This year the CEU Summer University course was co-organized by Blinken OSA and The Open Society University Network (OSUN), titled Confronting the Crisis of Expertise. Historical Roots and Current Challenges.
Since 1996 the Archives have actively taken part in CEU’s Summer University program: “a special study and professional development opportunity for academics and practitioners from all over the world”. The first Summer University course organized in 1996 was titled History of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe, 1945 was followed by ten more successful courses with the professional and organizational input by OSA.
Ioana Toma-Macrea, the course director of the latest summer course gave her professional summary of the course:
“It was a truly interdisciplinary experience aiming to historically map the causes of distrust in expert cultures and authority due to their proximity to politics and policy making, to the "interventionist" complex and the informational wars of the Cold War, the appropriation of skeptical relativism by the public reasoning nowadays, and to the current ongoing pressures on "science in the making." One stake of the summer school was to re-contextualize our collections as knowledge outputs within larger projects attempting to make an ideologically divided world knowable and even predictable. Outdated books and data could thus get new meaning within broader forecasting enterprises and information gathering techniques which have produced a "counterfactual sensibility" that might still haunt us.”
The course attracted participants from all over the world, from Bangladesh to Peru, from Denmark to Bulgaria, from very colorful academic backgrounds such as journalists, philosophers, geographers, computer scientists, sociologists, activists, historians. Despite the whole course being online, lectures, consultations, workshops and even virtual drinks as well as shared interests created a real community. Participants were also interested in the activities, holdings, courses and scholarships offered by Blinken OSA.
Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives