Cluster 2: Europe in the World

This cluster reflects the reality that not only has Europe profoundly shaped the contours of world society (especially after 1492) but also that, particularly after 1945, Europe has been constrained to deal with the outside world in terms of sovereign interdependence. Europe’s relations with the non-European world has had a profound impact on the continent’s prosperity and stability. Europe participates in such a world within a complex web of interdependencies in which Europe’s external and internal futures cannot be simply separated from each other.

All courses listed below count for 3 credits. The availability of a course for any given academic year should be verified with the department. Students will finalize course selections in consultation with their faculty advisor.


ANTH 5885 Archeology of Colonial Expansions

Exploration of the archaeology of frontiers, expansions and colonization, focusing on European expansion into Africa and the Americas while using other archaeologically-known examples (e.g., Roman, Bantu) as comparative studies.


ENMC 5559 Global English

The themes of this course are migration, exile, displacement, and (sometimes) return. Our primary readings will consist of 21st century anglophone fiction drawn from around the globe. Likely candidates include Helen Oyiyemi, Nell Zink, Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, Teju Cole, Michael Ondaatje, Ruth Ozeki, NoViolet Bulawayo, Monica Ali, Amitav Ghosh, Aleksandar Hemon, and Dinaw Mengestu. We will also engage with the lively critical debates on the status of world literatureas a field of study and of “global English” as an aesthetic medium.

ENMC 9500 Studies in Modern and Contemporary Literature

  • Topic 2017: Poetry in a Global Age. How does poetry articulate and respond to the globalizing processes that accelerate in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries? In this seminar, we will consider modern and contemporary poetry in English in relation to theories of globalization. The writers we will explore range from modernist poets like Eliot, Yeats, H.D., Moore, and Claude McKay to contemporary poets of Ireland, India, Africa, Britain, and the Caribbean, such as Heaney, Walcott, Arjun Kolatkar, Karen Press, and Daljit Nagra. Requirements include active participation; co-leading of discussion; and two conference-length papers (8-10 pages). Our texts will be from volumes 1 and 2 of The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, third edition, as supplemented by other poems and critical and theoretical texts.  For details on this class, please visit the department website


HIEU 5312 Era of the World Wars

A study of the major countries of Europe in the era 1914-1945, with special attention to international relations and political, economic, and social developments. Most suitable for third- and fourth- year students with some background in European history and for graduate students.

HIEU 5352 The British Economy since 1850

Studies the structure, performance and policy in the British economy since 1850, focusing on the causes and consequences of Britain's relative economic decline. Cross listed as ECON 5352.

HIEU 5559 Global Culture/Dutch Golden Age

This course provides the opportunity to offer a new topic in the subject area of European History.

HIEU 5752 Evolution of the International System, 1815-1950

Analyzes the evolution of great-power politics from the post-Napoleonic Congress of Vienna and the systems of Metternich and Bismarck to the great convulsions of the twentieth century and the Russo-American Cold War after World War II.

HIEU 7471 European Economic History

Intensive reading and discussion of topics in European economic history.

HIEU 8452 Twentieth Century Europe (II)

In this graduate seminar on Europe in the twentieth century, students are asked to produce in the course of the semester an original work (25-30 pages long) based on primary sources. They will develop an argument, place it within the historiography and relevant methodologies, fine the relevant sources, and craft a narrative. The course covers all countries in Europe. The focus of the course is directed to exploration in cultural history.

HIEU 8461 Twentieth Century Europe and Russia

For students working in any geographical area of 20th-century Europe. Topics selected by students in consultation with instructor. Helps students begin research for M.A. theses and doctoral dissertations.

HIST 5559 New Course in General History

  • Topic 2017: Human Rights History. In 2006 the president of the American Historical Association proclaimed, “We are all historians of human rights.” Exaggerated or not, this remark testifies to the fact that human rights have recently achieved new prominence as a focus of historical inquiry. Yet the boundaries and contents of this field remain remarkably ambiguous. Is it a political movement? A subset of international law? Or a philosophical discourse? To answer these questions, this course will survey the recent historiography of human rights with an equal focus on issues of intellectual genealogy and historical methodology. Readings will likely include such recent works as Samuel Moyn’s The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History, Marco Duranti’s The Conservative Human Rights Revolution, Barbara Keys’s Reclaiming American Virtue. The Human Rights Revolution of the 1970s, Sarah Snyder’s Human Rights Activism and the End of the Cold War: A Transnational History of the Helsinki Network, Amalia Ribi Forclaz’s Humanitarian Imperialism. The Politics of Anti-Slavery Activism, 1880-1940, and Roland Burke’s Decolonization and the Evolution of International Human Rights, as well as key primary sources in this field.

We will special attention to topics such as the debates on the ties between modern ideas of human rights and international law, political revolution, and religious internationalism; the intertwined genealogies of human rights and humanitarianism; the rise of the human rights biography; and the place of the non-governmental organization in the history of human rights.

HIST 7162 Cultures of War: Readings in War & Society

Reading and discussion of new trends in the field of War and Society.

HIST 7559 New Course in History:

  •  Topic 2017: 20th Century Global History:  This seminar is designed to introduce you to methods and approaches that scholars are using to write histories that cut across national boundaries. Our readings will sample recent scholarship on a wide array of topics, including empire, decolonization, race, human rights and humanitarianism, the cold war, environmental history and public health, international organizations, war and refugees, and a number of other topics. The emphasis is on diversity of method and material, in hopes of inspiring Ph.D. students to think beyond the nation-state. The seminar will feature 5 or 6 current U.Va. faculty members who will come to speak about their own work.


