the Center for Transcultural Studies

2023 Summer School

It Takes a Movement:
Social Mobilization and Rebuilding Democracy
July 3–9, 2023
CEU, Budapest, Hungary

Application Deadline:
March 5, 2023

Around the world, democracies are breaking down. Many are being dismantled from within while others face attacks from without. In both cases, the issues underlying democracy’s erosion are not superficial but deeply entrenched and complex. Rebuilding democracy—fortifying its institutions and advancing its project—takes a movement from below.

“It Takes a Movement” re-examines the relationship between social mobilization and democracy by attending to the stunning complexity and diversity of 21st-century protests and social movements. The course employs a global perspective, comparing social mobilizations across different democratic contexts, tracing transnational connections and fissures, and establishing common features. The course fosters a dialogue among students, activists, and scholars assembled from all over the world. Students will leave with a deeper understanding of the fraught relationship between democracy and social mobilization as well as new questions and ideas about how it might be productively addressed.

This one-week course features leading humanities and social sciences experts, including the renowned philosopher Charles Taylor and the influential political theorist Prathama Banerjee.

We invite applications from humanities and social science graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and junior faculty who have received their Ph.D. within the last 5 years. Applications from advanced undergraduate students will also be considered.

The course will fund a minimum of twenty students and reserves one third of available spaces for applicants from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Once admitted, all costs related to participation will be covered by the organizers. For U.S.-based students, airfare and ground transportation will be covered only up to USD 500.

Latest Event

Prathama Banerjee

Elementary Aspects of the Political: Histories from the Global South
Friday, February 3, 2023
10am CST

Prathama Banerjee (History and Political Theory, Center for the Study of Developing Societies-CSDS, New Delhi)

Humberto Beck (Center for International Studies, El Colegio de México)
Murad Idris (Political Science, University of Michigan)
Rochona Majumdar (South Asian Languages & Civilizations and Cinema & Media Studies, University of Chicago)

Dilip Gaonkar (Communication Studies, Northwestern University)

Free and open to the public. On Zoom.

Elementary Aspects of the Political: Histories from the Global South

Who We Are

The Center for Transcultural Studies is a leading research institution that creates new forms of cultural understanding for a rapidly internationalizing world. Its major objectives are:

  1. to work with colleagues around the world to develop critical understandings of the forces shaping contemporary life;
  2. to design international projects that transform research, teaching, and policy-making by sharing institutional resources and innovatively using the latest in telecommunication technologies; and
  3. to inform expert and lay audiences in the United States and abroad about contemporary cultural issues affecting us all.

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Featured Projects

Questioning the Present

Questioning the Present

The Questioning the Present project was launched in 2020 as a response to the contemporary political, economic, and social conditions in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

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Democracy in Question Podcast

Democracy in Question Podcast

Today, liberal democracies are under unprecedented strain from within and without. In each episode, Shalini Randeria invites a leading scholar to explore the challenges and dilemmas facing democracies around the world. They investigate what needs to be done to ensure the future well-being of our democratic institutions and practices.

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Semiotics Working Group

Semiotics Working Group

The Semiotics Working Group was founded in the fall of 2020 and meets monthly. With a diverse background ranging from Terra's work on non-propositional semiosis to Costas and Paul's analyses of indexicality and interpretants, to Greg's analysis of circulation, the group is exploring the possibility of a "continuous-time semiotics."

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Working Papers
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The Center for Transcultural Studies is a leading research institution that creates new forms of cultural understanding for a rapidly internationalizing world.

the Center for Transcultural Studies