About the Summer School

Established in 2016, Telciu Summer School is an initiative of the Center for the Study of Modernity and the Rural World. An innovative educational experiment that grew from the successful series of international academic conferences organized in the Transylvanian village of Telciu, the Summer School is part of a sequence of symposia that examine “modernity” and its “others” in various historical hypostases and global iterations. The Telciu Summer School takes place outside urban campuses, in a rural area inhabiting multiple lifeworlds and passageways within Romania: mountains and valleys, distinct regions and religions, transport and commercial routes. The rural region of Telciu internalizes at different intensities processes of modernisation and underdevelopment, rurality and urbanity, rootedness and uprootedness. The vision of the Telciu Summer School is that of a convivial place of encounter between decolonial thought, post-colonial and post-socialist studies with local histories, facilitating the necessary work for a social, cultural and economical reconstruction from below.

Decoloniality is one of the most forceful and prolific directions in contemporary social and political thought. Decoloniality offers a heuristic framework that foregrounds local knowledge and local agency while accounting for the global asymmetries of power that have, and continue to shape the historical development of the capitalist world system. Such a framework therefore lends itself particularly well to highlighting the role and positionality of rurality in the making of the contemporary world. The decolonial framework draws on a variety of fields such as history, anthropology, sociology, political science, and political philosophy. It thereby facilitates multidisciplinary approaches to issues of the rural. We propose therefore working with an idea of open rurality, conceived here as a dynamical reality in reciprocal relations to both tradition and globalization. Rurality relates in specific ways to metropolitan, statal, imperial, colonial or post-colonial matrices of power, and engages in specific resistances, with or “without infrastructure”.

Telciu Summer School 2nd edition
(Dis)Locating Europe: the East, the Other and the Rural

13th-20th of August 2017

by Zoli Mihály / Illustration & Artefacts

Call for Application

The 2017 edition of the Telciu Summer School focuses on the historical, social and economical positionalities of peripheries and rurality in the context of a changing idea of Europe. What differing histories are able to confront the recent wave of isolationism and protectionism, the rise of European ethno-nationalisms and of polarizing ideas such as “two-speed Europe”, as well as the continuous encroachments on the commons, natural resources and subsistence economies? How do the “East”, the “South” and the “others” of Europe, including its internal and colonial others, redefine the meaning of Europe? The Telciu Summer School is interested in giving priority and documenting the different answers of local histories to global designs, imperial inheritances and state plans, connecting the locality of Telciu with significant projects of modernization and the regional and international histories of the participants to the Summer School.

Three inter-related pleas could spell the beginnings for which Telciu would like to be a critical continuation: “…for replacing the idea of a single proper – namely, heroic – Europe, which has generated multiple modernitities worldwide, by the one of multiple Europes, whose cultural, political and economic contributions to European civilisation have disproportionately gone into the definition of the specific Western modernity” (Boatcă).

“The historical experience of real socialism, the fall of the socialist regimes and the postcommunist transition compose such a radical history of transformation and total opening of radically differing paradigms, and such a quick enclosure of possibilities, that in light of it, the ongoing and slowly unfolding crisis and transition of the world could be seen as an immense and immediate site of opportunity” (Țichindeleanu).

“We must think of how to change our shared small world in such a way that we can finally discard the seemingly eternal dichotomy of the same and the other, and create a space in which there will be no others any more, no people rejected by history, or forced to fiercely chase the train of modernity with no hope for success. The intersection of experiences and sensibilities of the postcolonial and postsocialist people must ideally lead us to the next step of building coalitions and solidarity for our mutual struggle to fulfill and bring to life this open utopia. And we can still try to make it real” (Tlostanova).

Participation Fee

EUR 50 for applicants from outside the European Union and member countries of EU with a monthly minimum wage lower than EUR 500.

EUR 100 for applicants from EU or USA.

What you Get?

Access to all activities
Camping spots with access to shower and bathrooms. Alternatively, the organizers mediate accommodations either in pension at local rural households, or at local motels.

Discount to ”Hovrea” restaurant (3 meals /day for RON 30 / 7 EUR).

To Apply for the 2017 Telciu Summer School, please fill the following form:

Application Procedure

Deadline for application: August 1, 2017.