History, International relations, Journalism and media studies, Literary studies, Political science

Course date

21 June - 25 June, 2021
Application for this course is closed.
Course Director(s): 

György Túry

Center for Media, Data and Society, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary / Institute of Communication and Media Studies, Budapest Metropolitan University, Hungary

András Bozóki

Department of Political Science, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary/Vienna, Austria

Gregory Lobo

Department of Languages and Culture, Los Andes University, Bogotá, Colombia
Course Faculty: 

Patricia Poblete Alday

Centro de Investigación y Documentación - Universidad Finis Terrae, Santiago de Chile, Chile

Ian Buruma

Human Rights and Journalism Programs, affiliated with Asian Studies; Human Rights; Written Arts Bard College, Annandale-On-Hudson, USA

Almira Ousmanova

Department of Social Sciences, European Humanities University, Vilnius, Lithuania

Sonja Merljak Zdovc

Casoris Information and Education Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Guest Speaker(s): 

Sándor Jászberényi

Writer and journalist, Egypt/Hungary

Óscar Martínez

Co-founder, coordinator, and reporter for “Sala Negra”, El Salvador

Witold Szablowski

Journalist and author, Poland

Marcela Turati

Freelance investigative journalist, a founding member of QuintoElemento, Mexico

András Vágvölgyi B.

Writer, journalist, film director, political and cultural commentator, Hungary
An international group of scholars, representing three continents, and including world-renowned author Ian Buruma, proposes a five-day summer university course for advanced B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. students in fact-based narratives, also known as literary journalism in English language scholarship, reportage in the former Soviet area, or crónica in Latin America. At first glance reading like fiction, the genre seeks however to be informative, to give an account of reality based on epistemologically objective data, mixing the intransigence of facts with the passion of narrative. 
The course is valuable, we believe, because we live in an age of multimodal propaganda and misinformation, which scholars have shown is related to political populism and resurgent authoritarianism. Research also suggests that the best way to disrupt the effects of propaganda is through the construction of disruptive narratives that give readers routes towards new understandings of the world, others in the world, and their relation to them.  
Participants in the course will be introduced to i) the history, ii) the characteristics, iii) the major topics, and iv) the reality-transforming potential of the genre by surveying some of its groundbreaking representatives and achievements. To do this we will engage with historical and contemporary examples of the genre itself, but also with theoretical and philosophical texts that explore the relationship between (accurate) representation and/of (empirical) reality. The research and the curriculum are interdisciplinary, involving literary studies, political science, journalism and media studies, international relations, and history. 

Online course format

Throughout the course a variety of engaging and effective online teaching and learning methods will be employed; pre-recorded and live lectures will be used judiciously while active learning strategies will be distributed across all class sessions. Apart from classroom teaching and learning, online extracurricular activities will also be organized.
Each of the five days of the course we will have approximately three 60 – 80 minute synchronous activities that include i) live and pre-recorded introductory lectures by faculty; ii) small group and individual work slots; iii) class discussions; iv) Q&A sessions; v) one-on-one consultations with faculty, and vi) participant presentations. Asynchronous activities will form a crucial element of the course, both before and during it: i) readings will be made available prior to the course; ii) readings will be accompanied by specific questions formulated by faculty that are expected to be answered by participants before the given session (either in written or PPT or video format); iii) both faculty members and participants will have the chance to introduce themselves in video format, using the platform Panopto; iv) participants will work in small groups on specific projects.
(For more details see please Syllabus.)
Platforms to be used (access to platforms and constant IT help will be provided throughout the course to all participants): Microsoft Teams, Moodle, Panopto, Sway.
Participants will receive various digital packages long before the course starts, including, but not limited to a finalized, authorized, detailed syllabus that shows the exact time slots of each and every activity, digitalized readers and other learning materials, as well as guidelines on how to use technology before and during the session. IT help will also be provided to all participants.