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Democracy & Diversity Summer Institute

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2008-05-06 15:04:26 / News read 2464 reading

The Transregional Center for Democratic Studies (TCDS) announces its seventeenth annual Democracy & Diversity Summer Institute in Krakow, Poland. Widely known for creating an intimate forum for lively but rigorous debate on critical issues of democratic life, the Institute offers an intensive program that is equivalent to a full semester of graduate study.

We bring together an international group of civic-minded young scholars and students who work closely with expert faculty addressing social, political, and cultural challenges to democracy and democratization in the host region and beyond.

Courses
• Cosmopolitanism and its Discontents
Professors Elzbieta Matynia, Committee on Liberal Studies & Department of Sociology, The New School for Social Research; Andreas Kalyvas, Political Science, The New School for Social Research

Whether defined as moral and political theory, as ethical ideal -- or as a discourse on social belonging that transcends the national, shapes new transnational identities, and advances the concept of flexible citizenship -- cosmopolitanism has recently re-entered philosophical, social and political discourse as an alternative paradigm to the nation-state and bounded territorial communities. Cosmopolitanism makes it possible to reimagine the world as a dialogical polity and a place that could constitute a home for all. This seminar will examine the classical foundations of cosmopolitan thought in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy and trace its modern reappearance in Western Enlightenment, engage in close examination of its relation to nationalism, democracy, liberalism, multiculturalism, empire, and globalization, and consider some of its most vocal critics. Questions pertaining to the relationship between universalism and particularism, pluralism and difference, war and peace, and civic life and individual human rights will be central to the seminar's discussions.

• Gender Stable & Unstable: Case Studies in the Changing Meaning of Gender
Professor Ann Snitow, Committee on Gender Studies and Feminist Theory, The New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College

The equality-difference debates that are so central to feminist thought often turn on questions of fixed or unfixed identity. The politics of equality can make differences (for example, of gender or race) invisible while a politics that emphasizes difference can obscure important similarities, a dynamic that has played out in divergent ways and with very varied political effects. This course will survey a number of cases of what legal theorist Martha Minow has called “the dilemma of difference.” All politics configures an imagined constituency - but how? Examples will include: post-1989 East and Central Europe, where gender has been actively, aggressively renegotiated by a number of different actors; queer theory and debates about transsexual identity, in which some have claimed the right to fix a new identity as an essential freedom; legal discourses, past and present, in which states, international bodies (the United Nations, the European Union, or the World Bank), and social movements have all struggled to define what a progressive position on the meaning of gender would be and have often disagreed about how to shape a just and liberating gender-sensitive politics. We will look at a range of answers to the question of just how flexible and changeable gender is - or should be. Theoretical and practical discussions of gender stability and instability are rich, varied, agonistic, and suggestive for anyone interested in social change.

• Memory, Trauma, Genocide, Evil
Professors Carol L. Bernstein, Department of English and Comparative Literature, Bryn Mawr College; Richard J. Bernstein, Department of Philosophy, The New School for Social Research

In the second half of the twentieth century and the first years of the current century, philosophers and social scientists, psychologists and literary scholars, as well as journalists and poets, have encountered traumatic historical events and pursued new ways of thinking about them. Some of these new modes of thought, and the discourses they have engendered, will be the subject of this interdisciplinary course. We will pursue a line of inquiry about historical traumas and their relation to cultural/collective memory, their role in our understanding of genocide, and their relation to ideas/ theories of evil. The reading and discussion sessions will focus upon issue that are relevant to historical traumas in general, including but not limited to the Holocaust , the genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, and Darfur, and the decades of terror and military rule in Latin America. Thus when we examine cultural memory, we will explore the “wars” between memory and history as well as the role of individual testimony in constructing histories. The introduction of the term “genocide” as well as responses in the community of nations to actual genocides will be part of our discussions. We will explore theories of evil – and examine forms of resistance to terror, genocide and evil. The texts will include the work of philosophers (Arendt, Améry), psychoanalytic practitioners (Laub) and theorists (Caruth), historians (Friedländer, Assmann), journalists (Powers, Emcke), poets (Milosz) and other writers, sociologists and anthropologists. The texts will be supplemented with videos/DVDs.

• Political Culture, Then and Now
Professor Jeffrey Goldfarb, Department of Sociology, The New School for Social Research

In this course, the relationship between knowledge and power, politics and truth will be investigated. The starting point of the inquiry will be a close reading of two crucial texts, Hannah Arendt’s “Truth and Politics,” and Michel Foucault’s “Truth and Power.” These texts will be used to engage in a comparative historical inquiry into the problems of political culture. The comparative study will be between East Central Europe and the United States, as political culture has been defined in 1968, 1989 and 2001. Special consideration will be given to the constitution of political generations and the problematics of transmission of political experience from one generation to the next. Each week of the course will be structured around what preceded the events of the year analyzed, and what followed, and the challenging connections between past and future. The course has its roots in the history of TCDS, the East Central Europe Program and the Democracy Seminar. When these New School activities were first developed, our project was to cross the geopolitical divide in exploring the promise and problems of democracy. A theoretical and practical dialogue developed that was mutually respectful, in which the insights of those with experience in opposition to totalitarianism informed and were informed by those with theoretical insights drawn from experience in more open societies. This new course will continue these discussions, now between those who were informed by different key political moments in the recent past from a variety of different places. Now, as it was in the earlier moments of our work in the region, the dialogue between East Central Europe and North America will be used to explore an understanding of democracy and its problems in both regions and beyond (including specifically Western Europe and the Middle East).

