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Summer School: Summer Institute for Sexualities, Cultures and Politics, Ohrid, 12-30 August 2012‏


Euro-Balkan Institute for Social and Humanities Research, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia

in cooperation with Faculty for Media and Communications at Singindunum University, Belgrade

15th OHRID SUMMER UNIVERSITY
2012

SUMMER INSTITUTE FOR SEXUALITIES, CULTURES AND POLITICS

to be held 12th-30th August, Ohrid, Macedonia

- CALL FOR APPLICATIONS -

SUMMER INSTITUTE DESCRIPTION
The Summer Institute for Sexuality, Culture and Politics is a new permanent project initiated by the Department for Gender Studies at the Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities “Euro-Balkan”, Skopje, Macedonia.
The general aim of the Institute is to gather young post-graduate students, scholars and teaching staff from both Eastern and Western Europe and promote a shared platform for research and trans-disciplinary theoretical reflection on the complex modes of interweaving sexuality, culture and politics, and consequently of exchanging and questioning geopolitically determined discourses in the research of sexualities, gender studies, and queer theory. Our idea is to provide students, scholars and teachers with the opportunity to question, decenter and democratize these areas by way of deferring the notion of theoretical and geopolitical privilege which is often implied by these research areas, and thus to introduce new models of rethinking context-specific phenomena related to sexualities and, vice versa, to enrich theoretical paradigms with context specific phenomena and research. In this way, the Institute’s long-term goal is to:

(1) strategically stimulate the particularization and application of key ideas and theories in sexuality research locally and to

(2) universalize and popularize crucial and underprivileged positions and ideas on the European level, regardless of the East/West divide which is still central to the development of queer theory and sexuality research.

Our endeavor is not to relativize the embeddedness and situatedness of knowledges about sexualities, but to recognize and disrupt the existing invisible borders that obstruct the free dissemination of ideas as they are being determined by various hegemonic forces – political, educational, economic - in both Eastern and Western contexts of doing academic and artistic work related with our desires, bodies, and sexualities.

Further information

The Summer Institute is integral part of Ohrid Summer University (OSU) which is an academic program for young faculty, PhD candidates, postgraduates, researchers and professionals, which offers intensive, problem oriented and research based courses from the domain of social sciences and humanities. OSU was founded in 1998 and has functioned continuously since then, as one of the core programs of the “Euro-Balkan” Institute, involving a significant number of both junior and senior members of academic communities from various countries. To date “Euro-Balkan” Institute, trough OSU program, has organized over 30 summer schools from various areas with over 500 participants, involving more than 100 proffessors. During the 14 years-long period of its existence, OSU has engaged itself in: adequate and effective training of the academic staff, demonstration of successful linkage of state-of-the-art scholarship and effective and innovative teaching, promotion of academic excellence and ability to facilitate creation and sustenance of active networks of academics, as well as collaborative advancement of learning in certain disciplines within the international context

Located in the city of Ohrid, the centuries-long cultural metropolis of the Balkan region, OSU encompasses a variety of social and cultural events, provides appropriate locations for outdoor classes and includes educative excursions to the famous archaeological sites and cultural monuments, situated on the shores of the Ohrid Lake. 


The theme of the 2012 Summer Institute for Sexualities, Cultures and Politics is:

Queerness, Community, and Capital:  Towards New Alliances of the Political
In its first and founding activity in Summer 2012, The Institute for Sexuality, Culture and Politics aims at exploring and reflecting on the complex entanglements of queer theories and practices, the Political, and cultures. We will provide space to radically question the hegemonic regimes of political communities’ institutions/sustenance, as well as the global and regional regimes of thinking neo-liberal forces. Hence, the Institute’s goal is to trace the multiple pathways through which queerness enters or exits the political projects of community constitution, in its various forms, revived nationalisms, communism’s legacy and the European community, on the one hand, and the global neo-liberal markets’ imperatives and their consequent commodification of identities and processes of de-democratization and de-politicization.
Further, departing from such a research framework, the Institute aims towards re-visioning the dominant forms of queer political struggles and strategies of resistance; also, we want to investigate what are the possibilities stemming from queerness and its already existing political embodiments and specific historical experiences? What opportunities there are in various geopolitical contexts to rethink our shared and general categories of politics, resistance and community?
Thus, by investigating these multiple entanglements, the Institute will be the host of critical and in-depth analyses of the position queer struggles have in the wider context of struggles for social justice, economic redistribution and human rights, and will provoke discussions about the possibility of envisioning and enacting political alliances beyond the narrow boundaries of identity politics and the exclusionary logic and division of recognition and redistribution. Last but not least, we will particularly raise the question how the political influence of queer is being neutralized or re-radicalized in existing and allegedly queer-friendly political settings?   
In the course of two and a half week the wide specter of topics that the Institute covers, are to be organized into a programme structured on the grounds of four major subjects. Each programme section includes morning lectures held by prominent scholars from Europe and SEE, reading seminars, joint discussions and participants’ presentations.

