June 29 - July 5 the Centre of Cultural Studies of Postsocialism of KFU Institute for the Comparative Studies of Modernity organized Summer School Cultural Studies of Postsocialism: Approaches and Methods.
Eminent foreign and Russian scholars were invited as teachers. Professor Katherine Verdery from the City University of New York told about all novelties made in recent 20 years in Anthropology as well as about new tendencies in the Studies of former socialistic societies. Professor Alexander Etkind from the University of Cambridge delivered a lecture dedicated to one of versions of postcolonial theories – concept of internal colonization. Moreover, he paid attention to the international project regarding mechanisms of cultural memory in postsocialistic countries. Professor from the European Humanities University (EHU), Almira Usmanova, brought up for discussion issues concerning the ratio of cultural studies methodology and Marxism as well as their relevance to postsocialistic context. In addition to methodological part she presented her research about technoscientific utopias in Soviet visual culture. In the lecture made by the EHU Professor, Andrey Gornykh, was continued discussion of Marxism and neo-Marxism, but he also speculated on new media and their role in society. Thus, each lecturer proposed his or her own perspective on the methodology of studies of postsocialistic countries.
19 postgraduate students and young scientists attended Summer School. They participated in fierce competitive selection as more than 250 applications were submitted. Such an enormous selection allowed to invite the most brilliant and talented attendants. School geography covered various countries: the Ukraine, Armenia, Sweden, Australia, Canada and the USA. Russian representatives were from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Samara, Tomsk and Blagoveschensk. Kazan was represented by 3 young researchers.
Summer School organisers tried to avoid the concept of “active lecturer and passive student”, they were focused on interactive work between students and lecturers and between school participants. Presentations of individual projects were included into the programme of the school. This allowed to receive feedback from colleagues and lecturers. Special attention was given to team work: school participants were split into three groups according to their own interests and interests of the Centre. As a result each group presented its own project that in the future can be used as basis for applications to collective grants.
School lecturers expressed wish to cooperate further and school participants were eager to continue on their projects. At the end of the school all of them left feedback with positive comments.