reflecting on a tumultuous past – with the University Histories blog!

We’re thrilled to have explored our history, and how Arts/Research is boosting our archiving, with the University Histories blog from the University of Manchester. #NordicnessInMotion

70 Years of Activism, Research and History with the Nordic Summer University — University Histories

Winter School

Almost as old as the Nordic tradition of summer schools – to which Nordic Summer Univeristy is indebted – is that of the Winter School. Generations of writers, thinkers, artists and mercenaries have met during the long days of darkness across Scandinavia to refuel: to learn, to discuss, to keep their brains warm.

Our 9 study circles each meet during the winter months, around February, for mini-symposiums. Pick a subject and find out more:

1. Urban Studies: Between Creativity and Power

2. Cybioses: Shaping Human-Technology Futures

3. Hospitality and Solidarity: Feminist Philosophy in Thought, History and Action

4. Narrative and Violence

5. Patterns of Dysfunction in Contemporary Democracies; Impact on Human Rights and Governance

6. Critique in the Age of Populism

7. Artistic Research | Performing Heterotopia

8. Learning and Bildung in Times of Globalisation

9. Comics and Society: Research, Art, and Cultural Politics

The dedication to extreme conditions marks the “winter school” experience – and we have been happy to hear that this typifies other, similar institutions!

As Bohuslav Balcar and Petr Simon recount for 25 years of winter schools on “Abstract Analysis” for Acta Universitatis Carolinae, “The worst living conditions were at Strazne 1979. It was necessary to break the ice if you wanted to wash your face or to use your toothbrush. One foreign participant arrived late evening, suffered through the whole night and escaped the next morning forever”.

Hopefully we have never been beset by such conditions – but it certainly brings back memories from our 1995 session, as you can read about here!

music theorists and meta scientists

Carl Lesche

A psychoanalyst, metascientist, philosopher and music theorist, Carl Lesche (1920-1993) was a member of the Nordic Summer University in its earliest days from 1952.

Robert Rauschenberg performing “Shotput + Elgin Tie” at a Fylkingen concert at the Museum of Modern Art, Stockholm, 13 September 1964. From Fylkingen Bulletin 1:1966. Photo: Hans Malmberg/Tio. Retrieved from http://www.hz-journal.org/n19/hayashi.html

Also a member of the radical music group Fylkingen, Lesche was a theorist in the experimental music and performance field. His travels took him all the way to the Soviet Union, where he made some of the earliest recordings of orthodox liturgical music.

(from ‘A Short Biography and List of His Scientific Writings’ By Åke Åredal)