Europe and European Civilisation as Seen from its Margins and by the Rest of the World, in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
Edited By Michael Wintle
PART I. INTRODUCTORY 13
PART I INTRODUCTORY 15 INTRODUCTION Perceptions of Europe within and without Michael WINTLE This collection of essays revolves around the highly topical question, “What is Europe?” What are its values, what are its borders, and what does it stand for? Many academic enquiries have posed these questions; this book, however, asks them from a different point of view. Perception and image-formation often have to do with identity for- mation: images of self-perception are what we use to define our own identity, and we are helped in doing so by our perceptions or images of what we are not: our opposites, or Others. Europeans too have formed a collective identity in the same way, certainly since the Renaissance, defining what unites them, and what they think they are not. But what have the others thought of Europe? The authors of the essays in this volume are thus not so much interested in what Europe thinks of itself, but rather in what others think of it. The contributors take a number of scenarios from recent history, and examine how Europe has appeared to people in other parts of the globe: America, China, the Arab world, for example. But we go further. The question is also posed for some parts of the world which are “inside” Europe, but which for one reason or anoth- er hover on the margins, like the Balkans, and Turkey. Also included are the views about Europe held in parts of the continent which have with- out any doubt...
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