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Going public: social sciences and humanities in the 21st century in Europe

Explore the potentials and challenges of ‘going public’ in several connected disciplines – anthropology, ethnography, literary studies, and folklore studies – in response to the social, political and ecological issues facing societies and collectives in the diversified Europe of the 21st century.

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CIVIS focus area
Society, culture, heritage
Open to
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
  • PhD
Field of studies
  • Social Science and humanities
  • Short-term
  • CIVIS Hub 2
Course dates
1 May - 15 July 2022

This blended mobility CIVIS course will introduce participating students to problematics and applications in the field of Public Social Sciences and Humanities, with an emphasis on Anthropology, Ethnography, Literary and Folklore Studies (AELF). The ‘Public’ here means a shift in the dissemination of the knowledge that these disciplines produce, especially of that concerning issues of wider public interest, from inequalities and inequities regarding access to resources, participation and recognition, to discrimination, racism, or oppression. The ‘Public’ also means to not just work with and speak about communities, but also to actively engage with them, identify problems and work jointly on solutions.

AELF, with their theoretical foundations and methodological apparatuses, are ideally placed to explore social and communal issues, what their impact is in the everyday life and experiences of people and communities, how people think about these issues and respond to them and how they build communities around these issues. Yet, the challenge that these disciplines face today is to turn this potential into reality, return their knowledge to people and communities and engage with them once more, as scholars and partners.

Throughout this course, we will discuss how the concepts and methods of these different disciplines can contribute to this endeavour. Students will work in small groups on projects with an applied character. They will gain hands-on experience and learn how to work in an inter and transdisciplinary fashion in order to achieve a better understanding of the contemporary societies we live in and the changes they undergo.

Main topics addressed

  • Material culture and identity
  • Local cultures, narratives and folklore
  • Diversity and migration

Learning outcomes

  • Gain an understanding of what publically oriented social sciences and humanities may mean
  • Learn about the prominent research and dissemination methods employed in the orientation of these disciplines towards a wider audience and develop a critical and constructive perspective on their uses
  • Explore and understand the ways and strategies through which local, regional, national and transnational identities are forged in the public sphere by means of joint academic and grassroots, i.e. community- and stakeholder-derived, exchanges in contemporary Europe
  • Expand and deepen the students’ knowledge regarding issues and challenges in the fields of material culture, local culture, narratives/oral tradition, folklore and migration, as they have developed in the social sciences and the humanities with an emphasis on contemporary Europe
  • Appreciate the value of the comparative perspective when applied to the study of material culture, local culture, narratives/oral tradition, folklore and migration in contemporary Europe
  • Receive training in these methods
  • Acquire an understanding of the interdisciplinary theoretical background of the methodologies used when addressing issues associated with the ‘Public’
  • Be able to use this knowledge to complete the tasks assigned to the students and solve problems that require critical thinking
  • Exchange knowledge across disciplines and universities
Format: Blended Individual workload: 200 hours
Language: English (B2) Contact hours: 50 hours
Location: Tübingen, Germany ECTS: up to 7.5
N° of CIVIS scholarships: 25 Dates: 1 May - 15 July

This CIVIS course is a blended-learning programme that consists of online preparation classes (10 hours) and an intensive Summer School (24 hours of face-to-face classes and practical exercises) that will take place in the University of Tübingen from 28-30 June 2022, in addition to a concluding session at the beginning of July 2022. 


This CIVIS course is open to Bachelor's, Master and PhD students at one of CIVIS member universities. 

A B2 level of English is recommended. 

Application process

Applicants should send a short CV and a letter of motivation to The application deadline is 22 February 2022.

Selected students will be notified on 5 March 2022.


Participating students will have to complete small assignments, present research findings in class and prepare a research essay (or take a final written exam).

The evaluation criteria will be the following: 

  • Content
  • Methodological approach
  • Quality of presentation

GDPR Consent

The CIVIS alliance and its member universities will treat the information you provide with respect. Please refer to our privacy policy for more information on our privacy practices. By applying to this course you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

  • Dr. Gabriele Alex, Professor in Social Anthropology, University of Tübingen
  • Dr. Claudia N. Câmpeanu, Assistant Professor, School of Sociology and Social Work, Department of Anthropology, University of Bucharest
  • Dr. Magdalena Crăciun, Lecturer in Anthropology, University of Bucharest
  • Dr. Vassiliki Chryssanthopoulou, Assistant Professor in Folklore Studies, Department of Philology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • Dr. Sarah Holst Kjaer, Associate Professor and Reader in Ethnology, Head of the Ethnology Section, Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, Stockholm University
  • Dr. Marianthi Kaplanoglou, Associate Professor in Folklore Studies, Department of Philology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • Dr. Georgios Kouzas, Assistant Professor in Folklore Studies, Department of Philology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • Dr. Karin Polit, Professor in Social Anthropology, University of Tübingen
  • Dr. Adrian Stoicescu, Lecturer, Faculty of Letters, Department of Cultural Studies, University of Bucharest