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 Graz International Summer School Seggau is designed for internationally oriented, highly motivated students from all disciplines, who wish to deepen their understanding of current European and international affairs by studying and discussing global developments and challenges within the context of transformation processes and demographic change reflecting aspects of individual, social, political, religious, cultural, literary, regional, economic, cohort and national identities.
The University of Graz organizes the summer school in cooperation with the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) and the Diocese Graz-Seckau. The Office of International Relations of the University of Graz acts as the coordinating unit. Prof. Roberta Maierhofer (Center for Inter-American Studies) is the academic director.
Summer School Academic Director: Roberta Maierhofer, Center for Inter-American Studies
Summer School Academic Co-Director: Barbara Ratzenböck, Center for Inter-American Studies
Representative of the Diocese Graz-Seckau: Florian Traussnig
Representative of the Comece: Michael Kuhn
Contact at the University of Graz: Dagmar Wallenstorfer (teachers and students)
- Interdisciplinary co-operation of teachers and students on the cultural, intellectual and historical dimensions of current European and International affairs in view of their positioning in a globalized world.
- Presentation in research and teaching of focus areas of the University of Graz – South Eastern Europe and North, Central and South America.
- Development and education of young leaders of tomorrow in the fields of politics, administration, business, science, culture and religion.
The venue of the summer school is Seggau Castle located 40 km south of Graz, Austria.