The winter school courses provide a well-structured introduction into one of the most fascinating periods of Austria's intellectual history in a short time. The culture of the fin-de-siècle is one of the highlights in the history of the Habsburg Monarchy. The two week program combines first class academic courses with an extensive social and cultural program. The high level lectures in the morning are complemented with excursions to the city and to museums in the afternoon. Vienna’s rich cultural heritage, especially the museums, will lead to a thorough understanding of the input of the fin-de-siècle on the modernization of Europe. The international background of the participants offers the possibility to discuss the influence of developments in Vienna (e.g. the famous psychoanalyst Freud, painters like Klimt and Schiele, musicians like Mahler and Schönberg or philosophers like Wittgenstein) on different cultures in Europe and other continents. The academic course environment encourages intercultural and social exchange and favors mutual understanding within the international student population. Participants thus broaden their horizon, meet colleagues from different fields of study, make friends for life and build connections for their future professional careers.
Global warming is most prominent in the Arctic with visible changes in ice and snow and enormous challenges for ecosystems and people to adapt to the new situation. Loss of the Arctic as we know it, coincides with new development in this area on conservation, cooperation, governance and security. New business opportunities should take account of the sensitivities of the natural environment and local people. Sustainable solutions require multidimensional knowledge and a prudent approach when coming from outside the Arctic. Participants will be introduced in the conditions experienced—and adaptations exhibited—by plants, animals and people in the Arctic regions. With a variety of experts, a multitude of interlinking perspectives will be presented and discussed. Considering that the effects of global warming are severe and clearly noticeable in the arctic region. The effects are multidimensional and can be seen in the biodiversity, local communities, growing geopolitical/military attention considerations, and increasing economic activities including mining, shipping and tourism. In this respect, the Arctic can be seen as a living laboratory for the societal challenges that are about to come in the rest of the world.
There are many reasons for the global success of football. The game fulfils our longing for triumph and endorses our knowledge of failure. It produces heroes and losers, demonstrates that we have to fight to reach our aims, but also shows the importance of cooperating and interacting. Thus football acts as a theatre of existence, in which life can both mirror and transcend itself. The class will take a look behind the scenes and identify the mechanisms that make football so popular. They lie partly in the game’s structure itself, partly in its connection to other cultural fields, like religion, or war. Because football is a game that is always “more than just a game”, it is an appropriate subject for philosophy and cultural studies. At first sight, of course, this relation seems to be counterintuitive. Traditionally, particularly philosophy was defined as a purely mental activity while football in reverse was reduced to a physical combat game. But we will see that one of the characteristics of modern philosophy is to involve the body in the process of thinking, while football urges a specific intelligence from its players. Thus, the class will explore the cultural and philosophical references of football and vice versa, the ludic and bodily aspects of philosophy. By this, we will gain a new perspective on football as well as on philosophy. In addition to that, the focusing on the specific subject “football” can show the different approaches as well as the overlaps between the individual sciences. Students from all faculties interested in the subject are welcome.
This course explores theoretical and historical perspectives on the intersection of law, society and politics, and aims to foster discussion of contemporary issues among students from different cultures and disciplines. After an introduction to comparative law and legal culture, we read some classical social theorists (Durkheim, Weber and Marx), and consider their relevance to contemporary debates about morality, (dis)obedience, conflict, and property. Next, we investigate the role and operation of law in totalitarian settings such as Nazi and Communist Germany. Finally, we consider the difficulties such legacies pose for democracy, the rule of law, and the economy in post-totalitarian and authoritarian societies, including the need for ‘transitional justice’, the relationship between law and the market, and the challenges posed by freedom of speech and freedom of association. Overall, the course aims to develop skills at using theory and history to inform debates on contemporary challenges, such as multiculturalism, (illegal) downloading/streaming/file-sharing, squatting, and economic development. In addition to gaining substantive expertise in various socio- and politico-legal fields, students develop communicative competence through participatory exercises, and intercultural competence through discussion with other students. This course is designed for all students having an interest in social sciences – in particular, history, sociology or political science – or in law. It is conceived as an undergraduate class, but the variety of students taking this course typically ranges from first-year students to post-graduate students. This experiential diversity provides unique opportunities for students to learn from one another.