SFUrope Autumn School 2020

Emergency measures: Researching in times of crises, conflict, and conspiracy

We would like to thank all the applicants for their interest to internationally collaborate on such an urgent topic. Due to Covid-19 precautions in Vienna, the SFUrope Autumn School will be postponed until 2021! In the meantime, we are eager to get into discussion with our participants. Thus, we have developed a shorter program for a SFUrope pre-conference that will take place virtually November 3 and 4. We will start developing a shared project – based on the method of collaborative autobiography – to explore what it means to research and to study in times of crisis and conflict – times that we are facing in this very moment. This smaller research project will be incorporated into the live event next year.


Date: 3 – 4 November 2020
Location: Online

The SFUrope Autumn School is a transdisciplinary event that supports critical exchange and fosters dynamic collaboration between students and researchers of all faculties and branches of the Sigmund Freud University. It builds on an emerging tradition of connecting SFU students in transnational, reflexive, and action-oriented dialogue on conflict and change potential in Europe. The main goals of the Autumn School are to foster a sense of connection and community, to enable processes of critical thinking, and to create a space of mutual teaching and learning.

Emergency measures: Researching in times of crises, conflict, and conspiracy

The global Covid-19 pandemic has revealed and intensified existing inequalities, sociopolitical fractures, and existential insecurities and has produced an ongoing flood of conflicting/conflictual information, misinformation, and disinformation. It is against this backdrop of conflicts over meaning/truth, trust, authority, inclusion/exclusion that we will come together for three days in workshops, roundtables, and seminars to address the following questions:

  • What is our role as students/researchers who produce ‘knowledge’ and become ‘skilled’ in times of overlapping crises, especially as misinformation and disinformation proliferates?
  • What kinds of questions are worth asking and what kinds of methods are warranted/needed, both in classrooms and in research?
  • For whom and toward what vision of the future are we learning?  What kinds of tools/practices are required?
  • Is scientific research or even “critical thinking” the antidote to the so-called “infodemic”? 

Workshops, roundtables, and seminars will be on:

  • Reflecting and working with the SFUrope online-survey (pdf): Who are we as a European university, where are we (differently) situated, what concerns us, what broader conflicts are we a part of/apart from?
  • Health and illness as critical faultlines in social conflict
  • Trust and trustworthiness in research and public institutions
  • Confronting uncertainty and vulnerability in crisis
  • Old/new boundaries of belonging, solidarity 
  • Protecting curiosity, wonder, and hope