Nordiskt Sommeruniversitet


Citizenship, Bildung and Critique

Joint Summer Session:

Study Circle 6: Critique in the Age of Populism


Study Circle 8: Learning and Bildung in time of Globaliztion

Summer Session 28 July-4 August 2019
at Roosta Holiday Village, Haapsalu, Estonia

Click here for a PDF version of the CFP for the 2019 Summer Session

Click here for a PDF version of the Preliminary Program for the 2019 Summer Session

Preliminary program: for Citizenship, Bildung and Critique

A joint session and collaboration between
Study Circle 6: Critique in the Age of Populism and
and Study Circle 8: Learning and Bildung in time of Globalization
Summer Symposium 28 July – 4 August 2019 at Roosta Holiday Village,
Haapsalu, Estonia


Alma Braun: Project presentation ’Kairos’

Johan Lindgren: Presentation without title

David Kergel: Digital Bildung between Resistance and Education

Synne Myreböe: The Politics of Cultivation

Anders Ramsay: Kierkegaard and the contradictino of bourgeois society

Victor Pressfeldt: State critique and civil society: From 1970s Marxism to Neoliberalism of
the Present

Laura Brännkärr-Väänänen: Knowledge in a Time of Populism: the Anti-vaccine Movement

Karolina Enquist Källgren: Learning social organization: social movements as knowledge

Jeppe Læssø: Universities and citizenship education for sustainability in times of accelerating
changes and new social movements

Oddbjørn Jensen: Bildung of the No-Self

Bill Thompson: The Existential Effort? The concept of Secular Philosohy is of philosophy as
therapy for wisdom [working title]

Kristian Guttesen: Character Education and the Role of Moral Values in the Development of
Students and their Knowledge of the Good Life

Jesper Garsdal: Imagination, processes and values –social plasticity, and some overlapping
fields of interest between social Innovation and ideas of learning, edification and eduation
[working title]

Kerstin von Brömssen: RE Curriculum Constructions in Europe – a four country analyses on
religious literacies and the citizen to be

• Karolina Enquist Källgren, Post-doctoral fellow, Lund University
• Jesper Garsdal, Associate professor, VIA University College, Denmark.
• [Kerstin von Brömssen, Professor Educational Sciences, University West,
• [Michael Paulsen, Associate professor, University of Southern Denmark,
• Anders Ramsay, Associate Professor, Sociology, Mid-Sweden University
• Peter Aagaard, Associate Professor, Roskilde university

The aim of the symposium

There is a historic legacy to emphasize the role of education in the creation of a healthy public space, as well as in promoting values of democracy and equality. Education has been seen as the key to liberation (Freire), the necessary motor for the creation of political subjects (Gramsci), the development of liberal subjects with the capacity to act in public life (Ortega, Arendt) as well as the creative self-development of the individual capacities (Humboldt) in relation to a national circumstance (Herder) or as opposed the civilizing effects of society (Rousseau). The aim of the symposium is thus to investigate the inner tensions as well as possibilities to be found in the three-fold overarching purposes of education: Citizenship, Bildung and Critique. As has been discussed by various authors, education for citizenship can be a project of disciplination (Althusser) or a project that liberates subjects to act as equals in a social circumstance (Arendt, Spivak), a tension that can be seen in the veil-debate in France, for example. Equally Bildung as well as Critique are often associated with individual creative capacities to reflect and promote social change, but certain kinds of critique can be used as tools to build populist movements and Bildung has often been criticized for allowing only for the development of the individual capacities of the most gifted. As education is positioned between the political purposes of citizens education and the purpose of self-development we encourage scholars who discuss the critical role of education, as well as its emphasis on individual self-development and adaptation to the rules of social and political life. We ask if education can be aimed both at developing the creative and critical powers of social movements for change, at the same time as it educates for citizenship. We furthermore ask, in what ways social movements and political action can in themselves be understood as institutions of Critique, Bildung and education for citizenship. We encourage theoretical as well as empirical studies highlighting the complexity of the purpose of education, both as a problem and as the potential for societal change.

The Call for Papers invites presentations dealing with one or more of the following subthemes:

• The intersections between Bildung, critique and populism. Are they opposites, or do contemporary political movements contain new forms of political education that can be characterized as Bildung? What challenges does institutions of education face today, to sustain process of Bildung that preserve the ability of critique?

• Integration of the local and global – the cosmopolitics of sustainability in education, humans and nature; human and non-human actors. What are the social circumstances of Bildung? Global/world citizenship and democratic education. What role does education play in creating social subjects? Do institutions of citizenship in liberal democracies sustain or inhibit the need for
globalized, political Bildung?

• Education, post-truth and the role of Bildung. To what extent is contemporary education contributing to post-truth society, and or in what consists an education against post-truth? Can Bildung be considered an anti-dote? Can conceptions like openness towards alterity clash with notions of Bildung and Critique?

