Full Program Information

Join us at the New School’s summer campus in the New Europe!

Wroclaw (Breslau) in 17th Century

For the 25th Anniversary Democracy & Diversity Graduate Summer Institute
Wrocław [Vrots-love], Poland

July 5-21, 2016

In Unsettling Times: An Effort in Understanding

The Democracy & Diversity Institute, organized annually by the Transregional Center for Democratic Studies (TCDS), is widely admired as an intimate international forum for lively but rigorous debate on critical issues of democratic life, offering an interdisciplinary, comparative, and highly interactive approach to the social, political, and cultural challenges facing today’s world.

Given the combination of an amazingly diverse student body from all over the region and beyond, the dedicated New School faculty, a challenging curriculum, a setting conducive to both debate and esprit de corps, and the magic of old Wroclaw – but also unsettling reminders of the last century’s darkest hours (and the graphic presence of the current crisis) – the Institute has invariably become a transformative experience personally, intellectually, and professionally.

This year’s extraordinary anniversary program will include three graduate seminars (of which each participant chooses two for a full semester’s credit); a special conference on The Shrinking of Democratic Space, organized by the NSSR-Europe Collective, a network of our distinguished alumni and dedicated collaborators throughout Europe; a book launch of one of the professors; as well as guest speakers – artists and intellectuals – from the region, and study tours of Wrocław and Lower Silesia.

Located between Berlin, Prague, and Warsaw, and saturated with the history and memory of these three distinct cultures, Wrocław (formerly Breslau) is a beautiful and booming city that uniquely conveys both the challenges and the promise of a united Europe. This year’s program will unfold around the theme In Unsettling Times: An Effort in Understanding. Drawing on Wroclaw’s   culture of the borderlands, the D&D Institute will offer a rigorous program of critical inquiry on some of the most pressing problems of our time. The intensive seminar sessions will consider ethics at the margins and intersectional critique; catastrophic events and the politics of memory; and the role of new sources, forms, and targets of political violence.

Through a happy coincidence, this year Wroclaw has been chosen as a Cultural Capital of Europe. A great moment to be there with us!

 

COURSES OFFERED:

New School students register for 2 courses and receive 6 credits. Other participants will receive Institute certificates. All participants select 2 out of the following 3 graduate-level seminars:

 

Memory, Trauma, Evil

Richard J. Bernstein – Vera List Professor of Philosophy, NSSR

Carol L. Bernstein—Bryn Mawr College, English and Comparative Literature

In this course, we will examine a group of catastrophic events, not as representations of history in itself, but as events that lead us to a deeper understanding of memory, trauma, genocide and evil: the Holocaust, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the war in Vietnam, the “dirty war” in Argentina, the genocides in Cambodia and Rwanda.  Our readings will include historical accounts, testimonies of survivors, and philosophic commentaries. Together, these readings are concerned with such issues as the use and abuse of memory, the politics of memory, the interplay of memory and forgetting.  We will examine the nature of trauma as it is manifested in individuals and groups. We will trace the history of the term “genocide,” and relate it to theories of evil. As supplements to the reading, we will include passages from related films.

 

Seeing in the Margins – on the Ethics and Politics of Sight

Alice Crary – Associate Professor of Philosophy, NSSR

Social criticism is often conceived as grounded in forms of worldly understanding that present challenges not properly classified as either technical or scientific. Theorists frequently maintain that, if we are to bring social practices into view in a manner relevant to critique, we need to be willing to imaginatively explore the various historical, ethical and cultural perspectives that are at play. The resulting imaginative task is complicated by what are sometimes call ‘intersections’ among distinct historical and cultural perspectives (say, intersections among perspectives shaped by racist, sexist or classist bias). This course is dedicated to a theoretical and case-based investigation of these complex demands. Or, to put it in terms of the course’s guiding metaphor, it is dedicated to a theoretical and case-based investigation of the demands of seeing morally and politically important features of social life. Course materials will include congenial treatments of the nature and difficulty of social understanding within Critical Theory (e.g., writings by Benhabib, Butler, Habermas, Honneth, Horkheimer and Jaeggi), and they will also include excerpts from the work of feminist theorists, critical race theorists and others who grapple with these issues in particular cases (e.g., Kimberlé Crenshaw’s work on Anita Hill and Claire Jean Kim’s work on Michael Vick as well as on aspects of the Black Lives Matter movement).

