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Summer School - Post-Socialist Societies and Cultures

Venue: Helsinki, Finland
Period: August 5-21, 2014
Application deadline: asap

 
Helsinki
 

Description

This course examines recent changes in post-socialist societies in Russia and Eastern Europe. It focuses on social and cultural change in Russia, but also offers insights into Eastern European developments. Taught by a group of area studies experts who specialise in political history, sociology, and political and cultural studies, the course provides students with multidisciplinary approaches to the study of post-socialist cultures and societies. Particular attention will be paid to questions of identity, geopolitics and globalisation. The course also addresses questions of gender, environmental development and human rights.

Learning objectives
Post-socialist Societies and Cultures analyses the social and cultural change in Russia, while it also offers insights into Eastern European developments. Particular attention will be paid to current questions of identity, geopolitics and globalisation. The course also addresses questions of gender, environmental development, and human rights. In order to understand contemporary problems, we have to recognise long-term societal and cultural processes rooted in the past. For this reason, the course also delves into the area's history and socialist past, providing a toolkit for the analysis of the challenges the area faces in the post-socialist present.

Course format and teaching methods

The course on Post-socialist Societies and Cultures entails introductory lectures on the historical background and major methodological and conceptual approaches. The course is divided into three clusters that focus on cultural, political and social questions with a total of 34 hours of lectures, including in-class discussions. This interactive method will deepen the conceptual understanding of the topics brought up in the lectures and the course readings.

Teachers and lecturers
Katalin Miklossy: Political and social development in post-socialist countries (overview) Sanna Turoma: Cultural production and cultural institutions; post-socialist nostalgia Jussi Lassila: Domestic politics and nationalism Kaarina Aitamurto: Religion in post-socialism Katja Lehtisaari: Media studies Saara Ratilainen: Popular culture and consumerism Meri Kulmala: Civil society and civil organisations Anna-Liisa Heusala: Administrative reforms and security questions Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen: Environmental and ecological questions Freek van der Vet: Human rights

Means and criteria of assessment
Class attendance, a short pre-course assignment, course readings (materials will be distributed before the beginning of the course) and a final exam. Grading is based on attendance, participation in discussions and completion of the required assignments and the final exam. Grading scale: 5 = excellent 4 = very good 3 = good 2 = average 1 = poor 0 = fail.

Eligibility

The course is designed for advanced undergraduates or Master's level students of humanities and social sciences. To achieve the learning goals, the students need to have basic knowledge of the area's historical and/or contemporary societies. For those with no background in area studies, we offer introductory readings prior to the course.

Program

Post-socialist Societies and Cultures provides introductory lectures on the historical background and major methodological and conceptual approaches. The course is divided into three clusters that focus on cultural, political and social questions with a total of 34 hours of lectures, including in-class discussions. This interactive method will deepen the conceptual understanding of the topics brought up in the lectures and the course readings.

Syllabus:

  • Cluster I, Societies: Political and social development in post-socialist countries (overview); Religion in post-socialism; Civil society and civil organisations; Environmental and ecological questions
  • Cluster II, Politics: Domestic politics and nationalism in Russia today; Administrative reforms and security questions; Human Rights
  • Cluster III, Culture: Cultural production and cultural institutions; Post-socialist nostalgia; Media studies; Popular culture and consumerism; Viewing of a Russian film

By the end of this course students will be able to identify major societal and cultural transformations of post-socialist countries, apply basic conceptual tools to analyzing these transformations, and relate the course readings to the topics discussed in class. To achieve the learning goals, the students need to have basic knowledge of the area's historical and/or contemporary societies. For those with no background in area studies, we offer introductory readings prior to the course.

Application Procedure

Those interested in applying should fill in an online application form (available here). The application deadline is the day before the course begins. However, the earlier you apply the better, as students are accepted on a first come, first served basis. Usually, the courses become full before they begin. If you would like Helsinki Summer School to arrange your accommodation, you should apply no later than the beginning of June.
Please be precise when filling and submitting the online application. Please pay special attention to the "Letter of Motivation". If you have problems submitting the online application, contact us at summer-school@helsinki.fi .

Fees

International and Finnish degree and PhD students
Registration fee: 150 EUR, after 31 May 200 EUR
Course fee: 490 EUR
Accommodation: from 435 to 860 EUR

Degree and exchange students studying at the Helsinki Summer School Universities in 2014

Registration fee 50 EUR
No course fee
Exchange students are required to present a certificate of attendance issued by the hosting institution.

Professionals

Registration fee 150 EUR, after 31 May 200 EUR
Course fee: 790 EUR
Accommodation: from 435 to 860 EUR

International Alumni Students of Helsinki Summer School
Registration fee 150 EUR, after 31 May 200 EUR
Course fee: 440 EUR/740 EUR
Accommodation: from 435 to 860 EUR

Registration fee
The registration fee is not a part of the course fee. The registration fee has to be paid within seven days after you have received the email confirmation of your acceptance to the Helsinki Summer School.
If we do not receive a credit card payment within one week of the notification of your acceptance, your course reservation WILL BE CANCELLED. If you wish to renew your registration contact us!

Course fee
The course fee must be paid latest by July 20, 2014.

Accommodation

The accommodation fee must be paid latest by June 3, 2014. In order to secure your accommodation we recommend you to pay it as soon as possible. Your reservation will be confirmed only after the accommodation fee has been fully paid.
More information about the accommodation available here.

Organizer

Information & contacts

The University of Helsinki
e-mail:
summer-school@helsinki.fi
e-mail:
sanna.turoma@helsinki.fi

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