Begun at Carleton College in 2002, the European Studies Concentration seeks to provide students interested in Europe, past and present, with an intellectual and social setting within which to explore and integrate the many elements of their interaction with "things European" during their time at Carleton. In particularly, we seek to support students in integrating their off-campus experiences and language study with their coursework on campus.
In its gateway and capstone courses—as well as many contributing courses—concentration faculty urge students to interrogate critically commonly held notions of Europe as place, people, and culture. Where does Europe begin and end and why? What is European about European culture? What defines "non-European" and how have these definitions changed with time, place, and context? How do Europe's complex pasts interact with current directions in politics, economics, and culture? And for each of these questions, who decides and what are there reasons?
At Carleton College, abundant course offerings that range across disciplines, languages, and periods help students acquire the knowledge and analytical tools needed to address these questions in national, comparative, and global contexts. Similarly, our Off-Campus Studies program offers students interested in Europe many alternatives—both Carleton based and through other programs—for gaining the experiential and linguistic knowledge that comes with studying on site.