Center for Global Studies and the Humanities

Duke University


Exploring Dimensions of Citizenship, Race and Ethnic Relations

The Summer School on Black Europe is an intensive two week course offered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The course is a collaboration between the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the International School for Humanities and Social Sciences at the Universiteit van Amsterdam and NiNsee, the National Institute for the study of Dutch Slavery and its Legacy.

This course 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 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. Historically, social forces within Europe have given rise to policies to combat racism. 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.

In the second week, we will explore the notions of blackness as; an official categorization; 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.

For more information, visit the course website.


Time: June 14th-25th, 2009
Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands