As part of our re-designed 2020 summer session, the Nordic Summer University invites scholars, emerging researchers, urban practitioners, artists and creative industries specialists, institutional representatives and non-governmental sector activists to take part in a symposium organized by the NSU study circle Urban Studies: Between Creativity and Power. The symposium will offer an opportunity to take part in stimulating presentations and discussions to co-produce knowledge by sharing research and practical experiences and discovering innovative theoretical and methodological approaches to the everyday life in the city. 

Each event should produce a trace which can be shared with the larger community: NSU’s urban studies circle our eight other multi-disciplinary study circles, and the wider members of the oldest nomadic Nordic university of its kind (read more about the history of NSU here!).

Grants are available for creating the event and its trace. Traces can be made individually or together with other participants. (See more below)

What is a trace?

A trace is defined as the outcome of our Circle’s activities in the Summer Session 2020. A trace is documented and can be archived or presented as a form of evidence. A trace can have a variety of formats: it can be an article written or co-written by you or a discussion held among our Circle’s members, it can be a virtual meet-up or a localized interdisciplinary micro meet-up between members of different circles in a form that is permitted, an online podcast or interviews – you name it! The format is not restricted in any way; however, as coordinators we will organize a shortlisting procedure of the proposed traces. We will evaluate the potential outcome, creative and academic contribution, quality and shareability of the proposed trace.

The trace of your event with NSU needs to be:

●  produced by a single individual or group of participants.
●  sharable and open to all during the Summer Session time frame
●  fitting to NSU’s overall goals, aims and vision.
●  related to the circle’s theme – which you can read more about here
●  created with its main language English or a Scandinavian or Baltic language. ●  those who ultimately make the trace must be a member of NSU (this requires paying a small membership fee & participating in the democratic forum of NSU
●  the team or individual creating a trace needs to provide some promotion material considered as an INVITATION to the trace, before the Summer Session in July: picture & 200-500 words.
●  those who make a trace need to provide a brief report of the trace to their coordinator (the form will be provided by Board, including amount of participants, goals, etc) after the trace has been produced.

What is this year’s theme of the Circle?

Home and Belonging

From the NSU Archive. Find out more here!

The participants are invited to address the meaning of home, which is complex and multifaceted in the times of extended mobility and nomadic practices (migration, tourism, multiple homes, homelessness etc.). We see the current events of global pandemic COVID-19 as especially provoking environment to readdress the meaning and practices of home and belonging. Home as a construct has a deep emotional meaning and often intertwined with nostalgia emerging from childhood memories, feeling of comfort, privacy, attachment, security and belonging. Losing one’s home can feel like losing one’s self. However, home can also have conflicted or variable meanings presenting tensions, alienation and exclusion. Recently, home has also experienced certain transformations with all kinds of integrated media as, for example, can be evidenced in the “smart home/house” and the “home-office”, thus overlapping with other places and spaces. The topics of exploration include, but are not limited to: 

  1. what counts as home;
  2. how home is lived and experienced by people as a place
  3. the significance of home as a space;
  4. the accessibility/inaccessibility of home; 
  5. how power dynamics and socio-economic conditions impact the concept of  home;
  6. how technology can influence how and where we feel at home; 
  7. how home is gendered and contested.

How do I apply?

To submit a proposal of a Trace, please send it via email to the coordinators Laine Kristberga and Anete Ušča (circle1nsu@gmail.comby 31 May 2020:

  1. A written proposal (max. 350 words). This should include a title and a short description of the topic, its format and its outcome (add visual materials, if necessary);
  2. A short bio (max. 200 words).

The NEW deadline to submit proposals is 31 May 2020Accepted applicants will be informed by e-mail and a preliminary programme will be announced on, where you can also find more information about NSU and sign up for the newsletter.

The accepted participants will be notified by the 15 June, including all the relevant details regarding the registration. 

Grants and Scholarships

A Trace will enable you to also receive a grant, which supports the creation of that trace. Each circle will be able to suggest 6 traces to be given a grant of 7000 Danish Krones for each trace. Traces can be made individually or together with other participants. In case we receive a large number of exciting proposals for the Traces, we will consider a possibility to split the grants in slightly smaller amounts, to encourage a greater diversity of projects. 

The participants will need to pay the Nordic Summer University’s annual membership fee. The membership fee facilitates the existence of the Nordic Summer University, which is a volunteer-based organisation. In the times of COVID-19, there are two optional choices: 

Annual membership fee: €25 

Annual membership fee: €10 

I still need inspiration…

To celebrate 70 years of NSU’s activism and scholarship, in 2019 we embarked upon a series of arts-research projects which reflected the history of NSU and wider expressions of ‘Nordic’ values. From print-making to sound art, to VR installations and performances, our ten artists have been using every artistic-research-method under the sun! CLICK HERE to see how they’ve been putting it all together.

You can also follow the Urban Studies circle here on Facebook.


You can always visit our FAQ page.

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