• Otherness, difference and trans-culturalism: educational, critical and dialogical models of alterity. Can critique be autonomous? Or aim at making its speaker autonomous? What is the relationship between creativity and social critique? What are the limits of creative practices for political meaning making?

• Religious Education, character education, world literature and moral values in a pluralistic/multicultural world order. What is the relationship between the social body and critique? What role does moral values play in the formation of social subjects, citizens or critical social movements?

• Comparing different educational ideas and concepts – Bildung, literacy, competences, Learning, freedom, happiness etc. in a global perspective. Does liberation have a value in education? In what way can education liberate,
and is educational liberation liberal or social?

• Digital Critique, Digital Bildung. How does or can institutions of Bildung develop in the digital age, to secure freedom of speech, the ability to critique and resists deterioration of factfulness?

We encourage participants to present what they aim to work with in the future in the circle and what they conceive as the main questions, obstacles and challenges. As much research show, education is undergoing constant change under the effects of globalization and bring rapid developments in technology and communication within learning systems across the world. Ideas, values and knowledge, as well as changing roles of students and teachers within education, are themes we expect to discuss and plan for further explorations and seminars, as well as the role of education in the modern well-fare state and as an institution that can be both conserving and serve social change. We also want to high-light the increasing politization of education and its intersection with other social actors.


About the two Study Groups organizing this joint symposium

The aim of study circle 6 is to investigate critique as a phenomenon placed between institutionalised practices, post-truth-politics and the sphere of free cultural expression, i.e. between normative claims of the value of critique and the seeming ineffectiveness of reasoned critical thinking as a tool for political change.

The aim of study circle 8 is to rethink and reframe education, learning, edification and cosmopolitics in light of globalization, cultural diversity, world citizenship, alterity, heterological thinking and new concepts of peace and cultural sustainability, both from western and non-western perspectives.

For more information on NSU in general see

And for more information on the two study circles see

Format of the presentation

We encourage participants to do both traditional and non-traditional presentations:

The symposium will consist of 4 possible forms of presentations:

1) Paper presentation with discussion (about 60 min. incl. discussion).
2) Round tables (include 30 minutes of presentation, followed by 60 minutes of discussion and feedback). Roundtable presenters should bring questions to pose to others at the table in order to learn from and with those attending.
3) Short presentations of brief ideas (about 20 min. incl. discussion).
4) Presentation of a case to be analyzed and discusses together (about 60. min).

Indicate in your abstract which form of presentation you prefer. Presentations can be
in English or one of the Nordic languages.

To submit a proposal, please send it via email to the coordinator both (Karolina Enquist Källgren) and jega (Jesper Garsdal). Please cite name and affiliation in the e-mail:

  1. A written proposal (max. 350 words) with a title, its format its duration.
  2. A short bio (max. 100 words).

If you would like to attend the symposium without presenting, please email a short bio.

The deadline to submit proposals is 1 May 2019. Accepted applicants will be informed by e-mail and a preliminary program will be announced on, where you can also find more information about NSU and sign up for the newsletter.

The deadline for registration is 1 June 2019. Please be aware that you are registered only when you have paid for the Symposium. All registration and payment will be done electronically.


The summer session of 2019 will take place from 28th of July to 4th of August 2019 at Roosta, Holiday Village , Haapsalu, Estonia.

The deadline for the Scholarship and Grant Program is 1 May 2019

NSU will in some cases offer scholarships for students and grants for others in need of a subsidy in order to attend the summer session. The deadline for applications 1 May. For more information on the application process, see

Please note that people who receive grants and scholarships are expected to help ARRKOM with small tasks for example writing blog posts, sharing their experience, distributing information if needed, and helping out with setting up and cleaning up the picnic.

PhD and MA students are eligible for up to five ECTS points for participation and presentation of a paper. See also:

Parents with children
We welcome families at the Summer Session. Just like previous years, there will be a separate circle for children between 3 and 15 years. In the children’s circle, we offer a variety of activities for children and youth, running parallel to the other study circles. See also:

The Nordic Summer University (NSU) is a Nordic network for research and interdisciplinary studies.

NSU is a nomadic, academic institution, which organizes workshop-seminars across disciplinary and national borders. Since it was established in 1950, Nordic Summer University has organized forums for cultural and intellectual debate in the Nordic and Baltic region, involving students, academics, politicians, and intellectuals from this region and beyond.
Decisions about the content and the organizational form of the NSU lay with its participants. The backbone of the activities in the NSU consists of its thematic study circles. In the study circles researchers, students and professionals from different backgrounds collaborate in scholarly investigations distributed regularly in summer and winter symposia during a three-year period.

For more information: