Europe and its silences
Stavroula Pipyrou (University of St Andrews)
Andrea Muehlebach (University of Toronto)
Palatine - PCL050
Start time:
4 July, 2016 at 14:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Europe plays a central role in how history, politics, and economics are produced and circulated across the globe. We invite papers that challenge the myth and model of Europe by considering how it has relied on silences as well, in the wake of the serial crises posed by austerity, refugees, terror.

Long abstract:

The perception, even mythologization, of European history, politics and economics across the globe are based on idealised concepts of historiography and modernity imported by the West and built into the social sciences (Chakrabarty 2000). But all historiography and myth-making also rely on silences and silencing - that which is repressed, unspeakable, unthinkable, or simply forgotten. We thus propose that the very idea of a common and integrated Europe is based on exclusions, cracks, and forgetting, and that recent crises (of austerity, refugees, and terror) have revealed these cracks in ways that have shaken the continent to its core. We have, for example, seen a Europe that continues to serve as a model for democracy even as it undermines democratic possibility through economy policy and law; it posits itself as a beacon of human rights even as it denies them to refugees and immigrants scrambling to cross its borders; it preaches integration and equality even as it impoverishes the Southern periphery through severe fiscal austerity; it hails ethnic, religious and sexual diversity while EU member states continue to supress alterity. This panel invites papers that challenge the mythical figure of Europe by prying at its cracks and uncloaking the hidden, and by looking at how silence and forgetting are both made and unmade at this historical moment.