Trans-Atlantic Summer Institute (TASI)
Reframing Mass Violence in Europe and the Americas: The Holocaust & Global Memory Constellations
Trans-Atlantic Summer Institute in European Studies—Graduate Student Fellowship Program
June 12 - June 19, 2016, Universität Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany
Application deadline: Friday, March 11, 2016
Presented by the Center for German & European Studies at the University of Minnesota, which is funded by the University of Minnesota and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), in cooperation with Universität Bayreuth (Germany).
We thank all cooperating partners and sponsors for their generous support.
Working Schedule/Program. Full program content is available for registered participants in the Summer Institute after admission to the program. If you are a registered participant and need to access this page, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since 2001 the Trans-Atlantic Summer Institutes (TASI) provide a unique forum for advanced graduate students from North America, Germany, and other European countries to explore together topics relating to Germany's and Europe's history, politics, and society. Each summer, 10-12 European and 10-12 North American graduate students work intensively for two weeks and explore in depth questions that will enrich their dissertations in German and European Studies. The Summer Institutes are co-taught by a multi-disciplinary team of faculty and aim to make a major contribution to the training of the next generation of experts on Germany and Europe. They introduce European students to the American university; North American students will acquire a similar familiarity with the European setting. They foster the international discussions and collaborations that are fundamental to the scholarly enterprise. As a student in the Summer Institute, you will learn how to combine the best aspects of training in both settings—the close attention to archival sources and their interpretation in Europe with the broad trans-disciplinary readings that characterize North American scholarship.
TASI is a non-credit seminar for advanced graduate-level students in all fields; the 2016 Institute will convene on the campus of the Universität Bayreuth (Bayreuth, Germany).
Topic: Reframing Mass Violence in Europe and the Americas: The Holocaust & Global Memory Constellations
This Summer Institute’s objective is to explore the particular developments and transnational entanglements of memory discourses in societies revisiting their legacies of large-scale political violence. This entails processes of re-interpretation, renaming and reframing of a) the atrocities themselves and b) the (often questioned) transitional justice mechanisms that were adopted in their aftermaths. We place special emphasis on the analyses of practices, rituals and social events that help creating, supporting and disseminating social memories related to mass violence.
We look forward to assembling a group of emerging scholars who bring interdisciplinary commitments and concerns to their work, and who are interested in sharing their work with their peers internationally.
Sample questions that might serve as the framework for our discussions include:
- How are events reframed through Holocaust-related and also specifically legally-bound concepts such as “genocide,” “crimes against humanity,” and “forced disappearances”? And how are these concepts becoming a guide for action for grassroots organizations, shape the content and terminology in ceremonies, museums, memorials and other sites of memory, become recurrent tropes in literature, film, and art?
- How do different generations in the same setting look at the past from different time angles and how does generational transition involve different interpretations of past events in different contexts?
- What is the role of organizations and institutions (such as the judicial world, human rights advocacy networks, mass media, and the academic community) that mediate the production, public articulation, circulation, and legitimation of memories of mass violence?
- How do new forms of communication shape, transform or enhance social memories of mass violence? What challenges emerge from the use of digital and visual forms of communication in this area?
- What methods of analysis are appropriate for studying phenomena in this field? How can we deal with technical, legal, ethical restrictions and possible distortion? How can we balance analysis, scrutiny and activism?
The TASI’s collective discussions across disciplinary and geographic boundaries will serve to identify new emerging patterns of social memory, which have distinct national features and are at the same time shaped by interdependence, linkages, and transnational cross-fertilization.
Sponsored by the Center for German and European Studies through a grant of the DAAD.
Bernt Schnettler is Professor of Sociology at the University of Bayreuth (Germany). He has written on different areas in the sociology of knowledge, including religious experiences and memory rituals, computer supported presentations and cultural events in social worlds of migration. His research interests encompass phenomenology, hermeneutics, interaction, social forms of knowledge, visual sociology and sociological theory. By studying social forms of communication and social events, he seeks to explore the intersection of interaction, communication and processes of constructing, disseminating and legitimizing meaning and knowledge in contemporary societies.
Alejandro Baer is Associate Professor of Sociology, Stephen C. Feinstein Chair and Director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota. He has published on social memory theory and research methods, visual sociology, Holocaust representations and antisemitism in Europe. His current research interests include comparative genocide studies and memory politics. He is particularly interested in the socio-political consequences of memory narratives and the delicate relationship between processes of collective remembering, reconciliatory initiatives, and the demands of justice in post-conflict or post-authoritarian societies.
In addition to the lead faculty, several guest faculty will participate in the workshop. These guest faculty include Natan Sznaider, Professor of Sociology at Academic College Tel Aviv-Yaffo, Israel, and Francisco Ferrándiz, researcher in the Institute of Languages, Literature and Anthropology at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Madrid.
The Institute is intended for advanced graduate students working toward a Ph.D. or other terminal degree at a North American or European university. Preference will be given to students who have already defined a dissertation topic. The language of instruction is English. Competency in English and a reading knowledge of another European language are required.
Logistics: arrive in Bayreuth on Saturday, June 11 or early Sunday, June 12; class begins with a meeting the evening of Sunday, June 12; final day of class is Sunday, June 19; departure on Monday, June 20.
Pending final budget approval, all fellows will receive a fellowship to cover most expenses:
- Institute tuition
- Housing and meals for the duration of the Institute (accommodations provided June 11-20)
- Access to library and archival materials and Internet resources
- partial travel support
Fellowships for advanced graduate students enrolled at North American universities include up to $750 in support of round-trip airfare to Germany. Although not required, we encourage fellows to apply to their home department for match to cover the remainder of their travel expenses. Fellows enrolled at a European university will receive up to $150 to cover travel costs to Bayreuth.
Complete applications for admission to the Institute must be received by Friday, March 11, 2016. Applications must be submitted electronically to email@example.com. Decisions will be made by March 31st, 2016.
A complete application consists of 1) the TASI 2016 Application Form, 2) a letter of interest, 3) a two-page dissertation abstract, or a two-page statement about the relevance of this topic to the applicant's research, 4) a curriculum vitae, 5) an unofficial graduate transcript, and 6) one confidential letter of recommendation by a faculty member familiar with the applicant's research project. The letter of interest should include information on the applicant's scholarly background, interests, and career goals.
Please send applications to firstname.lastname@example.org.