Summer School - 2020

Global and Transnational Sociology Summer School 2020


The University of Duisburg-Essen has postponed the semester start until April 20, 2020. Teaching in classroom form will be completely discontinued by then. We will monitor developments carefully and decide upon whether the summer school will take place in classroom or online by mid-April. Please feel free to contact us for further questions:

Course Program 2020

Block I: June 15 - June 26, 2020

Prof. Dario Azzellini (Cornell University) New Global Social Movements

The course reviews major issues concerning new global social movements and their core characteristics. At the center of the course are the movements that emerged with the crisis since 2008 (the “Arab Spring,” Greece, 15-M/Spain, Gezi/Turkey, Occupy…). The course will discuss different approaches in social movement theory. It will also analyze movements that can be considered precursors regarding content and practices of the new global social movements (e.g. the “anti-representational” movements in Latin America since the mid-1990s and the alter-globalization movement). The course will discuss shared characteristics and differences among the new global movements and compared to earlier social movements. These changes will be contextualized in an analysis of changing political and cultural circumstances (crisis of representation, globalization, global governance…) and of new practices (non-representational democracy, direct action, self-management…) and perspectives of social movements.

Dr. Glaucia Peres da Silva (University of Duisburg-Essen) Global markets in the creative industries

The literature on creative industries have hugely increased in the last decades, focusing on their relevance for artists and “creative workers” as well as for cities and countries. While creative industries national features prevail in the analyses, this course will examine their global dimensions. Departing from a discussion on global markets, their organizational and institutional contexts, we will then analyze the globalization of the creative industries and the establishment of transnational networks of individuals and firms in this sector. Aspects of (a) the production process, involving the organization of firms and labor conditions, (b) the distribution networks, also with respect to value creation, and (c) consumer behavior, including the formation of transnational network of fans and tourism, will be part of our discussions. Case studies on different branches – music, literature, cinema, arts – will be debated and taken as inspiration for students’ essays. Theoretically, this course brings together insights of economic sociology, sociology of the arts as well as global and transnational sociology.

Prof. Helen Baykara-Krumme Families in motion - Understanding migration and incorporation processes

An international migration is often and in manifold ways a family affair. The family as a fundamental arena of decision making is involved in (re)migration decisions; family-related policies structure migration processes; family life and family biographies are heavily affected by international migration and the family itself influences processes of incorporation and settlement of its individual members. This course sheds light on some aspects of these multiple links between migration and the family. We will discuss how family networks and family-related migration policies affect and help understand migration patterns in various parts of the world. Another focus of the course will be transnational families and global householding that characterize migration and family life worldwide. The discussions will include the perspective of individual family-related life-course decisions in migration contexts, including, for instance, transnational partner choice. Finally, we will turn to the ultifaceted role of the family when it comes to acculturation and incorporation. Our discussions will be based on conceptual and rich empirical material and will help to promote our understanding of the complex mechanisms underlying current migration and incorporation processes.

Block II: June 29 - July 10, 2020

Prof. Pedro Mandagará Ribeiro (Universidade de Brasília) Translation in the Anthropocene: Global Politics, Development Policies and Amerindian Ontologies

Debates on global warming and environmental destruction dominate the political agenda in global forums and national development policies. In this course, we will focus on the concepts of nation and nature that permeate these debates. Departing from the concept of Anthropocene, we will analyze specially the case of Amazon Rainforest and the conflicting positions concerning its preservation or use represented by global, national and Amerindian interests. In 2019, fires destroyed large sections of the forest in Brazil and Bolivia, which yielded an international outcry directed at the Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro. In defense of his anti-environmentalist policies, he opposes national development and preservation, seen as a disguise for neocolonialist land-grabbing plans. From this perspective, nation and nature are seen as mutually excluding options. On the other hand, Amerindians conceive nature as multiple, while human culture is seen as just one variation of nature, what Viveiros de Castro (1998) calls “multinaturalism”. From this perspective, non-human actors (animals, spirits, rivers, the forest itself, etc.) have their own interest (“cosmopolitics”) and may play a central role in the conception of the world, establishing multiple perspectives. During the course, we will discuss also the work of two Amerindian thinkers, Davi Kopenawa (2013) and Ailton Krenak (2015).

Prof. Besim Can Zirh (Middle East Technical University, Ankara) Anthropology of Migration and Transnationality

Although they are not novel or unheard-of, border-crossing engagements and activities have become among the most critical issues of several disciplines in the age of globalization. For this reason, developing perspectives on migration is critical for anyone who would like to participate in scholarly debates in various fields of contemporary intellectual life.
This seminar is designed on this rationale and aims to assist its participants in developing an inter-disciplinary perspective of “transnationalism,” with which they can approach contemporary social and political phenomena without being trapped by national borders, namely “methodological nationalism.” By specifically focusing on the phenomenon of migration, this seminar attempts to discuss border-crossing engagements and activities from a historical, inter-disciplinary and case-comparative perspective. Equally important, the seminar also focuses on how scholars have attempted to understand these phenomena at different historical moments. It is expected that this perspective would be also helpful to understand the nature of paradigmatic shifts in the social sciences at large. 

Contact information:

Lucia Bonikowski

Room: LK075
Tel.: +49 (0)203-379-1343

Please visit the following websites for additional information: