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European Studies

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Major Requirements

Designed for students who seek to broaden their awareness of the European experience and to prepare for international careers or advanced study, the program in European Studies (EUS) offers the major disciplinary breadth as well as expertise in a specialty of their choosing. Most EUS majors also participate in one of the Vanderbilt study abroad programs in Europe and/or reside in the International House on campus. The interdisciplinary major consists of 42 hours of course work, to be distributed among various disciplines as indicated in the following. Emphasis is on political, cultural, economic, and related trends or events especially since the early modern period.

Advising is crucial to the successful completion of the major in EUS. Advising forms and declaration of major forms are available in the Max Kade Center for European and German Studies (MKC). In consultation with the director and/or associate director of the Max Kade Center, students choose a thematic focus and specific courses that will fulfill the requirements for the major. This focus can consist of a thematic or comparative topic (such as culture and society during a particular epoch), a regional or sub-regional topic (such as European integration, the Iberian Peninsula, the Baltic region), or the culture and society of a particular nation (such as France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain). In addition to the core requirements, majors take relevant courses in history, the social sciences, and the humanities, as well as a foreign language of the student’s choice. Special activities of the MKC include a visiting lecture series, international symposia, and informal faculty-student luncheon seminars. Both academic scholars and public figures are invited to campus to address European and transatlantic affairs.

Major Contracts
You may download, below, a blank copy of the contract for the European Studies major or joint major that you wish to declare.  It is  helpful if you begin completing the form prior to your advising meeting.
European Studies Major Contract
French and European Studies Major Contract
German and European Studies Major Contract
Italian and European Studies Major Contract
Russian and European Studies Major Contract
Spanish and European Studies Major Contract
Spanish, Portuguese, and European Studies Major Contract

Required Core Courses (21 hours)

  • EUS 201, European Society and Culture (3 hours)
  • EUS 203, The Idea of Europe (3 hours)
  • EUS 250, Senior Seminar (3 hours)
  • Six hours in Political Science, usually PSCI 210, West European Politics, and PSCI 211, The European Union
  • Six hours in European history in the student’s special interest area, to be selected from the list below and in consultation with the major adviser

Foreign Language Requirement (6 hours)
The foreign language requirement is to be satisfied in one of the following

  • Six hours of course work beyond the intermediate level in one European language;
  • Course work through the intermediate level in two European languages;
  • Demonstration of proficiency equivalent to either of the preceding options; or
  • Participation in one of the Vanderbilt intensive-language programs in Europe (students participating in Vanderbilt's predominantly English-language program in Europe must complete course work through the intermediate level in one European language, or demonstrate equivalent proficiency).

Electives (15 hours)
The remainder of the 42 hours required for the major may be selected from the list of courses below or from among approved courses taken abroad. Students majoring in EUS are advised to select courses from the social sciences and humanities that complement their areas of special interest and their thematic focus. They should be distributed as follows:

  • 3 additional hours in history
  • 3 additional hours from other social science fields
  • 9 hours from the humanities



EUROPEAN STUDIES:  208, Conspiracy Theories and Rumors in European and U.S. History; 240, Topics in European Studies; 260, European Cities.

HISTORY: 115F-08, European Imperialism: Colonizer and Colonized in the Modern World; 135, Western Civilization to 1700; 136, Western Civilization since 1700; 139, America to 1776: Discovery to Revolution; 148, The Darwinian Revolution; 151, The Scientific Revolution; 158, Crime and Punishment in Early Modern Europe, 1400-1800 C.E.; 160, European Economic History, 1000-1700; 170, Western Military History to 1815; 172, World War II; 173, The US and the Cold War; 176, History of Christian Traditions; 183, Sexuality and Gender in the Western Tradition to 1700; 184, Sexuality and Gender in the Western Tradition since 1700; 187, Pornography and Prostitution in History; 209, Russia: Old Regime to Revolution;  210, Russia: the U.S.S.R. and Afterward; 222 Medieval and Renaissance Italy, 1000-1700; 223, Medieval Europe, 1000-1350; 225, Reformation Europe; 226, Revolutionary Europe, 1789-1815; 227, Nineteenth-Century Europe; 228, Europe 1900-1945; 229, Europe since 1945; 230, Twentieth-Century Germany; 231, France: Renaissance to Revolution; 234, Modern France; 238, Shakespeare's Histories and History; 239a, The Real Tudors; 241, Victorian England; 243W, The English Atlantic World, 1500-1688; 244, Rise of the Iberian Atlantic Empires, 1492-1700; 245, Decline of the Iberian Atlantic Empires, 1700-1820; 245, Reform, Crisis, and Independence in Latin America, 1700-1820; 280, Modern Medicine; 286g, Weimar Germany: Modernism and Modernity, 1918-1933; 287c, Cities of Europe and the Middle East;  287g, Making of Modern Paris; 288e, The Art of Empire; 289a, Revolutionary England, 1603-1710; 289d, Religion and the Occult in Early Modern Europe.
JEWISH STUDIES: 121, Classical Judaism: Jews in Antiquity; 123, Jews in the Medieval World; 124, Perspectives in Modern Jewish History; 156, The Holocaust; 180, Introduction to Jewish Studies.


