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General Information

Re-Measuring, Re-Calculating, Re-Counting: State - Society – Religion in Transition

GUSEGG 2022 will offer a discussion of how measurements inform our lives, as individuals and as a society. Personal and political decisions are often based on numbers and their interpretation. In times of immense data collection and digitalization of information, numbers influence how individuals interact with each other and how social structures determine these interactions. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, our societies had already become “digital by default” (Hill, Betts & Gardner 2015), which has given numbers and numeric measurements even more importance. More and more aspects of life – working, learning, shopping, leisure, communication with friends and family, but also activism and political engagement – happen online. The current push for digitalization is closely linked to datafication, the increasing use of algorithms, and machine learning, which create new concerns. As Sharon Block (2020) has recently pointed out, “algorithms are a list of programmed instructions, and can be millions of lines of proprietary code, never seen or understood by end users,” leading to critical algorithms studies as a response to the impact of unknowable algorithms on individual and collective decisions and actions.

Thus, GUSEGG 2022 will address the pressing questions of how our lives are influenced by numbers, how our online and offline actions and interactions are being measured, calculated, and counted, by ourselves and others, and what this means for states, societies, and our understanding of the world. In order to develop strategies and methods to meet the challenges of our times, this summer school suggests engaging in academic contemplation and interdisciplinary exchange about our datafied world. 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, or inevitable. Therefore, the suggested analysis offers us not only an understanding of our own alliances to data 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. By gaining insights into how measuring, calculating, and counting work in different domains, such as politics, society, and research, we can – continuing the work of sociologist Aaron Cicourel (1964) – understand how our realities are re-measured, re-calculated, and re-counted.

 

Roberta Maierhofer

for the Academic Advisory Board

 

TARGET GROUP

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.

PROJECT ORGANIZATION

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 and Ulrike Grassberger (teachers and students)

 

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

  • 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.

VENUE: Seggau Castle (Austria)

The venue of the summer school is Seggau Castle located 40 km south of Graz, Austria.


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