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This course is a collaboration between the Universiteit van Amsterdam, the VU University Amsterdam and NiNsee, the National institute for the Study of Dutch Slavery and its Legacy.

Course Description

A multitude of discourses have emerged relative to the internationalism of Blacks worldwide and particularly in the Americas, but the prominence and impact of the Black presence in Europe has not been adequately explored. This seminar will examine the multiple constructions of the term Black Europe and the social, economic and political implications within. We will look specifically at anti-discrimination laws as they have arisen in various European countries; comparing the history of regulation and management of race and ethnic relations and the discourse surrounding the concept of Blackness and self-identification.

The seminar will begin with a historical overview of social and civil conflict in Europe leading to the formation of laws and antidiscrimination legislation within the EU. We will trace the chain of events following social and civil conflicts that prompted these policies and analyze the legislative and intellectual discourse produced in the aftermath.

We will also explore the notions of blackness as; a categorization, employed in Britain to demark all non-natives; as a social construction, employed by natives to indicate (non) belonging; as a Diaspora living within Europe; and as a contestation of the dominant (White) paradigm. We will focus on the historical and colonial legacies of European countries to discuss the origins of Black Europe and investigate the impact of these legacies on policies and legislation.

This course will also seek to address the dimensions of race and ethnic relations that are unique to Europe; examining the ways in which conceptions of the ???other??? are institutionalized and reproduced; the rise of xenophobia in various EU countries; the legal definitions and discourse surrounding the conceptualized ???other???; and examining the ways in which each country has dealt with issues of race and national identity.

Following the program, students are welcome to participate in a two-day conference in Paris on Global Anti-Black Racism as part of the annual conference series (2006-2009) at the Maison des Science de l’Homme (MSH) organized by Lewis Gordon, Ramon Grosfoguel and Eric Mielants on “New and Old Racial/Ethnic Configurations before and after 9/11”

Instructors for 2008

??? Dr. Dienke Hondius, VU University Amsterdam
??? Dr. Stephen Small, University of California, Berkeley
??? Dr. Kwame Nimako, Universiteit van Amsterdam
??? Dr. Philomena Essed, Antioch University
??? Dr. David T. Goldberg, Director, University of California Humanities Research Institute
??? Dr. Ramon Grosfoguel, University of California, Berkeley
??? Dr. Glenn Willemsen, National Institute for the Study of Dutch Slavery and its Legacy
??? Dr. Thomas Spijkerboer, VU University Amsterdam

The Summer School on Black Europe is open to advanced undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students. Preference will be given to students based on the following criteria:

??? Undergraduate and graduate students with a background in the fields of sociology, anthropology, political science, economics and/or the humanities;

??? Post-graduate students who have begun a research project in the field;
??? Professionals with an MA Degree and who are working or want to work in a field related to the topic of the Summer School.

Students are accepted on the basis of i) their previous qualifications, ii) the level of knowledge of English, and iii) an essay on their motivation. The Admissions Committee will take account of coherence, feasibility or relevance of the student???s career objectives and proposed program of study, as well as excellence in prior academic accomplishment, especially in coursework and experience related to the Summer School on Black Europe.


The regular tuition is ??? 1350. The tuition for students who wish to receive course credit is ??? 1550. Students may reserve accommodation through the Unverisiteit van Amsterdam for a cost of ??? 350. Student housing is available from June 14th -June 29th.

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