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Narratives of a common European Culture: Inclusion, Exclusion, Ideals, Realities

References to a “European culture” have been as common as they have been contested in political and societal discourses of the past decades. At the level of EU policies, while a common “European cultural heritage” has been promoted as a cornerstone of the European Commission’s work since the 1970s, the 2000s saw a shift towards the promotion of “European values”, but also towards what has been referred to as “cultural Europeanism” (Tekiner 2020).

Tags: Culture and Creativity, Equity

On the other hand, pledges to defend “European culture” have also increasingly been used by populist radical right parties and nationalist and nativist movements to promote exclusionary and racist agendas. References to an alleged common “heritage” play a key role here as well, as do proclamations about Europe’s “identity” and historical “unity”, the latter often in conjunction with old and new forms of Orientalist racism.On the other hand, pledges to defend “European culture” have also increasingly been used by populist radical right parties and nationalist and nativist movements to promote exclusionary and racist agendas. References to an alleged common “heritage” play a key role here as well, as do proclamations about Europe’s “identity” and historical “unity”, the latter often in conjunction with old and new forms of Orientalist racism.

What is a common "European culture", what could it be or become? Can it go beyond exclusion and in-group/out-group patterns? Can it be specified by means of the many existing definitions of "culture" in Cultural Theory, Anthropology, Political Science, or does it require a new understanding altogether?

I am looking for ENLIGHT partners for an ENLIGHT Thematic Network (ETN). The planned ETN "Narratives of a common European Culture. Inclusion, Exclusion, Ideals, Realities" centers on the necessity to address the abovementioned fundamental questions before accepting “European culture” as a given, discussing its specificities, or supporting its use. It aims to bring together scholars from Cultural Studies, Political Science, Sociology, Philosophy/Ethics, Law and further fields to analyze existing ideals and realities of "European Culture" and their relation to aspects such as inclusion and exclusion. Fields to be covered include political discourses, culture, literature and arts, law, cultural theory and related areas.

 

    Practical Details

    Disciplinary field: Cultural Studies, Political Science, Anthropology, related fields
    Funding programme: ENLIGHT Thematic Network
    Institution: University of Groningen
    First and last name: Florian Lippert
    Position: Associate professor

    Tags: Culture and Creativity, Equity