The Centre for Cultural Psychology (www.ccp.aau.dk) at Aalborg University and the Faculty of Psychology of Sigmund Freud University in Vienna (https://psychologie.sfu.ac.at/en/) are organizing the second International Winter School on “The method of imagination”.

The target of this event is to explore on the topic “The Hidden present and visible absent”: whereas part of the scientific work is about accessing phenomena and generating new knowledge.

Some phenomena are hidden while present (e.g. the mental activity) and some of them become acknowledgeable by their absence (e.g. the latent variable). How imagination, aesthetics, apparatus and instruments, social life and atmosphere work together in the emergence of scientific ideas? Some particular combinations of those dimensions occur and produce unique milieu, as for instance the 19th century’s Vienna, in which several scientific and philosophical endeavors lived together with literary and artistic explorations. From this peculiar experience, participants will rediscover the sensitivity to imaginative and aesthetic aspects of thinking of that intellectual life. They will then learn how toapply it in idea generation for their own research.

Participation is open (but not limited) to advanced students, PhD and Post-doc students and early stage researchers in the fields of psychology, philosophy, semiotics, art, medicine, anthropology and history of ideas.

The winter school will take place in Vienna December 18-20 2017, Sigmund Freud Privat Universität, Campus Prater in Freudplatz 1.

The winter school goal is to mobilize interested early-stage researchers’ to develop epistemological, methodological and theoretical new ideas, starting from the concepts of imaginative processes and looking back at original sources to boost the future horizons of social and human sciences. The “method of imagination” consists, indeed, in the systematic exploration and exploitation of the imaginative processes in both everyday life and scientific work of the researcher as a form of enrichment and innovation of the methodological approach. Nowadays, representations of events generated on numerical basis (i.e. FmRi, big data, etc.) apparently make visible the hidden, filling with colored images the absent. Yet these products of instrumental activity require the imaginative and aesthetic activity to be interpreted. What used to happen when instead the medical apparatus had to deal with the physical object (e.g. observing a real brain)?

During the three days of intense and compelling study, participants will explore one of the 19th century capitals of science. Activities will start in one of the most amazing places in the history of psychology and medicine: the Narrenturm, the first panoptical mental asylum which today hosts the worldwide biggest anatomic and instrument collection. The second day, participants will try to catch the atmosphere of the university medical district and its cafés in the streets of the town that has been at the same time the center and the border of European civilization. The third day, at Sigmund Freud Prater campus participants will further develop the concepts in relation with their own research projects.

Teaching staff and activities

The winter school series is organized by the Centre for Cultural Psychology, Aalborg University, that is becoming a leading location in the field of cultural psychology. Invited teachers are:

  • Gerhard Benekta, Sigmund Freud University, Austria
  • Giselher Guttmann, Sigmund Freud University, Austria
  • Irina Mironenko, St. Pietersburg University, Russia
  • Ernst Schraube, Roskilde University, Denmark
  • Jaan Valsiner, Aalborg University, Denmark

The teaching and learning activities will consist of preliminary selected readings that the participants will carefully read and appropriate beforehand. During the activities in Vienna there will be short lectures and nomadic experiences, collaborative discussions and writing workshops to finalize a publication.

Further information and registration

Early stage researchers (advanced students, PhD, Post-doc, young researchers) in all disciplines are welcome, with particular focus on psychology, philosophy and history of ideas. Participation is open to 15-20 participants, who need to provide a short (approx. 300 words) description of their research interests/projects.

Registration fee (including coffee break and materials) is € 150,-.
Registration form

All the information on registration and payment, scientific program and invited lectures will be available from October 1st 2017 until December 10th 2017 on the Centre for Cultural Psychology website (www.ccp.aau.dk).

The organization will provide a list of hotels with a special agreement to discount prices in Vienna.


For any inquiry about the winter school please contact:

Centre for Cultural Psychology
Kroghstræde 3, Room 4.219
DK-9220 Aalborg Øst
Ph: (+45) 9940 3177
E-mail: mkat@hum.aau.dk

The organizing committee is composed by: Luca Tateo, coordinator, Aalborg University; Jaan Valsiner, director of the Centre for Cultural psychology; Pina Marsico, Aalborg University and University of Salerno; Dominik Mihalits, Sigmund Freud University; and Morten Kattenhøj, Project Academic Officer, Aalborg University.