Trans-Atlantic Summer Institute (TASI)
Emotions in Late Modern Societies: Persons, Politics, and Social Practices
Trans-Atlantic Summer Institute in European Studies—Graduate Student Fellowship Program
July 20 - July 31, 2015, Europa Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder, Germany
Application deadline: Friday, May 15, 2015
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 Europa Universität Viadrina (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 2015 Institute will convene on the campus of the Europa Universität Viadrina (Frankfurt/Oder, Germany).
Most approaches in the social sciences depart from the assumption that human action emanates from rational beings who activate material resources and use available role models in order to reach their goals. In such a perspective, people appear as individuals who act in accordance with their potential in a goal-oriented society – the core of modern or late modern narratives. Beneath these assumptions have often been a whole range of value judgments, such as claims about rationality being male, strong, and public while emotions are female, weak, and private. The humanities, in contrast, have traditionally paid more attention to expressive works that are understood to explore evolving worlds of feeling and flows of experience.
In recent years, however, the hard and fast boundary between these conceptions of motivation and practice has broken down, and conduct is seen as emergent from complex settings of culture, politics, and subjectivity. Historians have described how political elites have manipulated national public spheres to advance their own interests by appealing to persons and events that evoke a deep, emotional response among the general population. Cultural studies have insisted that individuals should be seen as subjects – persons embedded in cultural contexts that bear emotional as well as material experiences. Their readings have helped illuminate the complexity of human action and paved the way for an understanding of human action that goes far beyond unilinear rationality.
Although these and other insights have been received by the scholarly community, a systematic integration of rational and irrational elements of conduct and practice are still rare in historical, social, and political studies. Emotions, or affects, are often dealt with in theoretical writings, but rarely considered as cornerstones of human action in empirical studies.
We are interested most of all in 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 do emotions play different roles in the everyday life of democratic political systems? What identifications do they help make, and what static images of difference do they help construct?
- Do emotions play a different role in authoritarian regimes (or other forms of non-democracy)? Can affects be used as resources (or are they obstacles) during a regime transformation as, for example, in Eastern Europe?
- How are rational debates made emotional, and how are emotional issues rationalized? What are the rhetorical strategies used to represent emotion in public life?
- How do emotions energize, qualify, and transform political and social movements of different kinds? How do emotions mobilize different facets of participation and belonging?
- How do affects figure in cultural performances across a range of spheres?
- How are emotions understood as part of the way a given culture understands the human?
We are bringing together a range of graduate students from disciplines such as history, anthropology, cultural studies, language and literatures, critical media studies, sociology, political science, philosophy, and/or religious studies who are studying different aspects of this protean and vital topic. The TASI 2015 seminar participants will examine empirical research that engages with recent and ongoing theoretic work on emotions and affects through presentation and discussion of participants’ work-in-progress.
TIMM BEICHELT is Professor of European Studies at European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany. He has written on different kinds and styles of democratic transitions in post-socialist countries, on the Eastern dimension of the European Union, and on German EU policy. In recent years, he has been examining the frictions between the mainstream political science he studied as a graduate student, and the more diverse approaches of the cultural studies department to which he now belongs. He is currently working on a project on collective emotions triggered by European football and the political implications of those emotions.
THOMAS WOLFE is Associate Professor of History and Global Studies at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of Governing Soviet Journalism, about the place of journalism in postwar Soviet culture, and has written about the relationship between memory and history in Russia. He is currently writing a book about understanding European integration. His disciplinary interests encompass historiography, history, anthropology, literature, cultural studies, and media studies, and he encourages graduate students to think of themselves as participants and co-creators of generous processes of intellectual formation and exchange.
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 Frankfurt/Oder [vicinity of Berlin!] on Sunday, July 19 for the TASI opening dinner; class starts on Monday, July 20; class ends on Friday, July 31.
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
- 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. This support will be granted on a matching fund basis. The fellow's home department will need to provide at least $200 to trigger the full University of Minnesota match. Fellows enrolled at a European university will receive up to $150 to cover travel costs to Frankfurt/Oder.
Complete applications for admission to the Institute must be received by May 15, 2015. Applications must be submitted electronically to both email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Decisions will be made by May 20, 2015.
A complete application consists of 1) applicant information sheet, 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.