skip to content

Department of Social Anthropology

Huw Williamson - Sheep fold, Romania

This paper introduces students to the anthropological study of Europe by giving them an opportunity to engage with a diverse range of ethnographic work, as well as offering space to think anthropologically about the European worlds they inhabit. The purpose of this area paper is to tentatively map out contemporary Europe as it is lived, experienced, and understood. Rather than taking the Europe which is under our feet for granted, we will seek vantage points from which to gain a clearer view of the historic and institutional forces at work in everyday lives.

The literature encountered will draw on different geographical regions of Europe in an attempt to explore Europe as a diverse social space, and we will also pay special attention to what we can learn from places and people sometimes considered ‘marginal’ to Europe. Topics covered by the paper include religion and secularism; nationalism and multinationalism; the European Union; migration; nature, class, mental health and care, and the role of socialism and post-socialism.

Teaching in this paper is seminar-led, and students will have the opportunity to work in detail with ethnographic texts that advance the study of Europe. However, throughout our discussions we also hope to draw on the students’ own ethnographic insights and to work with texts and materials beyond conventional academic anthropological literature.

Further information including a list of lecture courses and background reading can be found in the Paper Guide in the Paper Resources section to the right of this page.

Paper Resources

SAN4g: Europe Paper Guide 

For lecture reading lists, additional teaching materials, past exam questions and exam reports for all ethnographic areas please see the SAN4 Moodle Course.

Please note teaching staff and students enrolled on SAN4 will automatically be enrolled on the SAN4 Moodle course and you will find a link to the course in the ‘My Home’ section of Moodle.

If you are a member of the University of Cambridge and you wish to view the reading lists, past exam questions and exam reports then you can access the SAN4 Moodle Course as a guest. For more information on how to access Moodle Courses as a guest please see Moodle Help.