16/05/2013 - Europe in Image and Imagination
On May 16th, Metropolitan University Prague hosted a discussion/round-table organized by one of the MUP/IIR’s own PhD students - Daniela Chalániová - who presented her PhD project "Europe in Image and Imagination" to the academic public.
Main purpose of the round-table was to call on experts as well as students interested in European studies, to take part in discussing the project’s strengths as well as weaknesses, to act as the proverbial ‘devil’s advocate’ and give scholarly feedback. And although the discussants were not many in number, their contributions were all the more illuminating.
First, Daniela introduced the project’s background and objectives before proceeding with theory of constructivist thought on European identity and conditions of current economic crisis that bring the questions of European political project to the fore. Of course, many books have been written on European identity, however, to Daniela’s best knowledge, no one has ever done a multi-country analysis of political cartoons with an aim to compare the visual discursive processes about Europe. To this end a tailor-made theory and methodology were presented and discussed at some length afterwards, fulfilling the goal of the round-table. Part of the round-table was also dedicated to presentation of partial results of the PhD project, which cautiously point towards seeds of European identity.
The author is grateful for participation and constructive criticism especially from Ben Tallis and George Hays II.