Programme sections:

Programme Section 1: Queerness, the Political and Community
This programme subject will try to research, discuss and problematize the complex interweaving of sexuality, politics and community. The lectures and discussion will try to explore the position of sexuality in relation to hegemonic forms of communities, and community, in its Western conception, in general. Thus, some of the core problems that will be addressed include the imaginaries, discourses and institutional practices strategically deployed in communist, as well as nationalist utopian and communitarian projects, in relation to marginal and non-hegemonic sexualities (practices, communities and identities) and non-normative bodies. Further, these communal experiences will be regarded, differentiated or aligned, in relation to the contemporary European communal ideals and inspirations, and will further explore the impact these political apparatuses have on sexual struggles for justice and recognition. Of particular importance will be the exploration of the entanglements of governmentality tactics and biopolitical dispositives and the construction and proliferation of sexual identities, as much as their compliance or resistance to sexual normalizations. Departing from contemporary political theories and political philosophy’s scholarship, the programme will further investigate the following subtopics: Queerness and the redefinition of the Political; State utopias, justice, jurisdiction and queer sufferings; Community immunization and queer exposures; Homonationalisms and (neo)liberalisms; What is the political in queer politics?, etc.
Programme Section 2: (Queer) Arts, Culture and Resistance
The lectures, presentations and discussions covered by this programme subject will try to think about and analyze the multiple cross-cuttings of artistic practices and cultural production with the sexual regimes defining the common, which is to say who belongs and who does not belong to a community?, which emotions and relations are considered as legible?, which bodies are rendered visible and whose statements are registered as audible? Departing from a variety of traditional art practices, through new media deployment, cultural activism, participatory art, different art collectives, performing and video arts, interventionist artistic actions and practices of reclaiming public spaces, artists and cultural workers and activists, we will explore the entire spectrum of tactics and strategies, forms and media, topics and modes of representation deployed and how do they contest and reconfigure the dominant political modes of sexual hierarchy, organization and framing of the common(s) and community. Not only being a medium for representation, art and cultural practices are to be observed as fields for making, instituting and creating, and thus their potential for transfiguring the dominant regimes of sexual visibility and publics will be saliently explored. Besides the actualized capacity for breaking with the existing regimes of relations and making communities otherwise, artworks will be also critically explored in their being the symbolic and cultural apparatus for moral and didactic political and sexual appeal as well as for sustaining current status quo in the dominant modes of communal relations and sexual inequalities. In this regard, a question of particular importance will be how current global position of arts and creative cultures, in relation to neo-liberal and consumerist demands, influence cultural practices and aesthetic regimes of resistance and critique in the field of sexuality.
Furthermore, not only art, but multiplicity of cultural forms and Media cutting through the limits of community, assigning roles and distributing parts, such as pamphlets, billboards, city lights, media and video campaigns, public spaces, social networks etc. will be scrutinized as cultural practices sustaining sexual normalizations, but also as potential tools for undoing sexual hegemonies.  
Programme Section 3: Capital, Consumerism and Queer Visibility
This thematic sub-programme aims to critically explore the complex entanglements that queer emancipation struggles have with the historical and global development of capitalist societies and, in particular, their ubiquitous relation to neo-liberal capitalist  rationalities in consumerist societies and biopolitical paradigms of governmentality. Hence, we would like to raise discussions on the ambivalent implications of ‘localization’ as point of departure for emancipation struggles based on identity politics, their consequent interferences with hegemonic modes and institutions of neoliberalism and their position in a wider economic and political narratives, namely their compliance or resistance with exploitative and unequal local and global modes of production and economic distribution.
In the frames of this sub-programme we would further like to explore how have, so called, transitional processes, including individual rights, neo-liberalization processes, privatization, consumerism’s progression etc, liberal ideologies, market driven identitarian segmentations and life-style imperatives,  in post-communist countries, influenced the emergence of LGBT movements in this region. Overmore, how has this development of sexual minorities’ movements been linked and related to more general economic, social and political processes of EU integration.   
Programme Section 4: Queering the General Strike and the Occupation  
What has emerged as a “movement” – the Occupy Movement – finds itself in a complex existential state: how does a movement define itself in the process its own emergence? How does a leaderless movement addresses society without authority? Occupy bears the mark of radical disidentification which runs both risks – of self-dissolution and conceptual expansionism, just as some 20 years ago queer theory emerged as an “X” which has to be saturated analytically but has been recognized as existential and ontological hybridity. This resemblance has been already noted (for example by Michael Warner) and raises pressing concerns related with the organization of the multitude.
Namely, how radically open is – and could be – the Occupy? How does the notion of occupation change when communal and micropolitical interests are inscribed in it – what makes the occupation queer? Is identity politics deconstructed from within inside Occupy? What is the status of queer – particular, universal, zeroed? – in the collective social choreographies of the general strike and the general intellect? Is Queer too theoretical and closed a concept to be used as theoretical and conceptual strategy of paradoxic principle of self-organizing?  



