Circle 6: Critique in the Age of Populism, Nordic Summer University
Date: 20th. – 22ed. March, 2020
At the Department of Society and Business, Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark

The session will focus on the concept of critique and how it should be understood for it to be relevant in the future.

State authorities all over Europe have placed critical thinking as fundamental for democracy and good citizenship. Therefore, critical thinking have been a decisive pillar for institutions like the public, the media, and the universities. Here institutionalized critique has found its form in censorship, peer-review, publicist criteria in journalism, independence of media, autonomy of researcher, etc.

These institutions have been challenged recently by waves of radicalized populism, post-factuality, new media and austerity policies.

Is it possible to trace a foundation or a genealogy for a new, contemporary form of critic? Are we still able to create or maintain a normative standard or rationality as the foundation of critic? What should be the institutional foundations for a new form of critic? Could new forms of social action, new types of democratic rule, enforced methods of self-reflection in science, democratized form of expertise, be part of such foundations of a new form of critic?

Furthermore, what current institutional arrangements could be the object of such a critic? Could it be – and if so, how new socio-technological arrangements of hybrid media systems or surveillance capitalism dominate across the global landscape?

Confirmed keynotes:
– Steve Fuller, Auguste Comte Chair in Social Epistemology, from University of Warwick
– Jason Glynos, professor at the Department of Government at University of Essex

We invite scholars, students and practitioners from all fields to take part in our workshop organized by the study circle Critique in the Age of Populism, a migratory non-hierarchical group of international researchers. Our circle is developed within the Nordic and Baltic framework of Nordic Summer University. Since its inception, the primary aim has been to provide a forum for experimentation and cross-disciplinary collaboration welcoming members both from within and outside of universities and other institutions. The study circle provides a space for theoretical experimentation and the cross-fertilization of methodologies. It aims to develop insights that could be used in further research. In the last three years the circle has investigated topics like Institutions of critic, the role of media and public sphere, the role of education and bildung, The aim of the study circle 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.

To submit a proposal please send via email to Peter Aagaard, peteraa@ruc.dk

  1. A written proposal (350 words) with a title and descriptive subtitle. This text should include your presentation proposal, its format its duration, facilities you need (I.e. technical equipment)
  2. A short bio (200 words). If you would like to attend the symposium without presenting, please email a short Bio.

The deadline to submit proposals is November 30, 2019. The preliminary program will be announced on December 15, 2019 on www.nordic.university where you can also find more information about NSU and sign up for the newsletter.

The Nordic Summer University (NSU) is a Nordic network for research and interdisciplinary studies.
NSU is a nomadic, academic institution, which organises workshop-seminars across disciplinary and national borders. Since it was established in 1950, Nordic Summer University has organised 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 organisational 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.

The Nordic Summer University is committed to the principle of sustainability. At our symposia we offer vegetarian/vegan food only and aim towards zero waste. We thus invite members to bring their own reusable coffee cup and water bottle to the symposia and to consider carefully the carbon footprint of their travel choices.