Skip to 0 minutes and 9 secondsWelcome everyone to the third week of this course. In this week, you will learn how Europe is constructed through modernity. Now when I say modern, you'll have a pretty decent picture of what I'm talking about, modern way of life, modern cities, modern family. But what can you imagine when I say modern Europe? And what does modernity have anything to do with this? This week, Dr. Stefan Couperus and a team of educators from the department of European languages and cultures at the University of Groningen will introduce modernity in its full complexity. Modernity will be defined as central to European culture and sociopolitical processes. Dr. Clemens Six from the University of Groningen and Dr.

Skip to 0 minutes and 58 secondsBenjamin Martin from the Uppsala University will join them, bringing a historical perspective to the table. You will start with some basic definitions. To define modernity, you will first examine how it relates to the pre-modern and traditional. You will learn how modernity is associated with enlightenment, rationality, equality, progress, and change, many norms that you can today see quoted in the EU's founding documents and that are associated with European identity. You will learn how this came about and why. You will learn about the dark side of modernity and how noble hopes for progress and reason can become destructive and bring some great suffering.

Overview of the week

Welcome to the third week of the course! In this week, we will be looking into how Europe is constructed through modernity.

The modern, modernism, the pre-modern, early modern, late modern, postmodern - all terms related one way or another to modernity. But do they illuminate what that term exactly means?

For historians, modernity is a specific time period, that starts with the French Revolution from 1789. It’s dry historical categorisation. Yet there is also a sense in which modernity and the modern imply a judgement: I am modern, so you are pre-modern, anti-modern, not of this time.

Both versions of modernity, we will see, are connected to constructions of Europe. Europe was long seen as the craddle of modernity: it is where modern political ideas were developed, and where the Industrial Revolution that would change the way we live took off. Europe was modern, the rest of the world followed its example.

This week, Dr Stefan Couperus and a team of educators from the department of European Languages and Cultures at the University of Groningen will introduce modernity in its full complexity; modernity will be defined as central to European cultural and socio-politial processes. Dr Clemens Six from Groningen and Dr Benjamin Martin from Uppsala University will join them, adding a historical perspective.

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European Culture and Politics

University of Groningen

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