Myths of the nation, of unity and of heroic pasts play a crucial role in stimulating political mobilisation and sustaining collective identity. In divided societies they can sometimes serve a unifying function but they can also help to stoke tension, accelerate polarisation and accentuate divisions. The communication media through which myths circulate have undergone deep changes in the modern era, from the pamphleteering of the 18th century through the mass circulation newspapers of the 19th century to the spread of radio and television in the 20th. In the 21st century the new online media of social networks and websites have transformed the circulation of discourses of collective identity and political contention. New media are marked by decentralisation, acceleration, and innovation in the circulation of information, including the myths, rumours and misinformation that can contribute to escalating violence and extremism. It is increasingly difficult to distinguish the sources of information, to assess its veracity or to identify lies and deceptions.
This course examines the role of myths in divided societies and the way in which changing communication media alter the way in which myths and rumours circulate and have political effects in divided societies.
We encourage the participation of students and scholars in the social sciences, law and humanities and other fields and disciplines studying social phenomena such as divisions, cleavages, conflicts, borders, migration, ethnicity and diversity.
This interdisciplinary post/graduate course will be structured around lectures, workshops and conference-oriented presentations of scholarly research. Course participants will engage in active discussions on the theoretical, methodological and practical issues of research in divided societies. Graduate and postgraduate students’ presentations are also welcome. In addition, the course offers personal inter-cultural experiences of students and faculty from other contexts in an unforgettable setting of a city that was itself the target of a destructive conflict.
The course offers ECTS credits for PhD and MA students (3-5 ECTS). 3 ECTS for participation, 5 for participation with presentation.
Course lecturers (tentative list):
Saša Božić, University of Zadar, Croatia
Gerard Boucher, University College Dublin, Ireland
Emilio Cocco, University of Teramo, Italy
Kevin Deegan-Krause, Wayne State University, USA
Neli Demireva, University of Essex, UK
Jose Antonio Gutierrez, University College Dublin, Ireland
Krešimir Krolo, University of Zadar, Croatia
Simona Kuti, Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies, Zagreb, Croatia
Thomas Leahy, Cardiff University, UK
Mojca Pajnik, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Nikola Petrović, Institute for Social Research, Zagreb, Croatia
Brad Roth, Wayne State University, USA
Michal Vašečka, Bratislava Policy Institute, Slovakia
Jeremy Walton, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen, Germany
Daphne Winland, York University, Toronto, Canada
Mitja Žagar, Institute for Ethnic Studies, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Csaba Szilagyi, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
Perica Jovchevski, Central European University, Budapes, Hungary