Module Catalogue 2020/21

SOC2084 : Social Invention of Central Europe (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Dariusz Gafijczuk
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



1. To introduce students to key aspects and debates surrounding the construction of social spaces and
identities from contemporary and historical perspectives, particularly in relation to Central Europe.
2. To encourage students to engage with the questions around the construction of collective identities.
3. To look at the region of Central Europe from a wider contemporary European perspective.
4. To reflect on ways in which collective social identities, such as nationalism and regionalism, are
full of ambiguities and contradictions.
5. To explore relationships between history, culture and society in creating and maintaining collective

Summary of Themes:

1. Introduction to the theoretical and historical context of the idea of Europe and the concept of
2. Imagined Geographies – the Ambivalence of Europe
3. Imagined Geographies – porous Territories
4. Construction of Centres – The Self
5. Construction of Centres – Tradition
6. Designing the Nation
7. The Tragedy of Central Europe
8. The Invention of Mitteleuropa
9. Production of Space
10.Pure and Impure Identity: The Eulogy for Sarajevo (1993)

Outline Of Syllabus

This aim of this module is to introduce students to the complexities and dynamics underpinning the invention of geo-political regions and collective identities, such as the notion of Europe and the region of Central Europe. The module will explore the relationship between history, culture and society focusing particularly on the notion of European/Central European identity. Students will encounter a variety of innovative approaches and problems in relation to cultural history and sociology, investigating the construction of a specific place and space, and learning about parallels between past and present, as well as issues that are unique to Europe and its centre as an imagined community. Special attention will be paid to how, historically speaking, places and localities including the idea of a nation, have always been a form of design – of perceptions, perspectives and ‘structures of feeling’.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of this course the students will be familiar with:

1. Key dynamics underpinning the construction of social and cultural identities
2. The relationships between history, culture and social identity
3. Forms of perception making up the concept of tradition
4. Critical perspectives in relation to geo-political entities, such as the nation, Europe and ‘the

Intended Skill Outcomes

This module will enable students to apply a range of conceptual devices drawn across a range of disciplines, particularly sociology, history, cultural studies and geography, to analyse the construction of collective identities. It will develop skills such as critical thinking through active participation in lectures, seminars and written work. It will foster student’s ability to explore the intricacies, importance and limitations of the concepts surrounding the construction of collective identities.

Teaching Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2020/21 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2021/22 entry will be published here in early-April 2021. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.