Making and Changing Spaces of Action under the Global Condition

15th International Summer School of the Graduate School Global and Area Studies (Leipzig U)


The Graduate School Global and Area Studies (GSGAS), in collaboration with the Flying University of Transnational Humanities (FUTH) – a consortium of Sogang University (South Korea), University of Pittsburgh (USA), University of Tampere (Finland), National Chiao Tung University (Taiwan), Leipzig University (Germany) – and supported by the Collaborative Research Centre  “Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition” (SFB 1199), and the Centre for Area Studies at Leipzig University invites young researcher to the International Summer School “Making and Changing Spaces under the Global Condition”.

Research Context of the Summer School

Since 2010, the Flying University of Transnational Humanities (FUTH) has gathered PhD students and postdocs in the humanities and social sciences across the globe for an annual summer school centring on presentations by leading scholars as well as by PhD students. As a truly transregional collaboration, it profits from the willingness of participants to share the core arguments of their current research project and to situate them in a global context.

The Leipzig-based Graduate School Global and Area Studies, the local organizer of this years’ joint conference, currently comprises of 120 PhD candidates from more than 30 countries and from a wide range of disciplines across the social sciences, history, and cultural studies. Its annual summer school is an integral component of the PhD programme and occupies a special place within the educational concept of the graduate school by providing PhD candidates with a forum to present the results of their respective research to their peer group, including fellow PhD candidates and postdocs from abroad.

Encouraged by the very positive experience we made in 2013, with this collaboration we are happy to announce the summer school of 2017 as a joint effort with FUTH and we invite young researchers from all over the world whose research interests are in line with the focus of this year’s summer school to partake.

Thematic Focus of the Summer School

When defining globalization as a dialectical process of de- and reterritorialization, we have to analyse space as a central resource in global processes both past and present. To position a political project towards and in the world means to spatialize it. This may take the format of a territory as we know them from state building processes, but it can also take the format of a chain or a network. Other projects prefer the format of enclaves or use a language of transcending all kinds of borders to describe their ambitions. What brings all these efforts under one analytical umbrella is the fact that they react to the global condition, which means that they react to the unavoidability of connectivity (not to be confused with free trade, cosmopolitanism, etc. which is only one of the many facets of reactions to the global condition). To find the right spatial format is the challenge that all these projects of global positioning are confronted with – not in the same way and not disposing of the same kind and amount of resources, though in principle the challenge is the same.

Not all entanglements are global in nature, many of them remain transnational or transregional, while some are national, regional, or even local. Connections happen at all spatial levels and they remain unstable. Spatialization, as an effort to situate one’s own activities (economic, political, cultural, etc.) towards this multiscalarity, has to be renewed all the time – often it repeats the solution found beforehand but sometimes a new format is experimented with.

The current political situation in which many commentators see rather old fashioned spatial formats, such as the protectionist nation-state, resurfacing is an interesting moment for the study of global processes. Some see deglobalization progressing as a countermovement to what happened since the 1980s. Instead of opposing modern global processes and strategies of nationalization, we are looking rather at the embeddedness of all spatial formats in the context of the global condition and their changes over time.

We are interested in practices and processes through which (relatively durable) spatial arrangements are created, maintained, and subverted. Who forges national and transnational connections and how do these impact the making of spatial orders? How are people integrated or socialized into spatial arrangements with global reach or ambition?  Which role does power, the access to resources and violence, play in this regard?

A program for the conference is located here: Link.

Participation fee

The participation fee is 50 Euro. This fee covers the costs of all conference materials (including a reader of relevant publications, which will be discussed at the summer school by keynote speakers), refreshments during the breaks, lunches, as well as participation in the welcome reception and the cultural events that will be held during the summer school.

Upon request, reasonably priced accommodations in Leipzig will be arranged by the conference office.

With successful participation in the summer school, it will be possible to receive a certificate from the Graduate Centre Humanities and Social Sciences. Further information can be found under: Link.


Childcare will be provided for all events. Please register by 31 May 2017 using the above-mentioned address.