 

Romancing Violence: Theories and Practices of Political Violence

Elzbieta Matynia – The New School for Social Research, Professor of Sociology and Liberal Studies

Given measurable success in recent decades in the creation of both a political culture and political mechanisms to bring about the end of military dictatorships and a peaceful dismantling of oppressive regimes, how is it that the original sin of politics, namely the use of force and violence, seems to be enjoying a spectacular rebound? How to read the newly bourgeoning sources, forms, and targets of violence? To what extent are they transforming the world as we know it?  While exploring classical propositions concerning the role of violence in bringing about social and political change – from Marx, through Weber, Lenin, Gramsci, Arendt, and Benjamin, to more recent thinkers such as Foucault, Derrida, Zizek, and Michnik – we will look at different types of political violence and its specific instances, and revisit Arendt’s well-known distinction between the justifiability and the legitimacy of violence. Conscious of the traditional forms of political violence – wars, revolutions, and armed-struggle movements – we will pay particular attention to the forms and consequences of structural violence, but also examine the forms of cultural and symbolic violence that routinely serve to legitimize violence. Using historical, but also hermeneutical and phenomenological approaches, we will explore ideas, practices, and events generated in different parts of the world, with an emphasis on Europe, Latin America, and Southern Africa.

 

ACCOMMODATION

The Institute participants will be housed in the ‘Brownstone Under the Angels’ Residence located adjacent to the historical city center. http://kamienicapodaniolami.pl/en/

 

ELIGIBILITY

Graduate applicants: Applicants should have completed their undergraduate studies by the time of the Institute and should be either enrolled in a postgraduate 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.

Advanced undergraduate applicants: Applicants must be enrolled as juniors or seniors. Preference will be given to those applicants who, while academically inclined, can demonstrate an active interest in civic life.

 

PROGRAM COSTS

~Participants from The New School:

Tuition: Tuition for applicants from The New School is based on the tuition they pay at their respective home divisions. New School financial aid is applicable. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information.

Program Fee: The program fee of $2,000 covers participants’ room and partial board (breakfast and lunch) for the duration of the Institute, as well as the cultural program of lectures, tours, opening and closing receptions, etc. Travel costs are not included. Successful applicants can apply for support in their respective divisions. New School for Social Research (NSSR) students may apply directly to TCDS for support in covering the program fee.  We encourage all applicants to look for outside funding sources.

~Participants from other institutions in the US and abroad:

Program Fee: The program fee of the 2016 Graduate Summer Institute for non-New School students is $2,000, covering tuition (non-credit), room and partial board (breakfast and lunch), and the cultural program of lectures, tours, opening and closing receptions, etc. Travel costs are not included. We strongly encourage all applicants to look for funding sources from their home institutions and local organizations.

 

HOW TO APPLY

Application form is available on the TCDS Web site at: http://blogs.newschool.edu/tcds/files/2016/02/WR16_ApplicationForm.pdf .

~All Applicants from The New School need to submit:

Completed application form ● CV or resume ● Application essay (approx. 500 words describing how the Institute would complement one’s academic experience to date and enhance educational and professional goals for the future) ● New School academic transcript (unofficial)

~All other Applicants need to submit:

Completed application form ● CV or resume ● Application essay in English (approx. 500 words describing how the Institute would complement one’s academic experience to date and enhance educational and professional goals for the future) ● One letter of recommendation sent from the e-mail address belonging to its author or as an attachment to the application letter if scanned ● TOEFL or other evidence of substantial English language skills is required if coming from a non-English speaking country ●Applicants affiliated with an NGO or a civic organization should also include a brief description of the nature of the work undertaken by their organization

 

WHERE TO SUBMIT

~Applicants from The New School except for Eugene Lang College:  Please submit application materials to TCDS via e-mail: tcds@newschool.edu with the subject “WR16 Application.”tcds@newschool.edu You can also submit your application in person at TCDS, 80 Fifth Ave, 5th Floor, Room#517, NY, NY 10011.

~Applicants from Eugene Lang College:  Please submit application materials to Maria Ferroni, Program Coordinator for Student Affairs and Global Initiatives by e-mail: Langstudyabroad@newschool.edu with the subject “WR16 Application.” You can also submit your application in person at Study Abroad, 64 W 11th St, New York, NY, tel: 212.229.5100 x2260.

~Applicants from Poland: All applicants from Poland should apply through the International Institute for the Study of Culture and Education (IISCE) at the University of Lower Silesia. Please submit application materials via e-mail: iisce@dsw.edu.pl with the subject “WR16 Application”; or via fax: +48 71 356 15 72.

~All other Applicants: Please submit application materials to TCDS via e-mail: tcds@newschool.edu with the subject “WR16 Application.”  You can also send your application by mail to The Transregional Center for Democratic Studies (TCDS), 80 Fifth Ave, 5th Floor, Room#517, New York, NY 10011.

 

THE APPLICATION DEADLINE

For all New School applicants, the application deadline is April 11, 2016.

For all other applicants, the application deadline is April 22, 2016.

For more information, please contact us by e-mail at tcds@newschool.edu or by phone at 212 229-5580 ext. 3137.