Empires in European History and the Future of Europe

May 31, 2004

 

With the support of the Kokkalis Foundation and aiming to rethink the history and the future of Europe, the Academy held its third summer session, subject to the theme Empires in European History, from July 1 through July 10, 2004, at Olympia, Greece.

For nearly two hundred years, the nation-state has been the fundamental unit of historical analysis, both in historical instruction and in discussions about the past in the popular press. In today’s moments of profound change, fashioning a curriculum that takes into account the increasing importance of the European community is a difficult and controversial endeavour. How should one think about the history of Europe in relationship to the histories of individual nation-states?

How has the concept of Europe changed over time? What regions, cultures, and historical traditions did Europe encompass in the remote or more proximate past? Even though such questioning has begun in earnest among some historians, historical curricula and discussions about the past in the popular press do not yet reflect the outcome of these discussions. In this summer’s session participants, which included history teachers, journalists and acknowledged experts, pondered on the study of history and on how history, especially European history, is and should be taught to pre-university students and presented to the wider public.

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