Times and Spaces of Globalization - Knowledges at Risk

The 2019 edition of the Winter School Times and Spaces of Globalization addresses the many challenges to knowledge development and dissemination in times of crises, conflict, globalization and digital transformations. Particular attention is posed on higher education institutions, their role and responsibilities and the initiatives they can activate to protect students and researchers and support their educational and research activities.

Titled Knowledges at Risk and organized in collaboration with the University of Trento and Scholars at Risk international network, this intensive course is devoted to addressing the many issues emerging from global dynamics that are putting at risk - or promise to transform profoundly and in unexpected directions - the very existence of academic knowledge, the roles and activities of higher education institutions, the lives and experiences of scholars, students and researchers.

Themes and programme

Universities around the world are experiencing profound transformations brought about by a plurality of contradictory processes. Globalization, marketization and business oriented management have an impact on how the educational mandate of university institutions is understood and translated into research and educational programs, often contributing to marginalizing important disciplines.
The widespread adoption of digital technology in educational activities offers new and productive opportunities for knowledge exchange; while at the same time transforming profoundly the very processes of knowledge pursuit, production, dissemination, ownership and utilization, the outcome of which developments – in terms of access to knowledge and its relevance to public interest and democracy - is largely uncertain.

At the same time, a strong push towards loosely defined ‘internationalization’ is leading to an increase of international agreements between higher education institutions, while a backlash against globalization and a rise in nationalist populism across the globe, along with growing anti-immigrant sentiment, are making it more difficult for scientists to conduct collaborative, international research and to share ideas, innovations and data – both with each other and the public.

In this context, in recent years the growth of authoritarianism and the rise of overt conflicts across the world has affected growing numbers of scholars in many regions, who have been exposed to violent aggression, imprisonment, prosecution, job loss, expulsion and travel restrictions. Developments which have spurred a widespread response by academic institutions, with the design and implementation of collaborative plans for the support and protection of at-risk scholars, as demonstrated by the activities of Scholars at Risk (SAR).

In all the above mentioned cases, the nexus between knowledge and governance - particularly higher institution governance and risk-related politics - requires adequate attention for its possible consequences, as well as in depth reflection on future developments.

Participants will have the opportunity to participate in an international event. They will engage in discussions and interactive sessions where changing notions of knowledge and power in a global society will be addressed. And they will be invited to reflect on different forms of violations of academic freedom and knowledge rights, but also on those initiatives and spaces of cooperation that are being created transnationally to foster dialogue, knowledge sharing and higher. Finally, they will have a chance to share their respective experiences and research activities, as young women and men, students and researchers, coming from a variety of geo-cultural backgrounds.

Winter School 2019 is an intensive 5-day course, bringing together international scholars and students from a range of disciplines and geo-cultural background.
The school consists of a total of 38/40 hours of lectures, interactive sessions and workshops organized as follows:

  • Opening event: interventional conference on Knowledges at Risk: Universities promoting Academic Freedom (public event)
  • Interactive sessions, thematic seminars and/or workshops 
  • Presentations and discussions of students’ researches
  • Social gatherings

The course is aimed at Italian, European and International graduates (maximum 10), Master’s and PhD students from different disciplinary areas, such as Political and Social Sciences, Communications Studies, Education, Language and Mediation. The organizers aim to guarantee a diversity of participating students on the basis of geo-cultural background, discipline of study and gender. The 2019 edition will also give continuity to a positive and consolidated practice: that of offering participating students the possibility to present their own research activities and to receive feedback from senior scholars and other participants.

The Winter School particularly welcomes PhD students from non-European regions, and from low income countries and countries in democratic transition, who want to master their understanding of current challenges to the implementation of democratic principles, in times where separation and marginalization are the everyday experience of walled politics. 4 Scholarships are available for students from such areas.

Click here to link to the application form.

Deadline for applications: 16th December 2018
Participants will be notified about the outcome of their applications by 22th December.

Organizing Committee :

Alice Baroni
Claudia Padovani
Giuseppe Acconcia
Francesca Helm
Mauro Farnese
Mino Conte