Contacts and exchanges : Seminar II (Contemporary period)

lhist2724  2019-2020  Louvain-la-Neuve

Contacts and exchanges : Seminar II (Contemporary period)
Note from June 29, 2020
Although we do not yet know how long the social distancing related to the Covid-19 pandemic will last, and regardless of the changes that had to be made in the evaluation of the June 2020 session in relation to what is provided for in this learning unit description, new learnig unit evaluation methods may still be adopted by the teachers; details of these methods have been - or will be - communicated to the students by the teachers, as soon as possible.
5 credits
22.5 h

  This biannual learning unit is not being organized in 2019-2020 !

Main themes
This course is designed to allow students to make their own contributions, including lectures and active participation in seminar discussions.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :


Instruction will concentrate on students' choosing historical periods as " case studies ", to be examined in depth based on the theme " Contact and Exchange " [d. Contemporary Period [3 cr.]]. These thematic areas are to be examined by means of current tendencies in historiography, the identification of problematics and the use of well-known or experimental techniques.


The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
The aim of the course is to familiarise students with historical themes linking several geographical areas during the same time period. We will be studying the conditions and consequences of contact between different cultural contexts, looking beyond their specificities. By fostering an outward-looking approach and a comparative methodology, students will be encouraged to think critically and to become aware of current historiographical, even political, debates.
The first part of this course will aim to study the historical development and political, economic and cultural specificities of the countries of Europe and Africa, highlighting the tensions between ‘unity’ and ‘diversity’. We will consider, in particular, ‘regional’ integration models, the challenges generated by these, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the challenges engendered in Africa. Taking topical examples from current affairs, we will identify the specific obstacles to interregional cooperation between the European Union and the African Union. These topical cases will raise issues of political governance, development cooperation, trade, migration, and conflict prevention and/or management. 
In the second part of the course, students will examine relations between the Middle-East and Europe in contemporary times. In Egypt and the Middle East, the 18th century ended with an event of unprecedented significance: in 1798, the French army crushed Mamluk/Ottoman resistance and conquered Cairo. Although French colonisation would only last for a few years, in the following century the European powers and Russia seized all the territories in North Africa and the Middle East. For 19th century politicians, the ‘ulama’ and intellectuals, the question which arose is one which still echoes down through the years: ‘How did the Europeans, formerly conquered and subjugated, become the triumphant victors?’ Having placed this question in its necessary historical context, we shall analyse the answer given by various cultural, political and social actors, thus gaining better understanding of its impact on the societies affected. 
Teaching methods
The class sessions will centre on a dynamic, participatory exchange of ideas between students and teacher. The students will be given a detailed plan of the course, a set of core documents, as well as further reading list to broaden their horizons.  
Evaluation methods
The oral exam will test students on the material covered in the course and may include the presentation of individual course work based on reading, iconographic or audiovisual documentation. Account will also be taken in the evaluation of students’ participation in the sessions. 
Online resources
The PowerPoints from the classes, the bibliography and practical information are all available and can be downloaded from the course Moodle platform.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Master [120] in French and Romance Languages and Literatures : French as a Foreign Language

Master [120] in History