Transnational Intellectual History Summer School

July 23, 2021 - July 27, 2021
Tallinn University


Keynote speakers:

Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London

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University of Tallinn, Estonia 23 – 27 July 2021

The course outlines, discusses, and evaluates the methods for studying intellectual history transnationally. It focuses on the inter-relationship between political, cultural, and intellectual history, and the transference and re-signification of ideas. We ask how best to study the circulation of knowledge, and the reasons for integration, rejection – or ignorance of – certain lines of thought transnationally. We also look at how disciplines like philosophy, semiotics, politics, literary studies, translation studies, etc. can provide tools for intellectual historians. The course addresses general methodological issues and compares the insights of different approaches, yet is also strongly based on historical case studies and tailored to students’ on-going research.

The course gives the students the opportunity to present their own study projects and problems, and to receive feedback in seminars, one-to-one tutorials, and through essay evaluation. The course also strongly promotes and encourages informal communication and exploration of ideas among the participants.

The course is organised in cooperation with the project “Between the Times – Embattled Temporalities and Political Imagination in Inter-War Europe,” based at the School of Humanities:

Course instructors are intellectual historians, cultural historians, literary theorists and philosophers, whose research specializes on conceptual history (e.g. history of concepts of “sovereignty”, “progress”, “revolution”, “violence”, “West”), history of 20th century political thought (e.g. in Central and Eastern Europe, Germany, France, Jewish thought, liberalism and its critics), study of processes of intellectual transfer (e.g. reception and translation studies, emigre studies), political ideologies in European modernisms and avant-gardes, and comparative European intellectual history, among other themes.

Course fee and participation

The price of the summer school is 50 EUR. For this fee, in addition to the summer school, participants will receive accommodation in Tallinn University student residences for up to 10 days.

The course is intended to be in presence. If the development of the pandemic prevents this from happening, the summer school will be held in the following academic year at the same dates.

Why this course?

  • All teachers are innovative researchers, internationally recognised in their respective fields.
  • Besides providing general lectures and seminars, the course aims to address each student’s particular research work in proposing methodological options and best practice.
  • The course promotes informal communication and exploration of ideas, making time for topically related tours and get-togethers.

Application details

          Who should apply?

PhD students and dedicated MA students whose postgraduate research focuses on, or draws upon, intellectual history.

Minimum bachelor’s degree; knowledge of the English language B2 level or above

How to apply?

The application form can be found online here. Select the “Transnational intellectual history” option and proceed from there.

The application consists in sending your CV and a short (100 words) motivation letter describing your research project and how you think it would benefit from the course.

The deadline is 15 May 2021.

Group size: maximum 15 students. Participants will be selected based on their CV and motivation letter.


Assoc. Prof. Eva Piirimäe
Prof. Georgios Varouxakis

Other teaching/supervising academic staff:
Dr. Tommaso Giordani
Prof. Liisi Keedus
Dr. Henry Mead
Dr. Piret Peiker


Credit points

Upon full participation and completion of course work students will be awarded 6 ECTS points and a certificate of completion.

In order to complete the course, student needs to:

  • Actively participate in discussions
  • Do a presentation
  • Complete a final essay related to student’s work in progress (3000-5000 words)
  • Do not hesitate to get in touch for any extra information you may need at [email protected] 

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May 15, 2021, 5:00am +03:00

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