2021 Summer School on National Minorities in Border Regions

Minorities and the New Digital Paradigm

Events / Sun 22 Aug 2021 16:00

The notion of a “new digital paradigm” (NDP) has been with us for more than two decades. Digital spaces and online identities have become a pervasive part of our social reality. In 2020, this trend was turbo-charged by the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only has society’s online presence grown exponentially but social activism has also been forced to move largely online.

The communities present in online spaces are extremely diverse and minorities are part of them. Minorities use online platforms not only for running minority language media or promoting their culture, but also for digital activism. For some marginalised groups, having an online voice and a digital platform sometimes can be the only way to talk about the challenges and mistreatment they face. Minorities can find it easier to mobilise via online channels, where there are less administrative barriers. However, the NDP also has a flip side – often minorities become targets of online hate speech and harmful actions, given the rise of right-wing populist politics and loose and fragmented legislation at regulating online space.

In 2021, the 11th Annual Summer School on  National Minorities in Border Regions, organised jointly by the Coppieters Foundation and the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI), will focus on online presence and the activism of minorities, the interlink between “offline” and “digital” identities and provide a platform to analyse the challenges minorities face in a digital space.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the ECMI is developing contingency plans which will allow us to proceed with the Summer School programme should disruptions occur due to travel restrictions for lecturers. These contingencies include some flexibility in the teaching and activities of the programme, including interactive online teaching options and sourcing locally-based lecturers to step in. Additionally, if confirmed participants are unable to attend the Summer School due to travel restrictions relating to the crisis, they will be fully refunded for any fees paid up to that point. In the event that the programme is cancelled entirely, any fees paid will be refunded in full.

Topics covered

  • General concepts – What is a minority? What changes and transformations are taking place in the definition of “minority”? What does a “NDP” mean for minorities?
  • Empowerment via the NDP: digital minority identities, tools for online activism and advocacy, minority media.
  • Mistreatment via the NDP: countering hate speech and minority mobilisation.
  • Online security. Ethnic data collection and online ethnic profiling.

The programme will consist of lectures, seminars and workshops given by ECMI research staff and expert guest lecturers.

Programme to be released soon

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Registration for this summer school is open until 14 May 2021.

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Eligibility and application procedures

The Summer School team aims to select a total number of 24 junior scholars, researchers or practitioners, having the following professional background:

  • Students from relevant fields of studies (MA and PhD students);
  • Practitioners from the public sector, NGOs or mass-media.

Applicants are required to submit a completed online application form which includes questions on general information (contact details, affiliation, practical and logistical information).

To finalise the submission of an application, applicants must also submit their detailed CV and a letter of motivation via email to summerschool@ecmi.de no later than 14 May 2021. Please state “NMBR SuS21 Application” in the subject line.

The letter of motivation should:

  • explain the reason for the applicant’s interest in participation in the Summer School;
  • assess how they will utilise and benefit from this experience in the future;
  • explain how they would be an asset to this Summer School;
  • and provide at least two references (name, position, affiliation, email and phone number).

The application will not be considered for the selection process unless the required documents are submitted via email.

The selection will be performed on the basis of academic and professional achievements, as well as expressed interest in the topic. Diversity of the group in terms of professional background, gender and country of origin will be an important factor in the selection process.

Tuition Fees

Applicants who submit their completed applications before the Early Bird deadline will be eligible for a reduced fee in the event that they are selected for the programme. Fees will be due to be paid in late June/early July.

The tuition fee for the Summer School 2021 is

  • 200 EUR if the application is submitted until 16 April 2021 (EARLY BIRD discount);
  • 250 EUR if the application is submitted after 16 April 2021.

The fee covers:

  • The week-long programme of lectures and workshops;
  • All reading materials before and during the Summer School;
  • Accommodation and breakfast in Flensbed Hostel in four-bed rooms from 22 to 29 August 2021;
  • Lunches and light refreshments for seven days of the Summer School, as well as two dinners;
  • A field trip to Denmark;
  • Participation in all additional Summer School activities (city tour, social activities, visits to museums/exhibition);
  • Support with bureaucratic matters during your visa application (if needed). Please note that visa fees will not be reimbursed.

Travel costs, as well as visa and health/travel insurance costs will not be reimbursed.

Cancellation policy

Cancellation until 16 July 2021: 80% of the tuition fee will be refunded, minus any additional incurred costs.

Cancellation after 16 July 2021: no refund.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the ECMI is developing contingency plans which will allow us to proceed with the Summer School programme should disruptions occur due to travel restrictions for lecturers. These contingencies include some flexibility in the teaching and activities of the programme, including interactive online teaching options and sourcing locally-based lecturers to step in. Additionally, if confirmed participants are unable to attend the Summer School due to travel restrictions relating to the crisis, they will be fully refunded for any fees paid up to that point. In the event that the programme is cancelled entirely, any fees paid will be refunded in full.

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This event is a joint initiative of the Coppieters Foundation and the European Centre for Minority Issues. It is financially supported by the European Parliament. The European Parliament is not liable for the content of the summer school or the opinions of the speakers.

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