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Fulbright Summer School on Public Scholarship to Take Place in Moscow

The HSE Faculty of Communications, Media and Design, together with MSU Department of Discourse and Communication Studies are organizing the 19th Fulbright International Summer School in the Humanities, which will take place from June 27 – July 1, 2016, in Moscow. We discussed the highlights of this summer school with Ekaterina Lapina-Kratasyuk, Associate Professor at the HSE School of Media and one of the Summer School organizers.

The topic of the Fulbright summer school this year is ‘Public Scholarship: A New Discourse Model for History, Philosophy, and Philology’. It’s obvious that ‘cultural translation’ from academic language to the public one is inevitable. And if professionals don’t do this, it will be done by someone else, and it’s unlikely that the scholars would be satisfied with the result.  This summer school will discuss the valuable experience in cooperation between media and humanities, the forms and formats which make it possible for professional knowledge to be translated into public language, as well as how the public in digital culture is becoming not only a diligent student, but also a research participant in human sciences,  through crowdsourcing. Of course, the speakers will also draw the audience’s attention to some dangers and possible losses in content that are inevitable in such a cultural translation, and will also share some interesting ways of limiting these losses.

'I’ve been looking at the problems of public history for some time now, but the discussion about how philosophy and philology are presented in public discourse will be completely new for me. This is particularly important in the context of various theses that declare, for example, that philosophy and television are totally incompatible.

I’m thrilled to see whether we’ll be able to find general formats to present history, philosophy and philology in the public space, or whether each of these disciplines needs its own special format,' – says Ekaterina Lapina-Kratasyuk, Associate professor at the HSE School of Media, co-organizer of the 19th Fulbright International Summer School.

Doctoral students and lecturers are invited to participate in the summer school. Applications will be considered as part of a competition. Summer school participants will not only be part of the audience, but active participants in discussions and project groups.

Each day of the school will consist of two parts. The first half will include lectures by invited experts, both Russian specialists and professors from the U.S. and Europe. Registration for these lectures will be open, so they will be available not only for school participants, but for everyone interested.

I’m thrilled to see whether we’ll be able to find general formats to present history, philosophy and philology in the public space, or whether each of these disciplines needs its own special format

Participants-only workshops will take place in the afternoon. They will work on their projects under expert supervision and present the projects on the last day of the school.

For those who study media, there are three main reasons why this summer school might be of interest. First, the public space is constructed mostly by the media. And in terms of ‘cultural translation’, the ways scholars communicate to a wider audience, this discussion is mainly possible on media platforms.

Second, the media is the source of knowledge about everything for a wide audience. That’s why the way history, philosophy, and philology are presented in the media influences the general perspective of these disciplines among non-professionals.

And third, when we are talking about the media today we mostly think about digital media. And they not only let the public learn about what’s happening in those disciplines ‘closed’ from the public, but also provide the opportunity to participate in creating concepts important for these areas. For example, the opportunity for a massive project for historical crowdsourcing is being widely discussed today. In order to make this data collection popular and interesting, it’s necessary to explain the aims, tasks and contents of history as a research field in the media.

The summer school with the support of the Fulbright Program has been held at the MSU Department of Discourse and Communication Studies since 1997. Over the years, it has become an important cultural event raising issues that have not yet become mainstream for the academic environment. The HSE Faculty of Communications, Media and Design will take part in the organization of the Fulbright International Summer School for the first time in 2016.

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