ANTHROPOLOGY: 244, Social and Health Consequences of Pandemics.

ECONOMICS: 224, Russia in the World Economy; 262, History of Economic Thought; 263, International Trade; 264, International Finance; 271, Economic History of Europe.

EUROPEAN STUDIES: 240 Topics in European Studies.

POLITICAL SCIENCE: 101, Introduction to Comparative Politics; 102, Introduction to International Politics; 103, Justice; 202, Ancient Political Thought; 203, History of Modern Political Philosophy; 206, Foundations of Marxism; 210, West European Politics; 211, The European Union; 221, Causes of War; 223, European Political Economy and Economic Institutions; 225, International Political Economy; 226, International Law and Organization; 238, Comparative Political Parties.

SOCIOLOGY: 294 Seminar in Selected Topics (with appropriate topic); 299, Independent Research and Writing (with appropriate topic).


CLASSICS: 225, Humor, Ancient to Modern; 240, The Trojan War in History, Art, and Literature.

COMMUNICATION STUDIES:  222, The Rhetorical Tradition; 294, Selected Topics in Communication Studies (with appropriate topic)

115F, First-Year Writing Seminar (with appropriate topic); 208a-208b, Representative British Writers; 209a-209b, Shakespeare; 210, 210W, Shakespeare: Representative Selections; 220, Chaucer; 221, Medieval Literature; 230, The Eighteenth-Century English Novel; 231, The Nineteenth-Century English Novel; 233, The Modern British Novel; 235, Contemporary British Literature; 244, Critical Theory; 248, Sixteenth Century; 249, Seventeenth-Century Literature; 250, English Renaissance: The Drama; 251, Milton; 252a-252b, Restoration and the Eighteenth Century; 254a-254b, The Romantic Period; 255, The Victorian Period; 256, Modern British and American Poetry: Yeats to Auden; 264, Modern Irish Literature; 272, 272W, Movements in Literature (with appropriate topic); 273, 273W, Problems in Literature (with appropriate topic); 274, 274W, Major Figures in Literature (with appropriate topic); 282, The Bible in Literature; 286a-286b, Twentieth Century Drama (with appropriate topic); 288-288W, Special Topics in English and American Literature (with appropriate topic).

EUROPEAN STUDIES: 225, European Realism; 240, Topics in European Studies; 260, European Cities.

FRENCH: 201W, French Composition and Grammar; 204, French for Business; 209, Contemporary France; 210, French and Francophone Cinema; 211, Text and Contexts: Middle Ages to the Enlightenment; 212, Texts and Contests: Revolution to the Present; 214, Advanced Conversational French; 215, La Provence; 216, Cultural Study Tour; 218, The Contemporary Press and Media; 224, Art and Literature in the Nineteenth Century; 225, Art and Literature of the Twentieth Century; 226, Advanced French Grammar; 232, The Querelles des femmes; 234, Medieval French Literature; 237, The Early Modern Novel; 238, The Twentieth-Century Novel; 240, From Carnival to “Carnivalesque”; 241, Emile Zola: From Naturalist Novels to Social Activism; 251, Provence the French Novel; 252, Literature and Law; 253, Literature of the Fantastic; 255, French Feminist Thought: Literary and Critical; 256, French Intellectual History; 260, Enlightenment and Revolution; 261, Age of Louis XIV; 265, From Romanticism to Symbolism; 267, Twentieth-Century French Literature; 271, French and Italian Avant-garde; 272, Adultery and Transgressions in Literature; 294a Special Topics in French Literature (with appropriate topic); 295ab, Special Topics in French Language and Civilization (with appropriate topic).