Extracurricular Activities
• Evening Sessions:
Past guest speakers have included Shlomo Avineri (Hebrew University Jerusalem), Claus Offe (Humboldt University Berlin), Adam Michnik (Editor, Gazeta Wyborcza), Czeslaw Milosz (Poet, Nobel Laureate), Edward Mortimer (Director, Executive Office of the Secretary-General, United Nations), Adam Zagajewski (Poet, Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago), Krzysztof Czyzewski (Director, Borderlands Foundation), and others.

• Study Tours:
In addition to the study tour to Auschwitz-Birkenau, the year’s cultural program will include an exploration of architectural and historical landmarks, including Nowa Huta (New Steel Mill), one of the most emblematic socialist towns in the region; and Krakow’s former Jewish Quarter, Kazimierz, visits to museums, and meetings with artists and political figures.

Accommodation
Przegorzaly Castle, on the outskirts of Krakow, is situated on a wooded hilltop with a spectacular view of the Vistula River and the Tatra Mountains, and is easily reached from the city by public transportation. The adjacent academic hotel, where program participants will be housed, offers comfortable double rooms with bath and telephone.

Program Costs
• Participants from The New Schooll for Social Research:
Tuition costs for courses taken for credit at the 2008 Summer Institute in Krakow are based on the summer 2008 NSSR tuition rates; New School financial aid is applicable. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information.

In addition to the cost of tuition, there is a program fee of $500 which will cover participants’ full room and board for the duration of the Institute, as well as course readers and the cultural program. Travel costs are not included.

• Particiipants from Eugene Lang College:
Tuition costs for courses taken for credit at the 2008 Summer Institute in Krakow are based on the Fall 2008 Eugene Lang College tuition rates; New School financial aid is applicable. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information.

In addition to the cost of tuition, there is a program fee of $1000 which will cover participants’ full room and board for the duration of the Institute, as well as course readers and the cultural program. Travel costs are not included.

• Participants from all other New Schooll divisions:
Tuition costs for courses taken at the 2008 Summer Institute in Krakow are based on the summer 2008 NSSR tuition rates; financial aid is applicable. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information.

The program fee of the 2008 Summer Institute is $2500, covering course readers, cultural program, and full room & board. Travel costs are not included.

• Participants from other universities in tthe US and universities/NGOs in Central & Eastern Europe, Central Asia & the Caucasus, and Southeast Asia:
The program fee of the 2008 Summer Institute is USD 2500, covering tuition, course readers, cultural program, and full room & board. Travel costs are not included. Applicants are strongly encouraged to seek funding independently during the application process. A limited number of scholarships may be available to qualified candidates from Central & Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Caucasus, covering economy travel, tuition, course readers, cultural program, and room & board at the Institute.

Eligibility
Applicants (with the exception of those from Eugene Lang College) must have completed their undergraduate studies by the time of the Institute and should be either enrolled in an advanced degree program or working as junior university teachers or researchers. Preference will be given to those applicants who can demonstrate active involvement in civil society and civic life.

How to Apply
Application instructions differ between three categories of applicants: 1. Candidates from The New Schooll graduatte diviisions and Consortium Universities in New York:
To receive an application form, contact Christine Emeran, Office of Admissions, The New School for Social Research, 65 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003; tel.: (212) 229-5710, (800) 523-5411 (from outside NYC); fax: (212) 989-7102; email socialresearchadmit@newschool.edu. For further information, contact TCDS at
(212) 229-5580 ext. 3136, email tcds@newschool.edu, or see our website www.newschool.edu/tcds.

2. Candidates from Eugene Lang College:
In order to be admitted into the program, applicants must be enrolled at the Lang College as juniors or seniors. ELC students in the Social and Historical Inquiry and Cultural Studies & Media concentrations are especially encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to those applicants who can demonstrate active involvement in civil society and civic life.

To receive an application form and for further information, contact Kim Foote, Sophomore Class & Study
Abroad Advisor, at 64 West 11th Street, Rm. 108, email footek@newschool.edu.

3. Candidates from other universities in tthe U.S. and universities and NGOs in Central & Eastern Europe, Central Asia & the Caucasus, or other regions:
Interested graduate students and junior faculty members should send an application package consisting of the following materials:
□ Application letter including the applicant's full name, date of birth, gender, nationality, address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address, educational background, degrees received, and current institutional affiliation (CV/resume). Also indicate which two courses you would be taking in the program.

□ Evidence of substantial English language skills (TOEFL test result or statement by an Englishspeaking faculty member, or comparable).

□ One or two page personal statement outlining your own analysis of the current societal, political, or cultural issues (conflicts, problems) in your home country which you deem most pressing or significant as challenges to democracy or democratization there, and a description of how your own ongoing work relates to these issues and to your decision to apply to the Democracy & Diversity Institute.

□ One letter of recommendation.
All application materials can be submitted via e-mail: tcds@newschool.edu (include KR08 APPLICATION in the subject heading); mailing address: Transregional Center for Democratic Studies, Attn: Krakow 08, The New School for Social Research, 80 Fifth Avenue, Room 517, New York, NY 10011, USA; fax (1 212) 229-5894.

Recommendation letter must be sent from the email address belonging to its author or as an attachment to the application letter if scanned. For further information, contact TCDS at (1 212) 229-5580 ext. 3136 or email: tcds@newschool.edu.

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