourism (SDG 12)
 

Following a general introduction to tourism, this class will use the unlikely example of theme parks to introduce key areas and practices of sustainable tourism, from resource and climate efficiency through digitization and innovation to the safety, health, and general wellbeing of employees through safety and diversity initiatives and relationships with (local) communities through special programs e.g. for children. Moreover, sustainability will be discussed as an economic strategy whose relevance for both theme park-investor relationships (the attraction of financial investments) and theme park-customer relationships (the “public image” of the company) has been steadily on the rise. Finally, students will develop their own research project on sustainability in an area of tourism of their choice.

Area of Specialization

Each participating university will identify a number of elective courses from which you can choose from to complete the 30 ECTS credit program. Thematically, these courses will address important issues for understanding Europe as an analytical rather than geographic category, including the history of institutions past and present, processes of nation building, migration and mobility, narratives of Europe in art, literature, media and popular culture, or they focus on theoretical perspectives like decolonizing Europe, Othering, centre and periphery, etc. Their methodological range will be broad and can include interpretative-qualitative (fieldwork, text and media analysis, etc.) and quantitative approaches. Finally, all the courses will meet some or all of Aurora’s teaching methods described above, and thus contributing to Aurora’s ambition of promoting borderless learning in Europe.

  • LV 622.010 PS Europa Aspekte europäischer Zeitgeschichte (Dirk Rupnow, onsite, German, Contemporary History)
  • LV 645613 Lecture Series The Making of Europe (Silke Meyer und Dirk Rupnow, online, Englisch, European Ethnology and Contemporary History)
  • LV 61-0017 SE Infidels like Me: The Barbary Captivity Narrative between North America and North Africa (Mario Klarer with DUE, online/onsite, Englisch, American Studies)
  • LV 645106 PS Europadiskurse in der Frühen Neuzeit (Niels Grüne, Deutsch, onsite, History, 1SWS)
  • 402040 VO Europäische Integration – Einführung – DE/EN/FR (Andreas Maurer)
  • 402041 PS Europäische Integration – Einführung – EN (Camilla Mariotto)