What does global migration look like when viewed from Europe? Why have some people left Europe and others tried to go there? Why has immigration become such a divisive issue in Europe today? This class will answer these questions by looking at the long history of migration into and out of Europe. This exploration will cover the early Atlantic crossings, the slave trade, and the mass migrations of the nineteenth century, as well as the world wars, the end of imperialism, the 2015 refugee crisis, and Brexit. Along the way we will encounter fascinating historical sources: memoirs and diaries, censuses and laws, films and oral histories. We will also look at how historians work: at the kind of questions they ask, the sources they use, the interpretations they offer, and the way they present their findings. The aim is to give you a set of skills that will help you in this class, in other areas of history, and in your other classes at Colgate. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for a 100-level HIST course and satisfy one half of the Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents area of inquiry requirement.
Robert Nemes teaches courses in European and global history. These include The First World War, Germany and Eastern Europe, 1848-1989, and Coffee and Cigarettes: A Global History. He is now writing a book about the hidden history of immigration in Eastern Europe.