Young People Network for Balticness (YoPeNet) Winter School 2022: Imagining Balticness. Transformation and Identity Politics

Gdansk, Poland

There are just a few places left at the Winter School on Balticness 2022
in Gdańsk, Poland, organised by the CBSS Project Support Facility co-financed Young People Network project.

Imagining Balticness. Transformation and Identity Politics

When: 1 March – 9 March 2022
Where: Gdańsk, Poland: University of Gdańsk and European Solidarity Centre
How many credits: 5 ECTS
For whom: University students within humanities or social sciences and advanced high school students
By whom: University of Gdańsk, European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk and the Zatoka Foundation, in cooperation with other YoPeNET project partners, Council of the Baltic Sea States and the City of Gdańsk

What is it about?

Focusing on the identity discourse, the winter school programme addresses openly the discursive struggles in the formation of and reflection about “Balticness” as a constitutive element in building a region. Different aspects of economic, social, political and cultural life in varying framings gain hegemony at different times and under different external and internal circumstances. However, these aspects combined in changing environments contribute to weaving the fabric of the Baltic imagined community.

How does that work? Recent research and innovative research approaches focus on the role and mechanisms of communication, perception and sense making in experiencing the world. In the context of the narrative turn, approaches focus on narration as the anthropological foundation for human perception of reality. In the context of political theory, theorization on the power of mythology and post-modern mythmaking have been influential to analyse and reflect the underlying structures in the deliberate deviation from reality, for instance in the creation of ideologies, etc.

Both strands frame the YoPeNET winter school programme, which invites participants to open up discursive spaces and jointly develop tools for a broader dialogue to discuss and co-create new knowledge on “Balticness”. By reflecting available theories and disciplinary patterns to understand local, national and regional (in the sense of transnational) identity formation processes, which aspects in these processes support and which work against an overarching idea of “Balticness”. Jointly analysing regionally relevant narratives and mythologies, we will inquire about the cognitive/mental, spatial and emotional dimensions of identity formation and belonging. In other words, we will inquire who we are, what narratives construct our identity and spatial awareness.

Comparing the concept of “Balticness” to existing ideas of forming transnational identities like “Nordicness”, “Scandinavism”, “Pan-Slavism”, “Hanseatic”, etc., we aim to include political strategies, societal reflections, economic necessities and cultural identities. All of those developments are represented in countless narratives continuing, changing and re-creating myths that naturalize worldviews through language.

What will you learn in the programme?

We will aspire to reach a threshold level of “regional literacy” connected to the Baltic Sea region. The students will understand how identity formation works and know what kind of influences accompany these processes. When completing the course the winter school students will be aware of the interconnection between belonging and identity.

Registration and application

  • submit the following documents to: [email protected] indicating WinterSchool in the e-mail topic
  1. proof of PhD-program admission/enrolment, proof of university / high school enrolment
  2. statement of intent including a short description of your interests and your motivation for taking the course (300-500 words double spaced, *doc format)
  • There are no registration and tuition fees, travel and accommodation grants are available upon request.
  • Deadline for applications: 15 Januray 2022

Please note that if you need a visa, send your application at your earliest convenience.

Number of places: 25
Housing: can be provided free of charge (indicate the need in your application)
Detailed programme and syllabus will be updated on:

Event organizers:
• Kazimierz Musiał (University of Gdańsk, Poland)
• Madgalena Muszel (Fundacja Zatoka, Poland)