Graz International Summer School Seggau (GUSEGG 2020) will offer a broad discussion of our understanding of security, stability, and happiness. Defined quality assurance mechanisms and product and service safety measures are often defined as a guarantee for achieving individual happiness. Taking the place of political action and structural social change, the "imperative of happiness" (Illouz) has led to institutions and multinational corporations determining which individual decisions will lead to successful, meaningful, and healthy lives. When happiness is seen as independent of the material and political contexts we live in, then individual personal action is seen as a replacement and not as a demand for collective political agency. Climate change activists' calls for action are relegated to media coverage as social events inspiring individual measures, but not as an urgent call for institutional and governmental consequences. As happiness has become a consumer good, the promise of an individual state of bliss has led to a decline of institutional ownership in terms of social, cultural, political, and economic measures, and shifts responsibilities from the collective to the individual.
In order to develop strategies and methods to meet the immense challenges of our time, this summer school suggests engaging in academic contemplation and interdisciplinary exchange. Such investigations offer us the opportunity of developing disruptive intellectual approaches and ideas, as we can gain insights into the many forces that make us believe that the challenges we face are essential, natural, and inevitable. Therefore, analysis offers us not only an understanding of our own alliances on an individual, a regional, national, and global level, but also the possibility of moving from a passive position to active involvement in transformation processes in order to become agents of change by an authentic reformulation of our identities.
For further information please visit https://international.uni-graz.at/de/gusegg-summerschool/