"Stability, Security, and Happiness: State – Society – Religion"
GUSEGG 2020 will offer a broad discussion of our understanding of security, stability, and happiness. Defined quality assurance mechanisms and product and service safety measures are often defined as a guarantee for achieving individual happiness. Taking the place of political action and structural social change, the "imperative of happiness" (Illouz) has led to institutions and multinational corporations determining which individual decisions will lead to successful, meaningful, and healthy lives. When happiness is seen as independent of the material and political contexts we live in, then individual personal action is seen as a replacement and not as a demand for collective political agency. Climate change activists' calls for action are relegated to media coverage as social events inspiring individual measures, but not as an urgent call for institutional and governmental consequences. As happiness has become a consumer good, the promise of an individual state of bliss has led to a decline of institutional ownership in terms of social, cultural, political, and economic measures, and shifts responsibilities from the collective to the individual.
In order to develop strategies and methods to meet the immense challenges of our time, this summer school suggests engaging in academic contemplation and interdisciplinary exchange. Such investigations offer us the opportunity of developing disruptive intellectual approaches and ideas, as we can gain insights into the many forces that make us believe that the challenges we face are essential, natural, and inevitable. Therefore, analysis offers us not only an understanding of our own alliances on an individual, a regional, national, and global level, but also the possibility of moving from a passive position to active involvement in transformation processes in order to become agents of change by an authentic reformulation of our identities.
for the Academic Advisory Board
The Curriculum for GUSEGG 2020 is available here.
Students will deal with the relevance and effect on global affairs of Europe/EU (emphasis on Southeastern Europe) and beyond by attending the offered morning and evening lectures, panel discussions, and participating in one of the following Seminar modules in the afternoon:
- Seminar 1 - Unhappy Nations: Histories and Politics
- Seminar 2 - Media and Populism: Digitalization of Politics
- Seminar 3 - Economics and Inequalities: GDP and Happiness
- Seminar 4 - Narratives of Jewish Migration
- Seminar 5 - Ageing Masculinities: In Pursuit of Happiness
- Seminar 6 - Philosophy of (Un)Happiness: Passion and Nostalgia
- Workshops (optional)
Participants will receive a certificate of participation at the end of the summer school. Please note that this only confirms the participation and cannot be used for credit transfer.
Students who wish to receive 6 ECTS credits are required to participate in the full program AND to write a seminar paper. Instructions about writing a seminar paper and more information about the credits,will be distributed throughout the course of the summer school. Once students have received a positive grade, transcripts will be available. These transcripts can be used to obtain credit at the home institution.