Summer School on Regionalisation in the Globalised World, Poland

Deadline: 15 February 2011
Open to: PhD students working on the respective topic
Dates and Venue: 10 – 17 July 2011, University of Lodz, Poland
Costs: the costs of travel and accommodation are covered

International Summer School: Regionalisation in the Globalised World

10.-17.07.2011 at the University of Lodz, Poland

Target Group
Doctoral candidates, from both Eastern and Western Europe, working on projects related to the topic of ‘Regionalisation in the Globalised World.’ The project should be focussed on Eastern Europe, or take into consideration Eastern Europe’s relations with Western Europe.

Number of Participants: 30

The International Summer School 2011 in Łódź, focusing on ‘Regionalisation in the Globalised World’, will be jointly organised by the University of Łódź, Poland, and the Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany (Giessen Centre for Eastern European Studies – GiZo, and the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture – GCSC)

The Summer School is directed towards doctoral candidates from throughout Europe. In interdisciplinary working groups, it will seek to examine the concepts of ‘regionalisation’ and ‘globalisation’, as well as the related concepts of nationalisation, transnationalisation and glocalisation. The Summer School is particularly directed towards scholars in academic disciplines such as the study of culture, linguistics and literary studies, history, law, economics, sociology and political studies, and it aims to provide a forum for the discussion of various cultural contacts in the societies of Eastern Europe (from the viewpoint of the aforementioned disciplines), as well as for the discussion of relationships between Eastern and Western European. In many areas of the contemporary world one can detect a number of tensions between processes of regionalisation and processes of globalisation, and certain disciplines have come up with the word ‘glocalisation’ to describe this phenomenon.

• In linguistics and literary studies, for example, there is considerable interest in the increasing influence of English as a global lingua franca on the one hand, and in the standardisation of minority and regional languages (Kashubian, Ruthenian etc.) on the other, with ongoing discussions on the cultivation of regional literature, on regional, national, transnational and European developments in linguistic communities, and on linguistic development within the context of regionalisation, Europeanisation, and globalisation more generally. How can one characterise linguistic contacts in the area of tension which exists between regionalisation and globalisation? How do the authorities within linguistic communities act in relation to processes of globalisation and nationalisation? How puristic can linguistic communities be (one thinks here of certain language laws recently enacted within the region)? In this area of tension between regionalisation and nationalisation, the role of migration also requires further analysis, as does the question of the relationship between language and identity, both regional and national. In the field of literary studies, the formation of supra-regional and supra-national identities has led to the development of concepts such as ‘Central European literature’ or even ‘European literature’ (as opposed to ‘Central European literatures’ and ‘European literatures’.) ‘Holocaust literature’, for example, has already become an overarching concept, even if there are certain key differences between the various national Holocaust literatures (German, Polish, Czech etc.). Finally, has this tension between regionalisation and globalisation led to certain developments in the area of central literary categories such as genre, poetic forms, themes and motives, and narrative strategies etc.?

• There has also been an explosion of historical debate over ‘global history’ and the close entanglement of national histories, as well as great discussion over when (the Early Modern Period, the nineteenth century?) and where (Western Europe, The North Atlantic, Eastern Europe?) globalisation can be said to have emerged. Established regional conceptions have also been subjected to re-examination. What role does ‘Eastern Europe’ have to play in globalisation, and do the old methods of discussing this region in terms of ‘periphery’ and ‘semi-periphery’ remain valid? Beyond the processes of globalisation emanating from the North Atlantic region since the fifteenth century, can one not also detect an intensive process of globalisation in the entanglements of Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Ottoman World? Poland is also particularly deserving of investigation, in light of its dual role as ‘Empire Builder’ and ‘Empire Breaker’, and as a region which experienced a tremendous amount of migration in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Furthermore, how can one evaluate the role of industrial take-off regions in the Early Modern Period and in the nineteenth century? The history of the £ódŸ region itself, with its worldwide connections in the textile industry, provides for very interesting case studies here.

• In the social sciences (law, economics, sociology, political studies), the significance of language in economic transactions, and the role of English as a lingua franca in particular, are also major subjects of investigation. Moreover, in studies on economic and political integration, there is evidence of a tension between global integration on the one hand, which seeks to encompass as many countries as possible, and a more regional integration on the other, which is based on cultural similarities in the countries and regions involved and which is, for this reason, easier to embed. This tension is visible, for example, in the debates over a ‘two-speed Europe’.

Under the conference heading of ‘Regionalisation in the Globalised World’, there are a whole range of potential topics of discussion relating to regional developments within Europe, and to the structural changes and adjustments brought about by the regional policy of the European Community (e.g. the EU Structural Funds and Cohesion Policy as a strategy for sustainable and socially-just development; the adjustments of European labour markets to the global economic crisis, and in particular the determinants and socio-political implications of the crisis for the development of different regions; unemployment as a socio-economic problem in Europe and the modern globalised world; the causes, consequences, and potential solutions to new and growing inequalities at the regional level in the EU; the struggle against social exclusion at this level; and inequalities in economic sustainability, labour laws, and personal welfare across the various regions of the EU). Doctoral students participating in the Summer School will present their projects in interdisciplinary workshops supervised by lecturers from Giessen and £ódŸ. Interdisciplinary projects are very much encouraged, but projects grounded in one particular academic discipline are also very welcome, provided they offer space for interdisciplinary discussion.

The Summer School programme will also include a number of plenary sessions and evening lectures, to be given by professors from both Giessen and Łódź. Furthermore, there will be an extensive cultural programme on offer, with opportunities for exploring the city of Łódź and the surrounding region.

Application Process

Participants’ contributions should be around 30 minutes long, and they will be expected to make use of presentation aids (with Power-Point presentations preferred). Abstracts should take up one side of A4 paper, and should be sent in doc-Format to the conference organiser (address below).

Applications, with an abstract and a CV, should be submitted by February 15th 2011, to [email protected]

The final selection of participants will take place at the end of March 2011. As a rule, the conference organisers will cover the costs of travel and accommodation, as well as a major part of the catering costs. Applications from Eastern Europe are particularly encouraged.

If you have any further queries, please contact:
Giessener Zentrum Östliches Europa
Tel.: (0049) 641/99-31166
Otto-Behaghel-Str. 10E
35394 Gießen
Email: [email protected]

The official webpage. (in German)

Leave a Reply