Sample courses

The idea behind Dal's European Studies program is that the best way to understand Europe is to take a wide range of courses from different departments. If you happen to be interested in European history, you can focus on this while also getting a different but complementary perspective through Italian, German, or Theatre courses. 

In the European Studies program, the courses offered through the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are divided into three main categories:

  • history and politics, including a variety of other courses in the social sciences; 
  • literature and ideas, including the study of languages and courses in Philosophy; 
  • the fine arts, including courses in Music, Theatre and Film Studies. 

You will meet with a European Studies advisor to get the optimal mix that suits your own aims and interests.

There are several core European Studies courses that you must take:

EURO 2101
Europe: Ideas, Culture and Society to 1900

This class offers a multidisciplinary introduction to European Studies, emphasizing the period to 1900. In lectures and discussions, you’ll look at the interconnecting themes among literature, the arts, philosophy, and society in Europe. After completing this class, you’ll be prepared to take EURO 2102, Europe: Ideas, Culture, and Society from 1900 to the Present, which considers the same topics in the context of 20th and 21st centuries.

Prerequisites: Completion of at least two first-year classes from departments in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, or the King's Foundation Year Program.

EURO 3999
Independent Study

This upper-level European Studies core class consists of individually directed research and writing, supervised by a faculty member. This class is taught only by special arrangement between individual students and individual instructors; a topic of study may be decided on in discussion with an instructor who shares similar areas of interest. The signature of the instructor is required.

Prerequisites: Restricted to 3rd year students doing an advanced major or honours degree in European Studies.

EURO 4512
European Studies Seminar

This class involves discussions of readings and presentations on topics related to European studies. The topics for the seminar vary each year, and may be taught by different instructors from one year to the next. The class emphasizes a broad multidisciplinary perspective on European studies.

Prerequisites: Restricted to 4th-year advanced major and honours students in the European Studies program.
Exclusions: EURO 4510

Approved electives

You can also choose from a wide variety of courses in other departments or disciplines that have been approved as electives, including the following:

  • Classics
  • Comparative Religion
  • Contemporary Studies
  • Early Modern Studies
  • Economics
  • English
  • French
  • Gender and Women's Studies
  • German
  • History
  • Italian Studies
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Russian Studies
  • Spanish and Latin American Studies
  • Theatre

Here's a selection:

ECON 2219
Euros and Cents: From Common Market to Eurpean Union

This class, offered through the Department of Economics, investigates the European Union—widely considered to be a grand experiment to unite countries in a single market. You’ll review the stepwise evolution from customs union to common market to economic and monetary union with a single currency, the Euro. In lectures and discussions, you’ll learn more about an economic integration that is unparalleled in history.

Prerequisites: ECON 1101 or ECON 1102, or permission of the instructor.

ENGL 2050
Literature and Propaganda

This class, offered through the English Department, explores the relation of literary art to propaganda—words and/or images intended to influence people's opinions or political ideas—through the study of selected writings in different genres. Among the terms and concepts that may be considered are didactisicm, rhetoric, ideology, pornography and censorship.

Prerequisites: ENGL 1000; or any two of ENGL 1010, 1020, 1040, 1050, 1100; or THEA 1000; or the King's Foundation Year Program.

GWST 2320
Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe

The period of European history from 1500 to 1800 saw the rise of modern science and philosophy. It was also a period during which thousands of witch trials and executions were carried out. In this class, you will seek to understand how these seemingly contradictory developments could have occurred simultaneously. You'll examine changing conceptions of the witch and witchcraft in their historical, intellectual, cultural, religious and political contexts. The class will pay special attention to early modern notions of gender and sexuality and their influence on the witch hunts and witch trials.

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites. Cross-listings: EMSP 2320, RELS 2420

HIST 2015
War and Society in Early Modern Europe, 1550-1750

This class, taught by a professor in the History Department, deals with the presence of war in European societies, and how states and societies adapted and transformed under the impetus of the desire to achieve victory against an adversary. Among specific topics, the class will deal with the transformation of tactics and technology on land and sea; the creation of modern tax systems; problems of supply and recruitment; ideologies of the military function; the creation of standing armies; the impact of hostilities on society.

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites.

PHIL 2710

In this Philosophy class, you'll get an introduction to the themes of existentialism through reading and discussing the philosophy and fiction of Dostoevsky, Ortega y Gasset, Sartre, Camus, and Simone De Beauvoir. The existentialists focus on what is individual and unique about human lives. They emphasize the sense in which we choose projects and lives and even deaths for ourselves, and find self-deception in our ways of avoiding choices. Some existentialists argue that whatever meaning our lives have must be invented. Some contend that life is absurd.

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites.

POLI 2420
Revolution and Rationality: Foundations of Political Thought from 1789 to 1900

This class, offered through the Political Science Department, focuses upon late-eighteenth and nineteenth-century thought (Burke, Paine, Tocqueville, Mill, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche), and investigates human rights, democracy, utilitarianism, individualism, socialism, and the roots of postmodern thought. POLI 2410 is not a formal prerequisite for POLI 2420, Crisis and Consent: Foundations of Political Though from 1651 to 1778; however, you will find POLI 2410 a very useful introduction to POLI 2420.

Prerequisites: An introductory class in Political Science or Philosophy. Cross-listing: PHIL 2220.
Exclusions: POLI 2400