GERMAN: 115F, First-Year Writing Seminar; 172, Borders and Crossings: German Literature and Culture from Romanticism to the Present; 182, War on Screen; 201W, Introduction to German Studies; 213, Conversation and Composition: Current Events; 214, Conversation and Composition: Contemporary Culture; 216, Business German; 221, German Culture and Literature; 222, German Culture and Literature; 223, From Language to Literature; 235, German Romanticism; 237, Women and Modernity; 238, Interconnections of Arts and Science: Goethe and the Natural World; 241, The Racial Imagination; 242, German Mystery Novels: From Romanticism to Kafka; 243, The Aesthetics of Violence: Terror, Crime and Dread in German Literature; 244, German Fairy Tales from Brothers Grimm to Walt Disney; 245, Love and Friendship; 246, German Masterpieces in English Translation; 246, German Masterpieces in English Translation; 248, German Lyric Poetry--Form and Function; 262, German Literature of the Middle Ages; 263, The Age of Goethe--Weimar 1775 to 1805; 264, Pleasures and Perils in Nineteenth-Century Theatre; 265, Revolutionizing Twentieth-Century Theatre; 266, Nineteenth-Century Prose; 267, The German Novel from Kafka to Grass; 269, Writing under Censorship; 270, German Cinema: Vampires, Victims, and Vamps; 271, Women at the Margins: German-Jewish Women Writers; 273, Nazi Cinema: The Manipulation of Mass Culture; 274, Who Am I? German Autobiographies; 275, Art and Rebellion: Literary Experience in the 1960s and 1970s; 276, Tales of Travel in Modern German Culture; 278, Dreams in Literature; 280, Murder and Mayhem: The Sturm und Drang.

HISTORY OF ART: 100, History of Western Art I; 111, History of Western Art II; 115F, First-Year Writing Seminar (with appropriate topic); 210, Early Christian and Byzantine Art; 211, Medieval Art; 212, Northern Renaissance Art; 213W, The Court of Burgundy; 214, Fifteenth-Century Northern European Art; 215, Sixteenth-Century Northern European Art; 216, Raphael and the Renaissance; 217, Early Renaissance Florence; 217W, Early Renaissance Florence; 218  Italian Art to 1500; 219, Italian Renaissance Art after 1500; 220, Michelangelo's Life and Works; 220W, Michelangelo's Life and Works; 221, Seventeenth-Century Art; 222, British Art: Tudor to Victorian; 223, Twentieth-Century British Art;  224, Eighteenth-Century Art; 226, Neoclassicism and Romanticism; 229, Nineteenth-Century Architecture: Theory and Practice; 230, Nineteenth-Century European Art; 231, Twentieth-Century European Art; 232, Modern Architecture; 235, Modern Art and Architecture in Paris; 237, History of Spanish Art up to the Seventeenth Century; 238, History of Spanish Art from the Seventeenth Century to the Present; 255, Greek Art and Architecture.

ITALIAN:  200 Italian Journeys; 201W, Grammar and Composition; 214, Conversation; 220, Introduction to Italian Literature; 230, Italian Civilization; 231, Dante’s Divine Comedy; 232, Literature of the Middle Ages to the Renaissance; 233, Baroque, Illuminismo, and Romanticism in Italy; 235, Twentieth-Century Literature: Beauty and Chaos; 238, City Fictions; 239, Topics in Contemporary Italian Civilization; 240, Classic Italian Cinema; 241, Contemporary Italian Cinema; 242, Contemporary Italian Society and Culture; 250, Famous Women by Boccaccio; 289, Independent Study (with appropriate topic); 294a, Special Topics in Italian Literature (with appropriate topic).

