Unhomely Europes

Dimitris Eleftheriotis
Murray Pratt
Ilaria Vanni


This special issue of PORTAL constitutes an indirect, sideways reflection on the EU’s move toward (re-)discovering, establishing, and promoting shared cultural values. It seeks to unveil not the official historical contexts and traditions in which contemporary inventions of cultural identity occur. Rather, its aim is to discover and listen to competing voices and alternative visions—be they cultural, social, political, literary or cinematic—that give different shape to trans-European identities and model union, commonality, and belonging, according to transregional or translocal values. The special issue, then, is an exploration of possible forms of frictions occurring across the European cultural and historical landscape. It questions the pre-eminence of formal EU discourses on values, and the branding of Europe in the global marketplace, by listening to marginalised, unheard or discordant Euro-voices. The issue demonstrates the need for more rigorous theorisations of notions such as ‘value,’ whether ‘shared’ or ‘cultural,’ in the European region, and posits alternative mappings and visions of European belonging and identity. The essays included in this special issue consider Europe as a locus of frictions, consensus, tension, contestation and reconciliation. This locus is capable of co-locating Scotland with the Costa Brava, crossing Swedish views of Russia with their converse, recognising a Europe of borders that continuously unfold, acknowledging the interference of historical memories, and inflecting the Houellebecquian Euro-futurescape with Greco-Australian undertones; to cite a few examples of vibrant transvaluation occurring in the issue.

Full Text:



Anderson, B. 1991, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, Verso, London and New York.

Balibar E. 2004, We, the People of Europe?: Reflections on Transnational Citizenship, Princeton University Press, Princeton N.J.

Beunderman, M. 2006, 'Fresh EU Presidency Attacks European Court of Justice, ' Friends of Europe. [Online]. Available: http://www.friendsofeurope.org/index.asp?http://www.friendsofeurope.org/news_detail.asp?ID=568 & page=det & frame=yes~bas . [Accessed 25 February 2007].

Commission of the European Communities 2004a, Communication from the Commission Making Citizenship Work: Fostering European Culture and Diversity through Programmes for Youth, Culture, Audiovisual and Civic Participation. [Online]. Available: http://europa.eu.int/comm/dgs/education_culture/comcitizen_en.pdf . [Accessed 25 February 2007].

Commission of the European Communities 2004b, Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council Establishing the Culture 2007 Programme (2007-2013). [Online]. Available: http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/lex/LexUriServ/site/en/com/2004/com2004_0469en01.pdf [Accessed 20 August 2007].

Commission of the European Communities 2005, Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council Concerning the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue (2008). [Online]. Available: http://europa.eu.int/comm/culture/portal/events/pdf/proposal_en.pdf . [Accessed 25 February 2007].

Commission of the European Communities 2006, 'Article 151' Treaty Establishing the European Community. [Online]. Available: http://europa.eu.int/comm/culture/eac/sources_info/official_doc/article151_en.html . [Accessed 25 February 2007]

European Council 2002, 'Council Resolution of 21 January 2002 on the Role of Culture in the Development of the European Union, ' Official Journal C 032, 5 February.

Figel, J. 2005, 'The Role of Artists and Cultural Actors, ' speech 05/118 delivered to the European Commission conference on 'Dialogue Between Peoples and Cultures, ' Brussels. [Online]. Available: http://europa.eu.int/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=SPEECH/05/118 & format=HTML & aged=0 & language=EN & guiLanguage=en [Accessed 25 February 2007].

Freud, S. 1977, 'The Uncanny, ' in Writings on Literature and Art, Stanford University Press, Stanford, 193-233.

Hassan, S. and Dadi, I. 2001, 'Unpacking Europe, ' in Unpacking Europe, Towards a Critical Reading, S. Hassan and I. Dadi (eds), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Nai Publishers, Rotterdam. [Online]. Available: http://europa.eu.int/eurlex/lex/LexUriServ/site/en/com/2004/com2004_0469en01.pdf . [Accessed 25 February 2007].

Klapisch, C. 2003, L'Auberge espagnol (The Spanish Apartment), Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

Passerini, L. 2002, Il mito d'Europa. radici antiche per nuovi simboli, Giunti, Firenze.

Pratt, M., and Rosello, M. (eds) 2007 'Creolisation: Towards a Non-Eurocentric Europe, ' Special issue of Culture, Theory and Critique, Spring.

Thieler, T. 2005, Political Symbolism and Political Integration, Manchester University Press, Manchester.

Tsing, A. 2005, Friction. An Ethnography of Global Connection, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, and Oxford.


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5130/portal.v4i2.581

Share this article: