Transregional Center for Democratic Studies

2014 Democracy & Diversity Institute in Wroclaw, Poland

Understanding Modernity 

TCDS is pleased to announce its 23rd annual Democracy & Diversity Graduate Institute that will be held at The New School summer campus in Wroclaw, Poland from July 3 to 19, 2014. 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.

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.

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. Drawing on Wrocław’s culture of the borderland, TCDS’s network of distinguished and dedicated collaborators and alumni, and The New School’s reputation stemming from our long-term engagement in the region, the Democracy & Diversity Institute offers a rigorous program of critical inquiry on some of the most pressing problems of our time.

This year’s program will unfold around the theme Understanding Modernity and will consider the individual and social conditions of modern prejudice and its political consequences; contemporary social movements such as the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall St. and their democratic potential and limitations; the role of political theory in legitimizing violence in its various forms (structural, cultural, symbolic); and the necessity of media in modern democratic life and the role of the “politics of small things.”  This program will be complimented by several study tours of Wrocław’s cultural and historical landmarks as well as several evening events featuring artists and intellectuals from the region.

Our local partners in Poland are the International Institute for the Study of Culture and Education (IISCE) at the University of Lower Silesia and the Ośrodek Szkolenia Państwowej Inspekcji Pracy. 


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:

    Agnes Heller – The New School for Social Research, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy
    James Miller – The New School for Social Research, Professor of Political Science and Liberal Studies
    Elzbieta Matynia – The New School for Social Research, Professor of Sociology and Liberal Studies 
    Jeffrey Goldfarb – The New School for Social Research, Professor of Sociology 

Please view the complete course description here. 


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 Racławicka, 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 Ośrodek 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. 


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.


~Participants from The New School:
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 $2000 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 2014 Graduate Summer Institute for non-New School students is $2500, 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.


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


For all New School applicants, the application deadline is April 14, 2014. 

For all other applicants, the application deadline is April 21, 2014.


 Take a virtual tour of the last D&D Institute in Poland and join us in Wroclaw this summer!


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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