RESOURCE PERSONS
Two and a half week course will be organized in series of lectures, master classes, reading seminars and joint discussions held by prominent scholars from Europe and SEE.

DURATION
Two and a half week

FORMAT
a) Intensive Lectures and Master classes
b) Reading seminars,
c) Joint discussions
d) Presentations of the participants
e) Preparation of the Seminar Paper 30 days after the completion of attendance at OSU

THE PROGRAMME CONSISTS OF SEVERAL FEATURES
         In regard to the high standards established by the Euro-Balkan Institute and due to its membership in the Erasmus Charter, the Summer School will grant the participants appropriate certificate with 12 credits (ECTS), applicable in the master studies of participant’s home universities.
         Memorable social events on the campus and at the Ohrid Lake.  
ELIGIBILITY AND FEE

        Participants should be postgraduate students (preferably MA, PhD student or young researchers) interested in exploring the issues of Cultural Studies, Visual Arts and Humanities and related Studies.
        Participants from all countries are eligible to participate.
        Tutition fee: 600 euro.
        The fee covers tuition and study material during the school, use of library and computer room at the Campus with free internet, tour of the numerous ancient and medieval monuments in the UNESCO protected city of Ohrid located at the shore of the unforgettably beautiful Ohrid Lake. Other arrangements for accommodation, transportation and other expenses should be arranged by applicants on themselves.
        Note that we offer 20% discount if the participant pay the total fee to 15th of April and 10% discount if the participant pay the total fee to 1st of June.
        Note that we can provide for the interested participants discount prices for accommodation in Hotel Pella where the Campus will be located, near the beach. Ohrid also offers cheap accommodation in private houses
        Number of students per Summer Institute or Summer School is 20. Please note that a course will not be offered if fewer than 10 students apply by 15th of June.
        Please note that the Second Announcement with the detailed Programme of the Summer Institutes and Summer Schools in the frame of the Ohrid Summer University will follow on 1st of April 2011.

 

SCHOLARSHIP

        The Institute for Social and Humanities Research "Euro-Balkan" is participating in the Network of Central European Exchange Program for University Studies (CEEPUS). Selected students from the list of institutions in CEEPUS countries (Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldavia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Prishtina) may apply for a CEEPUS scholarship. See the website CEEPUS for details and contact your National CEEPUS Agency.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

        Signing up for the OSU 2012 legally binds the participants to the terms and conditions. If the tuition fee is not paid by the applicants by 15th of July, their registration shall automatically be rejected.
        After applications are processed, Euro-Balkan Institute will notify the applicants in writing (e-mail) whether their application has been accepted or rejected.
Deadline for submitting the application: June 15th  2011.
Deadline for announcing the results of the selection process: July 1st 2011.
Contact persons:
Dragana Karovska
Academic Coordinator of OSU
Euro-Balkan Institute
Blvd. Partizanski Odredi 63, 1000, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia
Tel/Fax. ++ 389 2 30 75 570
www.euba.edu.mk      
Coordinators: Slavco Dimitrov and Stanimir Panayotov

Slavco Dimitrov
Activist, Researcher and Teaching Assistant (Hyperactivist and Hyperpessimist)
Tel: ++389 72 519 006