Transregional Center for Democratic Studies

Democracy & Diversity Institute in Wroclaw, Poland, July 10-26, 2013

Between Past and Future: The Political, the Cultural, and the Civic

The Transregional Center for Democratic Studies (TCDS) is pleased to announce that it will hold its 22nd annual Democracy & Diversity Institute at The New School summer campus in Wroclaw, Poland from July 10 to 26, 2013.  Widely admired as an intimate international forum for lively but rigorous debate on critical issues of democratic life, the D&D Institute brings an interdisciplinary, comparative, and highly interactive approach to the social, political, and cultural challenges facing today’s world. Over the years the D&D Institute has gathered an exceptional international reputation as a major transatlantic bridge that brings Americans and Europeans closer to ideas generated in both parts of the world. This year’s program will unfold around the theme Between Past and Future: The Political, the Cultural, and the Civic, and will consider the institutional politics versus social movements; cultural politics of memory; today’s relevance of political and philosophical thought of Hannah Arendt; and the democratic potential and performativity of urban spaces and structures.

The D&D Institute is organized by the Transregional Center for Democratic Studies, which has nurtured over the years a growing but closely knit network of extraordinary alumni occupying positions of high responsibility on both sides of the ocean. Our local partner in Poland is the International Institute for the Study of Culture and Education (IISCE) at the University of Lower Silesia.



New School students register for 2 out of the 4 graduate-level seminars offered, and receive 6 credits, while other participants receive Institute certificates. The following courses are offered at this year’s Wroclaw Institute:

  • SOCIAL IMAGINARY OF THE URBAN: The Spatial, the Temporal and the Political in Wroclaw (GSOC 5193/CRN 1919 & GLIB 5500/CRN 1955)
    Elzbieta Matynia – The New School for Social Research, Sociology and Liberal Studies
    Susan Yelavich – Parsons The New School for Design, Design Studies
  • HANNAH ARENDT: Politics and Philosophy (PHI 6686/CRN 1912 & GPOL 6686/CRN 1940)
    Richard J. Bernstein – The New School for Social Research, Philosophy
    Carol L. Bernstein – Bryn Mawr College, English and Comparative Literature
    Jeffrey Goldfarb – The New School for Social Research, Sociology

Please view the complete course description. 


Located between Berlin, Prague, and Warsaw, and saturated with the history and memory of these three distinct cultures, Wroclaw (formerly Breslau) is a beautiful and booming city that uniquely conveys both the challenges and the promise of a united Europe. To acquaint the participants with Wroclaw’s culture and history, the Institute organizes several tours that will include a walking tour of Wroclaw, where the students will explore the city’s architectural and historical landmarks such as the modernist masterpiece Centennial Hall, the famous Panorama Raclawicka, and the City Hall; a guided tour of Lower Silesia, including the Gross-Rosen Nazi Concentration Camp; and a boat tour of Wroclaw.

Additionally, there will be several evening events with artists and intellectuals from the region.


The Institute participants will be housed in The Park Hotel of the Osrodka Szkolenia Panstwowej Inspekcji Pracy conference center conveniently located amidst the beautiful Szczytnicki Park about a 30-40 minute walk to the city historical center and close to the iconic Centennial Hall. The Hotel’s unique building, which was designed in 1929 by the prominent modernist architect Hans Scharoun (1893-1972), features the principle of organic architecture promoting harmony between human habitation and the natural world. To see pictures of the building and for more information about the Park Hotel please visit its website. The participants will share double and triple rooms in the modernist residence and classes will be held in the next-door conference center. Breakfast and lunch will be served in the hotel.



Please view the application instructions and download an application form here.



For all New School applicants, the extended deadline for applications is APRIL 5, 2013.

For all other applicants, the deadline for applications is APRIL 22, 2013.


See you in Wroclaw!   



The New School for Social Research
6 East 16th St., Rm 921, NY, NY 10003
212-229-5100 ext. 3136

Elzbieta Matynia, Director
212-229-5580 ext. 3137

Lala Pop, Program Manager,
PhD Student, Politics
212-229-5100 ext. 3136

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