Call for papers for Nordic Summer University summer session 2012 – kreds 2

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Learning from the future – towards cultures of sustainability

This year’s summer session of the Nordic Summer University will take place on July 28th – August 2nd, in Denmark, at Brandtbjerg Højskole near Vejle. The NSU is organized in “study/reflection circles”, working with a theme for 3 years. This is the last session of circle/kreds 2 around the theme of transculturality. The work of the circle has led to a published anthology in 2010, Learning from the Other, and upcoming, the anthology Learning from nowhere – the becoming of culture. This last session will prepare the field to a possible new circle, moving from taking the perspective of ”Learning from the future” (2013-2015). This shift will focus then on the theme of cultures of sustainability or transculturality from an uncertain future.

Culture will play a decisive role in defining the way humanity approaches the meta- or mega-issue of sustainability. It is often said that we actually possess the technological knowledge to come out of the critical situation that the world is heading into.

Innumerable alliances are forming that acknowledge the urgency of the problem, from all thinkable angles of societies.

The invitation is for all interested in the themes (and crossing of themes) of culture, interculturality, transculturality, sustainability, climate change, civic participation, education, and philosophy, to contribute to our last session in circle 2 (and maybe the pre-launch of a new circle). Abstracts can be proposed along the themes of


  1. Theoretical/epistemological/ontological investigations and reflections;
  2. Empirical studies – past and future;
  3. Methodological considerations;
  4. Discussions of issues of policy and political implications of the field.
  5. ..or whatever creative cross-fertilization you may be working with.


The summer session is coordinated by Johannes Servan, University of Bergen (Johannes [dot] Servan [at] fof [dot] uib [dot] no), and Oleg Koefoed, Cultura21 Nordic and Roskilde University (oleg [at] cultura21 [dot] dk). Please send your abstract (no more than 200 words) by June 1st at the latest, to one of the coordinators.

They accept abstracts in all Nordic languages, (or in English, French, Italian, Spanish, and German); presentations can be held in English, as well as in Nordic languages (although some languages might call more for translation than others). One or more authors can hand in an abstract and/or present together.

Preliminary program is expected around June 8th. If you want to participate without presenting, registration is possible until June 15th. Whether presenting or not, you must register your participation via the NSU-website. Registration for the Summer Session is done via the form at the web page. Registration is open from April 1st to June 15th. Your will receive an email with a receipt after registration. You are not fully registered before payment has been accepted. Visit for more information and for the story around the Nordic Summer University and Brandtbjerg Højskole. The preliminary program will be published on Sign up for the newsletter to get the necessary information and deadlines.

Arrival: 27th of July during the day.

Departure: the 3rd August in the morning

Registration for the Summer Session is done via the form at the webpage. Registration is from April 1st to June 15th. Your will receive an email with a receipt after registration.

Participant from the Nordic and Baltic Countries will receive travel refund.

Prices for participation, including meals and lodging, are:

  • Adult in single room: 5000 SEK
  • Adult in single room: 5500 SEK
  • Adult in two bed room: 3500 SEK
  • Child, 3-11 years: 1100 SEK
  • Child, 12-15 years: 2200 SEK
  • Student in two bed room: 1750 SEK

Students, who receive student discount, are expected to help the organizers with two-three hours work during the week. Application for student discount is done by registration. Initially, two spaces pr. Nordic country are offered. The offer does not apply to ph.d. students.

Ph.d. students can receive a certificate of participation. Participants can receive up to 5 ETCS points. As a participant you can get a discount on all publications from Aarhus University Press and a special discount on NSU’s own publications. Your order should be placed by registration to the summer session.

To read the full version of the call (PDF file), click here.

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

Robert MacFarlane on Richard Long

A Night of Rain Sleeping Place An 8 Day Mountain Walk in Sobaeksan Korea Spring 1993 by Richard Long, 1993 Courtesy Kunstverein Hannover © the artis

There’s a good article by Robert MacFarlane on Richard Long on Tate Etc, the Tate’s magazine, that attempts to see beyond the usual assumptions people make about Long’s work as “romantic” :

“I feel I carry my childhood with me in lots of aspects of my work,” [Long]remarked. “Why stop skimming stones when you grow up?”

Why indeed? It’s a lovely question – innocently seen and innocently phrased. And Long has never stopped skimming stones, artistically speaking. His hundreds of circles – made around the world in stone, sand, wood, grass and footprints – can be imagined as the ripples of these skimmed stones. To my mind, his work is best understood as a set of persistently childish acts: the outcomes of a brilliantly unadulterated being-in-the-world. The word kindergarten was coined in 1840 by the German educationalist Friedrich Froebel (1782–1852). Kindergarten, literally “a children’s garden”: a school or space for early learning. Froebel (less remembered now than Maria Montessori or Rudolf Steiner, for he didn’t lend his name to his method) wanted to create an environment in which children could be childish in the best sense of that word. Banished from his kindergartens was the Gradgrindian sense of the infant as a vessel to be filled with facts. Instead, he fostered an ideal of the child as micronaut – an explorer of the world’s textures, laws and frontiers, who should be left to make his or her own discoveries through unstructured play. Froebel wanted children to “reach out and take the world by the hand, and palpate its natural materials and laws”, as Marina Warner observes in a fine essay on play, “to discover gravity and grace, pliancy and rigidity, to sense harmonies and experience limits”.

A nature-lover and walker from an early age, Froebel had a passion for the patterns of phenomena, and in particular for what he called “the deeper lying unity of natural objects”. It was for this reason that the early Froebelian kindergartens had few figurative toys. Instead of trains, dolls and knights, there were wooden cubes and spheres, coloured squares and circles, pebbles, shells and pick-up-sticks. Children spent their days singing songs and playing games, arranging the pebbles in spirals and circles, balancing blocks and picking up sticks. This open play was, as Froebel imagined it, the means by which “the child became aware of itself, and its place within the universe”.

Long is a childish artist in the Froebelian sense, and the wild world is his kindergarten. When Clarrie Wallis, curator of the new Tate exhibition, observes that his work is about his “own physical engagement, exploring the order of the universe and nature’s elemental forces… about measuring the world against ourselves”, she could be describing the Froebelian method. For more than 40 years Long has been using his moving body to explore limits, sense harmonies and apprehend balance and scale. His materials and his vocabulary have always been uncomplicated and childish. “I am content with the vocabulary of universal and common means,” he wrote quietly in 1982, “walking, placing, stones, sticks, water, circles, lines, days, nights, roads.” Again in 1985: “My pleasure is in walking, lifting, placing, carrying, throwing, marking.” In 1968 he showed a sculpture of sticks cut from trees along the Avon and laid end to end in lines on the gallery floor. Five, six, pick up sticks. Seven, eight, lay them straight.

It is the play of “the solemn child”, as MacFarlane says. Read the whole article on Tate Etc’s website.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology