Anthropology, Art, Critical theory, Economics, History, Law, Media, Political economy, Sociology

Co-funded by the Open Society University Network (OSUN)

We are planning to run the course in a face-to-face format in Budapest. If, however, the pandemic continues to pose heath risks, we will be ready to deliver the course online. Updates will be available on this page around the end of March, 2021.

Course date

19 June - 29 June, 2021
Application deadline
14 February, 2021
Course Director(s): 

Jean-Louis Fabiani

Department of Sociology and Anthropology, CEU, Budapest, Hungary/Vienna, Austria

Dorothea von Hantelmann

Human Rights Program & The Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College Berlin, Germany

Alexandra Kowalski

Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, CEU, Budapest, Hungary/Vienna, Austria
Course Faculty: 

Paul Basu

Department of Anthropology and Sociology, SOAS University of London, UK

Ian Cook

Center for Media, Data and Society at CEU's Democracy Institute, CEU, Budapest, Hungary

Séverine Dusollier

Law School, Science Po, Paris, France

Agnes Gagyi

Department of Sociology and Work Science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Olga Sezneva

Department of Sociology, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Joseph Stiglitz

School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, New York, USA

Pelin Tan

Human Rights Program & The Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale, USA

Xa Shin Wei

Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Arizona State University, Tempe, USA
This course asks how and why art and open societies have sustained each other across history, and how they may continue to do so beyond the crisis they jointly undergo in the current context of rapid technological, economic and political transformation. While focusing more specifically on artistic production, on its present crisis, and its possible futures, this course puts art in the broader perspective of the history of cultural production, and of its social, political and economic conditions of possibility at the modern intersection of state and market. Instrumental in this project is the conceptual lens of the “common(s),” a notion that has always been defining cultural production in the modern era in one way or another (as a common good, as a public good, as a human right, e.g.); one, however, that has recently gained new meanings and dramatic currency since the digital turn in media and the financial turn in economics. Digitization and financialization, commodify, segment, and often alienate ever larger segments of our private lives and democratic public spheres. In response to these threats, theories of the commons and practices of commoning coming from the digital and art worlds are transforming the goals and means of art, politics, and economics on the margins of the old state-market infrastructure. 
 
The course represents a unique endeavor to illuminate the social origins and history, the symbolic meanings, the achievements, and the sustainability of practices and theories of cultural commons and commoning, old and new, collecting knowledge both from scholarship that is well established but scattered across academic niches (media, law, art, critical theory), and from recent advances of practical knowledge, real but poorly known, debated and publicized.  The course is based on the involvement of researchers and practioners and aims to collect a pool of knowledge on practices and theories of commoning and commons in the field of culture with the active participation of the students and teachers of the summer university.