Călin Nicolae COTOI
How to Teach Europe
NEC – LINK
Department of Sociology, University of Bucharest, Romania
On the background of the already long crisis of both the welfare state and neoliberalism, the social has been proclaimed as either dead, or as undergoing some kind of renaissance through social economy, civil society projects, and community (re)building and development. I propose, in this course, as a way of creating a meaningful “history of the present”, a history of the social, focused on Central and Eastern Europe, but part of a larger European comparative and transnational approach. The social I plan to explore is not an essence, present whenever individuals gather and miraculously subsisting in their absence, but a project, instituted in various ways, with different tonalities, shapes, and histories.
In Central and Eastern Europe, a number of inter-mingled modern entities – nation, state, science, and the “social” – emerged, in new configurations, at the end of the nineteenth century. These modern looking beings travelled through various transnational networks: as discourses; political, financial, and scientific elites; diplomas and certificates; technologies, practices, habits, and fashions. All these fragments were reassembled in local contexts by elites anxious to solve their local problems but also to retain enough resemblance with how these entities were deemed to look in their original places of origin.
Drawing on the experience of its NEC and RELINK Programmes in connecting with the Romanian academic milieu, NEC initiated in 2003, with support from Higher Education Support Programme (HESP) in Budapest, a programme that aimed to contribute more consistently to the advancement of higher education in major Romanian academic centers (Bucharest, Cluj–Napoca, Iaşi, Timişoara). Teams consisting of two academics from different universities in Romania, assisted by a PhD student offered joint courses for the duration of one term in a discipline within the fields of humanities and social sciences. The programme supported innovative courses, conceived so as to meet the needs of the host universities. The grantees participating in the Programme received monthly stipends, a substantial support for ordering literature relevant to their courses, as well as funding for inviting guest lecturers from abroad and for organizing scientific events.
Rudolf POLEDNA, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Senior lecturer, „Babeş-Bolyai“ University, Cluj-Napoca, Department of Sociology and Social Work
Norbert PETROVICI, Ph.D. Candidate Teaching Assistant, Babeş-Bolyai“ University, Cluj-Napoca, Department of Sociology and Social Work