PLCP 7500 Special Topics in Comparative Politics

PLCP 8140 Origins of Democracy and Dictatorship

PLIR 7760 Russian/Soviet Foreign Policy

Thematic analysis of Soviet and Post-Soviet Russian foreign policy.  Prerequisite: Instructor permission.

PLIR 7500 Special Topics in International Relations

  • Topic 2017: Terrorism and Insurgency
  • Topic 2017: Refugees, Migration, and Borders

PLIR 8639 Advanced Topics in International Relations Theory

Batten School of Public Policy


PPOL 5345 Turkey and the USA: Poverty, Politics, and Social Policy

This course compares social policy in NATO Allies Turkey and the US. Social policy consists of health, education, and social protection (welfare and social security). Turkey and the US have very different social policy environments, reflecting different histories and politics. This seminar will look at a different aspect of poverty, politics, and social policy each week, with one class . (Instructor permission required for enrollment)

PPOL 5760 International Financial Instituitons.

What are the IFIs and how have they influenced development policy and country outcomes? What factors do internal and external politics play in their operation and the panopoly of international aid efforts? Are groups like "50/60 years in enough" and the Meltzer report right? Come explore IFIs (the IMF, the World Bank, and the Multilateral Development Banks) in a seminar setting examining policy in practice.

PPOL 6785 Global Challege in Labor and Social Policy.

Examines contemporary labor and social policy debates and challenges facing both developed and emerging economies. Topics include unemployment, social protection policy through taxes and transfers, minimum wages, immigration, inequality, discrimination, human capital and education production. Grounded in economic analysis this course will compare and contrast labor and social policies in the US to those implemented in other countries.

PPOL 7146  Global Health Law and Policy.

This seminar provides insight into the challenges of improving the health status of individuals worldwide - especially in low and middle income countries. Discussions will focus on financing, organizing, delivering, and administering health services in environments where resource constraints are significant. Material will be drawn from global health and policy sources including the WHO, The World Bank, the Institute of Medicine, the UN, etc.

PPOL 7150  Environmental and Natural Resource Policy.

Pollution, public goods, and natural resource scarcity have long been core concerns in public policy, but as the human population heads toward 9 billion, there is an increasing sense that we can no longer take for granted the ability of Earth's natural systems to support expected future levels of human activity. Instructor permission required for enrollment)


SOC 7360 European Social Theory

Presents a survey of recent developments in continental social theory, including, but not restricted to, structuration theory (Giddens), actor-network theory (Latour), systems theory (Luhmann), and the theory of communicative action (Habermass).  Prerequisite: Two courses in sociological theory, one at the graduate level.


SPAN 5559 Sepharad: Iberian Jews, Conversos, and the Sephardic Diaspora

The history of the Sephardim (defined broadly to include individuals of Ibero-Jewish origin, whether they self-identified as Jews, Muslims, or Christians) is truly global. Before 1491, Jews, although a small minority, played a significant role in the cultural life of Islamic and Christian Spain.  After their expulsion from Spain in 1492 and from Portugal in 1497, the Sephardim traveled throughout the Mediterranean, north into Europe, across the oceans to the Americas, the Far East, and Africa, sometimes maintaining ties with or returning to the peninsula. The history of the Sephardim and the Sephardic diaspora raises a number of issues that are the subject of intense inquiry and debate today: the origins of anti-Judaism, anti-Semitism, and racism; the role of religion in state formation; torture and juridical confession; the dynamics of conversion; the origins of religious tolerance and skepticism; and the labile nature of religious and ethnic identities. The course, taught in English, will be interdisciplinary—we will study legal, religious, literary, and historical documents and address theological, historical, ethical, anthropological, and aesthetic questions, focusing mainly on the 14th through the 17th centuries. (The last two or three weeks of the semester will be dedicated to the modern period.) 

SPAN 5700 Spanish Civilization and Culture

Studies the non-literary achievements of Spain from pre-Roman times to the present. Includes a survey of the socio-political history, the art, architecture, music, philosophy, and folklore of Spain, defining the essential characteristics of Spanish civilization.

SPAN 5711 1492 and the Aftermath

Examines Spanish attempts to understand and figure the Americas, as well as America indigenous reactions to them.  Prerequisite: SPAN 3010 and 3300, or departmental placement.

SPAN 5800  Spanish America: the Colonial Period to 1800

Studies the major texts, authors, and literary trends of Spanish America up to 1800.

SPAN 5850  Spanish America: Modern Period.

Studies the major texts, authors, and literary trends of Spanish America in the twentieth century.

SPAN 5701 The Inquisition in Spain and Latin America

The Inquisition in Spain and Latin America.

 SPAN 8510 Seminars: Golden Age

  • Topic 2017: Hispanic Asianography. This course is meant to introduce doctoral students to a little-known body of texts, Spanish writing about the Pacific and Asia in the wake of the Encounter with the New World. It assumes no prior knowledge of this corpus, or of the historical circumstances that gave rise to it, but it does assume familiarity with canonical colonial crónicas, and with some of the methods used to study them. We will read a mixture of letters, relaciones, histories and even plays surrounding Spain’s experience of Pacific exploration, the search for the Terra Australis, the colonization of the Philippines, the controversies over the Spice Islands, the evangelization of Japan, the invasion of Cambodia, and the proposed conquest of China. We will ask questions of how Spanish discourse mapped the peoples and places of a part of the world that we usually think of as Portugal’s sphere of influence into its own concept of the Indias occidentales. We will refer this discussion to early modern globalization and globalism, and we will look at how the encounter with Asia sometimes extended, sometimes repeated, and sometimes subverted the lessons (mis)learned from the Encounter with America. instructor permission would be required for this course.