History 408/508
Deviants & Outcasts
in European History

CRN:      25411/25412
When:     Wednesdays, 3:00-5:50
Where:    473 McKenzie Hall

“What will we do without the barbarians?” mused the gay Greek poet Constantine Cavafy. “Those people were a kind of solution”[1]. To one degree or another, every community, every society needs an “Other”: belonging in a community or a society means sharing in perceptions of what its members are and what they are not. Social anthropologists describe this as the “implicit negativity” of social order—the idea that people erect symbolic limits or boundaries to define themselves as a group. Thus society is always a matter both of inclusions as well as exclusions. As such, it is also a matter of power. But what kind of power? How is it exerted? To whose benefit? And at whose expense? On what basis does inclusion and exclusion occur? Orthodox belief? Ethnicity? Sex? Behavior? Birthright? Race? This colloquium examines the formation of European societies through the prism of its opposites—the “Others” by whom European societies defined themselves negatively. The list of “Others” one might examine is long indeed, and no course could hope to embrace the full roster. Instead, this course focuses on a limited set of “Others”—heretics, Jews, sexual “deviants,” and criminals—and traces the evolution of exclusionary practices from the late Middle Ages until the dawn of the industrial era.

David M. Luebke
315 McKenzie Hall
Phone: 346-2394
Email: dluebke@uoregon.edu

Course Syllabus
Course Requirements

[1] Constantine Cavafy, “Expecting the barbarians,” in The Complete Poems of Constantine Cavafy, trans. Rae Dalven (New York, 1976), 18-19.