[sic!] Summer Institute Cologne 2017 – Belief/Believe – Call for Participation

13 February, 2017 by Sascha Forster | 0 comments

[sic!] Summer Institute Cologne 2017 – Belief/Believe – Call for Participation

[sic!] Summer Institute Cologne 2017 is an international summer school for postgraduate students and will take place in August/September of this year. Deadline for applications is 1 March 2017.

Call for Participation

[sic!] Summer Institute Cologne 2017


> Topic: Belief/Believe

> 29 August – 9 September 2017

> Location: Theaterwissenschaftliche Sammlung, University of Cologne

> Deadline for applications: 1 March 2017

> Open to graduate students (master’s and PhD)

> Fee: 200.00 Euro, reduced fee for Cologne students: 70.00 Euro

> You will find the application form, a preliminary timetable and more information on the three seminars on: http://sic.uni-koeln.de 


We invite graduate and postgraduate students from Area Studies, Art History, Classics, Communication, Cultural Studies, Dance, English, Film, German, Japanese Literature, History, Literary Studies, Media, Music, Performance, Sound, Theatre, and related fields to apply for this international interdisciplinary program. (All sessions will be conducted in English.) Participants and faculty of [sic!] 2017 will explore perspectives on the topic belief/believe through three themed seminars: 

• Sound Media (led by Profs Marcus Erbe and Neil Verma)

• Theatre (led by Profs Tracy C. Davis and Peter W. Marx)

• Visual Narration (led by Profs Patrick Noonan and Stephan Packard)

Each seminar will be led by a pair of scholars from Northwestern University (Evanston, USA) and the University of Cologne (Germany). In addition to the seminars, [sic!] offers interdisciplinary academic workshops that allow for a dialogue with participants from across the seminars. Each participant enrolls in one seminar and one workshop, thus composing an individual study program. Seminars and workshops are enhanced by excursions, lectures by alumni, poster presentations by students, and social gatherings. The University of Cologne assists participants in identifying accommodation and with other basic logistics.




The words belief/believe not only designate a state of certainty but also conjure the epistemological apparatus of knowledge and its mechanisms. Implications range from religious faith to the conviction to “hold something as true.” This points to three different aspects:

a)a firm conviction to believe; 

b)the status of knowledge (not as absolute certainty but an active investment of the believer); and

c)the underlying contrat de véridiction (Greimas), the epistemological foundation and its rules to “produce” truth.

The Latin word credere – influential to all Western concepts of belief/believe – emphasizes this broad horizon through its etymological roots, cor dare (to put your heart on someone/something) which includes the affective element as well as the active agency that is inscribed into the concept. Thus, a continuum of experiences, conditions, or convictions – belief, credibility, assurability, magic, reality, abstraction, artificiality – may be considered as relative to each other or as mutually held. We make investments in something, but this is also triggered by conventions and technologies.

Even in the Age of Science (“wissenschaftliches Zeitalter,” Brecht), or maybe particularly because of it, the concept of belief/believe is especially salient. In pluralistic societies that allow for polyphony of convictions and procedures that instill contrasting beliefs, the active and affective moment of putting one’s heart on something and taking it for reality is both omnipresent and constantly challenged. There are no longer any obligatory and unifying systems of knowledge; instead, there are various institutions and systems competing against each other and fighting for influencing/becoming reality in a political, economic, or social sense. The arts gain a special position: the realm of aesthetics which in many cultures are designated as autonomous and/or put against ‘reality’ creates a point of view that allows various grammars of belief/believe and their respective individual and social investments. Sometimes, also, the arts create a perspective of the world that is more to our heart than a reality we cannot or do not want to believe.

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