The European Summer School in Cultural Studies is an international forum for the development of cultural studies with a focus on new research methodologies and research organization in a rapidly developing trans-disciplinary landscape.

The ESSCS organizes research training based on new research agendas in the field of cultural studies on a European scale. The ESSCS will facilitate the transfer of knowledge from outstanding scholars in their respective fields to young researchers and form a forum for exchange and networking among European doctoral students in cultural studies.

The annual summer school sessions will be devoted to themes of contemporary relevance for a broad spectrum of research in cultural studies. The themes will be suited for an array of interdisciplinary approaches, accommodate both contemporary and historical cultural phenomena, highlight methodological questions, and promote dialogue between academic endeavors and creative art practices.

  • Methodologically, a constant focus is placed on the transfer of concepts and approaches between different disciplines, in keeping with the general scientific experience in the humanities that new insight and new scholarly vistas are eventually inaugurated through trans-disciplinary negotiations.
  • In regard to research organization and design, the pivotal point is to demonstrate how a trans-disciplinary approach can re-describe cultural areas and phenomena and how such approaches can be theoretically underpinned.
  • As for the pertinence to actuality, the individual sessions address the ways in which the contemporary cultural tendencies crystallise in specific forms and expressions, and how arts and artistic practices use and intervene in these forms and expressions.

The faculty of the individual session will be composed by scholars from the collaborating institutions and international guest speakers within the subject area of the session. The summer school privileges three different teaching situations:

  • keynote lectures by invited speakers and faculty members, addressed at central issues within the theme of the session, followed by moderated discussion sessions;
  • paper presentations by the students. The papers are selected on the basis of abstracts submitted at the registration and will address subjects at the intersection of the individual project and the theme of the session. The papers will be delivered in pleno or in parallel sessions, depending on their general interest, organized in panels chaired by fellow students;
  • master classes for smaller groups of students organized around the work of the invited speakers. 
  • In addition, each session will host a contemporary artist who will present her work and discuss it with the students with reference to the theme of the session. Finally, an excursion to local cultural sites is organized, as well as conference dinner and receptions to facilitate informal contacts and networks.

The ESSCS will provide a platform where the candidates can profit from the skills and traditions fostered in neighboring disciplines and thus contribute to the transfer of insights and methods between the individual disciplines. By way of this co-adaptation of the different research horizons, opening them up towards the increasingly important problems of interdisciplinary nature, the ESSCS will equip the doctoral candidates to meet the new challenges arising in their respective fields of specialization through the advent of new cultural forms and phenomena in contemporary societies.

The young scholars who participate in the ESSCS will be provided with excellent options for building networks. They will meet a wide range of senior researchers and peers from the Community area and from abroad, and they will make valuable acquaintances both in their individual fields of specialization and, not less importantly, in the neighboring disciplines within the range of cultural studies. On this basis they will be encouraged to meet the international standards in their work and to form future collaborative ventures and eventually joint research projects on a Community level.