Marcin Dębicki, PhD [Wrocław University]
A Social Face of Central Europe
Course description: The course will focus on four dominant issues connected with the history, forms, relationships and identity of Central Europe. In particular it will present four main topic: 1)The Fate of Central Europeanness (Issues to be covered: patterns in the historiosophy of Central Europe; Reasons why not to put Central Europe to death). 2) A Land of Ethnic Antagonisms (Issues to be covered: Central European antagonisms: Poland–Lithuania, Baltic states–Russia, Hungary and its neighbors, Croatia and the Balkans; Opposition to the Western European context). 3) Poles & Czechs – the Neighborhood of Social Asymmetry (Case Study): (Issues to be covered: Interest in each other; Attitudes to each other; Cultural differences and their determinants). 4) Central Europe Today: (Issues to be covered: Central Europe twenty-five years after the collapse of Communism (populism, anti-europeanness, immigration, social disappointment); Attitudes to immigration; The future of Central Europe).
Polina Golovátina-Mora, Ph.D. [Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana]
Science fiction at the service of the social sciences: the Matrix Universe
Course description: The recurrent and increasing interest in the genre in the popular culture especially in the last decade draws special attention to its meaning among many disciplines. This short series of lectures aims at introducing to the students the idea of diversification of the sources for the knowledge about society. The course will revise the idea of knowledge in the broader context of the philosophy of social thinking, society as a narrative or a text, the role of fiction as a source of such knowledge and the result of it. In sum, the course aims to explain why and how we can use fiction as such a source.
We will also explore the main theoretical problems raised in the proposed narratives by analyzing their plot and the characters in the context of the existing social theories and social epistemological approaches and discuss the appearing social and scholarly criticism of the proposed narratives and their meaning as a source of the knowledge of social processes and changes. The course will look at the Matrix universe (3 movies and Animatrix) in the framework of the Bourdieusian work. We will revise the main elements of the Bourdieu’s social theory and explore the possibility of their application in the analysis of the sci-fi genre for the further understanding of the social dynamics. We will also look at other possible interpretations of the genre and the Matrix narrative itself.
Alyson Patsavas [University of Illinois at Chicago, Ph.D. student]
An Introduction to Disability Studies and the Cultural Politics of Health
Course description: What does the World Health Organization, a U.S. based-national health campaign for LGBTQ Health, the politics of global pharmaceutical companies and a documentary about disability culture have to do with one another? An Introduction to Disability Studies and the Cultural Politics of Health examines the construction and circulation of knowledge about bodies, health, medicine and impairment from a disability studies perspective. We will examine the way that cultural discourses construct health as a natural, value-free desired state of being by marking disability as health’s “negative” corollary. Using the analytic tools offered by disability studies, which seeks to situate disability within a social, political and historical context and privilege the knowledge about disability produced from experiences of disabled people, we will deconstruct the relationship between health and disability.
PhDr. Dino Numerato, Ph.D. [Bocconi University]
Sociology of Sport
Course description: The sphere of sport is not exclusively an apolitical social sphere of fun and leisure, but also a “serious” and sociologically relevant social sphere, whose importance has been increasingly recognized in mainstream sociological analyses. Sociological analyses of sport have enhanced a better understanding of major social developments, as sport not only mirrors major social developments but also contributes to transform them. The forthcoming Olympic Games in London 2012 will offer another timely opportunity to revisit the social significance of sport. This mega-event, similarly to many less visible sport- related activities, such as proto-religious fan rituals during weekly football matches, daily physical activities practiced as part of healthy lifestyles or volunteers’ involvement in sport clubs, will be addressed by this introductory course in Sociology of sport. The main objective of this course, divided equally into lectures and seminars, will be to equip students with conceptual and analytical tools and methodological instruments necessary to carry-out a critical and theoretically informed scrutiny of sport-related topics. The aim of the course will be to present major historical developments of the sub-discipline of sociology of sport, to provide students with the overview of key scholars in the field, theoretical concepts of the sub- discipline and outline the links between sports sociology and general sociological theory. Particular attention will be given to the relationship between sports and politics, mass media, identity, globalisation, civil society, and social stratification.
Constantin Parvulescu [Center for East European Film and Media Studies, Universitatea de Vest din Timișoara]
Images of ’89. Film, the Audiovisual and History.
Course description: This class/ workshop explores the relationship between audiovisual media and historical events. We will focus on the 1989 events in Romania, and study the way in which they are represented in written texts, photographs, newscasts, documentaries, and feature films. The purpose of this class is to understand the specific way in which audiovisual media—the feature film in particular—archive the past and create images of it.
Doktor Parvulescu také připravil Workshop filmové analýzy v rámci plzeňského festivalu Finále určeném pro studenty a širokou veřejnost.