JEWISH STUDIES: 135W, Introduction to Hebrew Literature; 158, The Jewish Diaspora; 182, Creative Writing and Jewish Authors; 235W, Hebrew Literature in Translation, 244, Freud and Jewish Identity; 246, Berlin and Jewish Modernity; 248, Jewish Story Telling; 248W, Jewish Story Telling; 253W, Witnesses Who Were Not there: Literature of the Children of Holocaust Survivors, 254, Jewish Literary Centers.

MUSIC LITERATURE:  121W, Music and Western Culture; 144, The Symphony; 145, Survey of Choral Music; 221A, Opera in the 17th and 18th Centuries; 221B, Opera in the 19th Century; 222, Mahler Symphonies: Songs of Irony; 223, Music in the Age of Beethoven and Schubert; 224, Haydn and Mozart; 225, Brahms and the Anxiety of Influence; 227, Music in the Age of Revolution, 1789-1848; 228 J.S. Bach: Learned Musician and Virtual Traveler; 229, Robert Schumann and the Romantic Sensibility; 294, Selected Topics in Music History (with appropriate topic).

PHILOSOPHY: 115F-10, First-Year Writing Seminar: Environmental Philosophy; 115F-15, First-Year Writing Seminar: Limits of the Human in Philosophy and Film; 120, The Meaning of Life; 120W, The Meaning of Life; 211, Medieval Philosophy; 212, Modern Philosophy; 213, Contemporary Philosophy; 220, Immanuel Kant; 224, Existential Philosophy; 226, Phenomenology; 228, Nineteenth-Century Philosophy; 231, Philosophy of History; 232, Critical Theory; 240, History of Aesthetics; 241, Modernistic Aesthetics; 247, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche; 249, Philosophy of Music; 252, Political and Social Philosophy; 254, Modern Philosophies of Law; 258, Contemporary Political Philosophy; 260, Twentieth-Century Continental Philosophy; 261, Jewish Philosophy; 263, French Feminism; 289a–289b, Independent Readings (with appropriate topic); 294a–294b, Selected Topics (with appropriate topic).

PORTUGUESE: 200, Intermediate Portuguese; 201, Portuguese Composition and Conversation; 294, Special Topics in Portuguese Language, Literature, and Civilization (with appropriate topic).

RELIGIOUS STUDIES: 115F, First-Year Writing Seminar (with appropriate topic); 140, Great Books of Literature and Religion; 202, Natural Science and the Religious Life; 220W, Constructions of Jewish Identity in the Modern World; 229, The Holocaust, Its Meaning and Implications; 240, The Nature of Evil.

RUSSIAN: 171, A Tale of Three Cities; 172, Russian Culture in the Twentieth Century; 183, Russian Fairy Tales; 190, Russian and Soviet Short Story; 221, Survey of Russian Literature in English Translation; 222, Survey of Russian Literature in English Translation; 223, Composition and Conversation; 224, Composition and Conversation; 231, Jews in Russian Culture: Survival and Identity; 232, Evil Empire: Stalin’s Russia; 233, Crime and Punishment; 234, The Russian Cinema; 238, Dostoevsky's Major Novels: Philosophy and Aesthetics; 240, Terrors and Terrorists: Russian Literature of the Irrational and the Absurd; 250, Socio-Political and Cultural Developments in Post-Soviet Regions; 294, Selected Topics (with appropriate topic).

SPANISH: 201W, Intermediate Spanish Writing; 202, Spanish for Oral Communication through Cultural Topics; 208, The Way of Saint James; 206, Spanish for Business and Economics; 207, Advanced Conversation; 208, Advanced Conversation through Cultural Issues in Film; 220, The Languages of Spain; 221, Spanish Civilization; 226, Film and Recent Cultural Trends in Spain; 231, The Origins of Spanish Literature; 232, Literature of the Spanish Golden Age; 233, Spanish Literature from the Enlightenment to 1900; 234, Spanish Literature from 1900 to the Present; 239, Development of the Novel; 246, Don Quixote; 251, Development of Drama; 256, Love and Honor in Medieval and Golden Age Literature; 258, Spanish Realism; 260, Development of the Short Story;  281, The Theory and Practice of Drama; 289, Independent Study (with appropriate topic); 292, Images of the Feminine in Spanish Cinema; 294, Special Topic: (with appropriate topic).

WOMEN’S AND GENDER STUDIES: 272, Feminism and Film.