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AP European History: Current Issues in Europe Mini-Seminar (19912015)

This is your final task as a student of AP European History; it is meant to assess your grasp of how history
links to the present, your capacity to grasp complex and contested issues, and your skills in presentation
and leadership of discussion. Your assignment is to create and deliver a 25-minute seminar on a topic that
is important in Europe today. The seminar must integrate:
(1) an inquiry question that must provide the seminar with a sense of focus and direction that is followedup upon in the remaining elements of the seminar; it must also stimulate discussion among students, so
while it does not have to be controversial, it does need to introduce a contested idea;
(2) a basic historical background (1991*-2015) of the issue, which you must present as a 3-5 minute
(this is a solid minimum/maximum) lecture with illustrations including relevant maps, data (charts or tables),
photos, political cartoons, etc. A source for current data is the CIA World Factbook:;
(3) a recent (no more than one year old) analysis piece from Christian Science Monitor, Der Spiegel,
The Economist, International Herald Tribune, Le Monde, London Times, Moscow Times, Newsweek,
New York Times, Time, U. S. News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal, or the Washington Post -- if
you are struggling, I can help you find an appropriate piece; you must provide time (7-10 minutes so limit
the amount of reading to two pages) during the seminar for the students to read this, or you may conduct a
group reading, but either way you must include 2-3 questions for students to respond to in writing
while reading to prepare them for the discussion to follow;
(4) a guided discussion (or debate) of the issue with the class, which you must begin with provocative
questions and sustain with your responses to students comments and questions; this should last 10
minutes or so. At the end of this discussion, I will ask you to reflect on the success of the seminar.
Your group will also submit a bibliography that will include all sources used to create the seminar.
Your grade (out of 50 points included as a summative assessment for Grading Period 4) will take into
account the quality of each piece separately, but also how effectively the four parts work together to produce
a coherent seminar.
* = you may need to go back to events earlier than 1991 to provide historical context, and that is fine, but
the bulk of this part of the seminar should focus on events since the end of the Cold War. As a rule of
thumb, make 1-2 minutes the maximum amount of time spent on events prior to 1991.
These seminars will be delivered during class periods on the senior exam days -- Wednesday/Thursday
May 20/21 (or before if you prefer to get yours out of the way in anticipation of being loaded down on exam

Available topics (pick one of the bulleted topics)

Resurgent Nationalism

Catalan and/or Basque independence movement in Spain

Flemish nationalism in Belgium
Scots independence movement in U. K.
Breton (Brittany) independence movement in France

Migration and Ethnic Prejudice

EU migration policy versus anti-immigration sentiments

Neo-Nazism in Germany and elsewhere

Religions Place in Society

The rise of secularism and apathy; decline of religious practice

The Roman Catholic Church under Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis I
Turkeys secular state in an Islamic nation
Muslims in Europe; images of the Prophet Muhammad

The European Role in the Middle East

European policy toward Israel

Responses to the Madrid and London bombings; Europe vs. al-Quaeda
NATOs role in Afghanistan, Lybia, and Syria
Potential sources of future terror attacks in Europe; is ISIS a threat to Europe?

The European Union

German (Angela Merkel) and French (Francois Hollande) leadership

The Greek (Spanish / Portuguese / Italian / Irish) Debt Crisis
Question of Turkish membership
The British Conservative Landslide (May 2015 Election) and potential withdrawal from EU

Russian and the Future of Europe

Putin and the revival of the Russian economy

Russia and terrorism
Russian imperialism: Chechnya, Georgia, Ukraine
Russia and its relations with NATO/the United States

You may also propose a topic that does not appear on this list, but it must be approved by the instructor.