The Summer School for Sexualities, Cultures, and Politics is permanent project, originally initiated by the Department for Gender Studies at the Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities “Euro-Balkan”, Skopje, Macedonia and the Faculty of Media and Communications - Singidunum, Belgrade, Serbia. In 2014, the the School has moved to and was taken up organizationally by IPAK Center.
The general aim of the School is to gather young post-graduate students, scholars and teaching staff from both Eastern and Western Europe and promote a shared platform for research and trans-disciplinary theoretical reflection on the complex modes of interweaving sexuality, culture and politics, and consequently of exchanging and questioning geopolitically determined discourses in the research of sexualities, gender studies, and queer theory. Our idea is to provide students, scholars and teachers with the opportunity to question, decenter and democratize these areas by way of deferring the notion of theoretical and geopolitical privilege which is often implied by these research areas, and thus to introduce new models of rethinking context-specific phenomena related to sexualities and, vice versa, to enrich theoretical paradigms with context specific phenomena and research.
In this way, the School’s long-term goal is to
(1) strategically stimulate the particularization and application of key ideas and theories in sexuality research locally, and to
(2) universalize and popularize crucial and underprivileged positions and ideas on the European level, regardless of the East/West divide which is still central to the development of queer theory and sexuality research.
Our endeavor is not to relativize the embeddedness and situatedness of knowledges about sexualities, but to recognize and disrupt the existing invisible borders that obstruct the free dissemination of ideas as they are being determined by various hegemonic forces – political, educational, economic - in both Eastern and Western contexts of doing academic and artistic work related with our desires, bodies, and sexualities.