International Summer School Critical Theory 2022. Politics of Needs

July 3-8, 2022

Summer School

Needs are central to many social controversies, but widely regarded as non-negotiable. The latter is due to the nature-like quality of many needs, but also to the assumption that the needs, interests and desires of individuals are simply given. Critical theory offers an alternative approach that seeks to analyse the formation of needs, thus turning them into objects of critical analysis and debate. In the Summer School, we will reconstruct this approach and discuss its current relevance by confronting it with prominent positions in the contemporary philosophical debate on needs.

The Summer School will involve plenary lectures and discussions, reading sessions, small group discussions and panel debates. Only the panel debates will be open to the broader public. We will explore classical approaches such as Marx on the production of needs, Theodor Adorno’s »Theses on Needs«, and Herbert Marcuse’s analysis of false needs while also engaging with the work of leading contemporary theorists: Maeve Cooke, Nancy Fraser, Lawrence Hamilton, Sarah Clark Miller, and Frank Nullmeier will participate and discuss their work.

Call for Application Download: CfA_SummerSchool_Berlin_2022

To apply for participation, graduate students and junior scholars are invited to submit a précis of their take on core issues in the debate on needs and a CV (each document 1 page max.). The précis should show which particular background knowledge and systematic positions the applicants would contribute to our joint discussions. Please submit your application in a single PDF document and make sure that the title of your precis summarizes its content.

Deadline for applications: March 9th, 2022,

by e-mail to: CTsummerschool@hu-berlin.de

We aim to have the Summer School take place in attendance. However, if an in-person event in Berlin is not feasible this July, we will switch to an online-only format. NB: Participating online will not be possible if the Summer School takes place in person as planned.

Participation in the Summer School is free of charge. There are some travel funds available for international students without access to institutional reimbursement; those who qualify may apply for travel and accommodation subsidies.

Please check our FAQs for further information:

http://criticaltheoryinberlin.de/summer_school/#faq

 

Instructors:

Maeve Cooke (University College Dublin)

Lawrence Hamilton (University of the Witwatersrand,
University of Cambridge)

Sarah Clark Miller (Pennsylvania State University)

Frank Nullmeier (Universität Bremen)

and

Robin Celikates (Freie Universität Berlin)

Rahel Jaeggi (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Christian Schmidt (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

 

Organizers: Robin Celikates, Rahel Jaeggi, Susann Schmeißer, Christian Schmidt (Humanities and Social Change Center Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), in cooperation with the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research and the New School for Social Research.

Download CFA

Will the Summer School take place in attendance?

We aim to have the Summer School take place in attendance. However, if a face-to-face event in Berlin will not be feasible, we will switch to an online-only format. NB: There will be no possibility to participate in the face-to-face meetings online.

What are the Covid-19-regulations during the summer school?

The conditions of attendance are according to the regulations of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Are there any social events planned?

This depends on the regulations for containment of the pandemic at the time.

How do I submit my application?

Please send us an email at ctsummerschool@hu-berlin.de. Your application should be attached to this message as one pdf-file, including your C.V. and your precis. The general deadline for applications is the 9th of March. Only students at the Berlin Universities may apply until the 1st of April.

Why is there an extra deadline for students at the Berlin Universities?

Students at the Berlin Universities can receive credit for participating. The later deadline for these students allows them to apply when their general course-choices for the summer are due. Therefore, those applicants who study at a University in Berlin may submit their application till the 1st of April.

The Call for Participation is targeted at PhD students and junior scholars. Can I apply as an M.A. student or as a Post-doc?

Yes, as an M.A. student or as a more senior scholar you may apply as well.

May I submit my application in German?

No, please submit your precis and your C.V. in English.

May I submit a chapter of my book or my dissertation?

No. Please send us only a precis of max. 1 page, describing your take on core concerns on politics of needs. The precis should show which particular background knowledge and systematic positions you would contribute to our joint discussions. Please make sure the title of your precis summarizes its content.

When will I be informed if my application was successful?

We process the applications as quickly as possible and will get back to you in the beginning of April. Students at the Berlin Universities, who may submit their applications till the 1st of April, will hear from us at the start of the semester.

How do you select the participants? What are the criteria?

Besides looking for the most interesting and fitting approaches to the Summer School’s central questions, we try to achieve a certain geographical and topical balance, and we give precedence to applications from PhD students and early post-docs over more junior and senior ones. Amongst applications ranked equally, we prefer those scholars who did not attend the Critical Theory Summer School the year before, since it seems fair to give the chance to participate to as many individuals as possible.

Please note that even though we try to make the selection process as transparent as possible, it may happen that although the mentioned criteria apply to you, you are not admitted to the Summer School. This is due to the fact that we receive a lot more applications than we can accept.

Are there any participation fees for the Summer School?

No.

Is there a possibility to get funding for my participation in the Summer School?

Travel- and accommodation-funds are available for international students without access to institutional reimbursement; those who qualify may apply for travel and accommodation subsidies.

Is it possible to get an official certificate of participation? I need one in order to get funding from my university.

Yes, of course. Please send us an e-mail at ctsummerschool@hu-berlin.de.

Do I need a visa to enter Germany? How do I get a visa?

You can find out at the foreign office if you need a visa and what the requirements are. Please find out as soon as possible and let us know right away if you need an official invitation or confirmation of participation in order to get your visa.

Do you offer accommodation for participants? Can you help me find accommodation in Berlin?

Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to help with that. Please consult the usual online search engines to find accommodation.

When will the reading for the Summer School be available?

The literature will be available by the end of May.

Does the program extend to the evenings?

The program is limited to mornings and afternoons, finishing no later than 7 p.m.. However, there will be a public round table on the evening of July 6th.

When will the Summer School start?

The first meeting will be on the evening of the 3rd of July.

Can I participate in only a few sessions, or for half of the week?

In order to enable fruitful discussions, we kindly request participants to attend all sessions.

Are any of the sessions public?

Yes, the two evening panels (July 6th and 9th) are public.

Will there be recordings of the sessions?

No.

Where can I find information on past Summer Schools?

You can find CfPs, programmes, and summaries of the final discussions of each Summer School in our archive.

International Summer School Critical Theory 2022. Politics of Needs