Summer School of Interdisciplinary Polish and German Studies “Cultures in Times of Transition”
The Center for Interdisciplinary Polish Studies held its third annual Summer School of Interdisciplinary Polish and German Studies from June 6 - July 15, 2016.
In addition to providing the equivalent of one academic year of language instruction, the summer school also offers graduate level seminars on Polish studies (in English and in Polish) by the academic staff of a renowned university. The Summer School consisted of four main parts: language instruction, advanced research, a graduate workshop, and an excursion.
Thanks to the generous support of the German-Polish Research Foundation (Deutsch-Polnische Wissenschaftsstiftung/ DPWS) and the Wende Museum, the Summer School and accommodation could be offered free of charge to students.
This Summer School focused on different aspects of everyday life and society in our region, and shows how ideas circulated from place to place before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Our project asks, in a nutshell, when socialist citizens spoke of the “West,” did they envision America or West Germany as a model? What did a future utopia look like for citizens of the East? Of the central questions affecting politicians, artists and the youth in such changing societies was how to be authentic in a world of neo-liberal capitalism and in the aftermath of goulash communism. How did governments and companies change tactics in order to best captivate a new community of consumers? The Summer School focuses primarily on history, but the scope ranges from economics to anthropology. It is an attempt to explain the ways culture changed after the Iron Curtain fell.
During the summer school, we were visited by scholars from Warsaw and Prague, and also undertook tours through Berlin, Eisenhüttenstadt, Kostrzyn, and Poznań.