The Idea of Europe

Mar 2011

Brilliant. Professor Collins is extremely knowledgeable about European affairs and transatlantic history. You'll learn about modern Europe over the last couple hundred years, and how the idea of Europe has been in transformation (economic) religious, legal, political, etc), caused by various big conflicts/wars as well as new ideas/innovations (science & technology). Topics include national unity movements in 19th century (think Germany; Italy); as well as Greater Europe movements (think some WWI and WWII leaders), as well as more peaceful transitions (European Community to European Union), as well as Europe and the World (so, colonization/decolonization; engagement with the United States; trade with China and Southeast Asia, Northern and Western Africa, etc) Lively class discussions and thought-provoking themes. Course asks the big questions.

Dec 2009

A heads up to anyone considering this course: the two 15% "response papers" each require 50 sources minimum, all from the same academic journal/newspaper, an endnote library, bibliography and photocopies of the sources. In total, these took about 20 hours each to complete. Not to mention the final 10 page paper, also 50 sources, but at least not all from the same journal. Collins is nice and full of fun, interesting stories about world leaders who she's met, but about an hour of each class is spent listening to her stories, talking about the news, etc. All this is really awesome if you don't want to talk about the reading (which is very light, just a few primary docs a week) but ultimately a waste of time. She is extremely knowledgeable, thoroughly informed about euro history, definitely an expert in her field (she's the head of the Euro Research institute) but I would NOT recommend this class.