The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York


TASI- Dynamics of Inclusion and Exclusion Across Europe and North America: Thinking Beyond Identities

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Application due date: April 21, 2014

Since 2001 the Trans-Atlantic Summer Institutes (TASI) provide a unique forum for advanced graduate students from North America, Germany, and other European countries to explore together topics relating to Germany’s and Europe’s history, politics, and society. Each summer, 10-12 European and 10-12 North American graduate students work intensively for two weeks and explore in depth questions that will enrich their dissertations in German and European Studies. The Summer Institutes are co-taught by a multi-disciplinary team of faculty and aim to make a major contribution to the training of the next generation of experts on Germany and Europe. They introduce European students to the American university; North American students will acquire a similar familiarity with the European setting. They foster the international discussions and collaborations that are fundamental to the scholarly enterprise. As a student in the Summer Institute, you will learn how to combine the best aspects of training in both settings—the close attention to archival sources and their interpretation in Europe with the broad trans-disciplinary readings that characterize North American scholarship.

TASI is a non-credit seminar for advanced graduate-level students in all fields; the 2014 Institute will convene on the campus of the Europa Universität Viadrina (Frankfurt/Oder, Germany).


The concept of identity has increasingly become the target of criticism. Critical theory, broadly understood, and socially engaged research—so the reproach runs—tend to reproduce and essentialize institutional attributions of identity. Both remain caught in social and political dynamics of power and hinder accurate analysis of important contemporary phenomena. One index of that failure is the rise of new terminology in the research on migration processes, social movements, and practices and forms of subjectification. Terms such as “intersectionality,” “queering,” “passing,” and “assemblage” call into question the very notion of identity.

The 2014 Transatlantic Summer Institute explores the limits of identity categories in analyzing practices of exclusion and inclusion. Fellows will discuss conceptual alternatives and explore, in Elaine Ginsburg’s formulation, the “political motivations inherent in the […] maintenance of identity categories and boundaries.” Fellows will engage an array of questions that will strengthen their dissertations on the dynamics of exclusion and inclusion in contemporary Europe and North America. What are the “power effects” of specific research methodologies? How does analysis itself perpetuate exclusion and marginalization? Are there limits to representing others? What are the conceptual charges or implicit impositions of the very categories of “representation,” “marginalization,” or “exclusion”?

The multi-disciplinary faculty team invites applications from advanced graduate students working empirically and/or theoretically on borders and thresholds, social movements, migration, and processes of exclusion/inclusion across Europe, Germany, and North America. TASI 2014 draws on a broad range of academic fields—including anthropology, sociology, (political) philosophy, literature, history, political science, and cultural studies.

The Institute is a combination of research seminar and dissertation workshop. Fellows will discuss key theoretical and philosophical texts that transcend disciplinary approaches, hear presentations by guest faculty and, most importantly, present and discuss their own research projects, dissertation proposals, or dissertation chapters.

Fellowship Information

The Institute is intended for advanced graduate students working toward a Ph.D. or other terminal degree at a North American or European university. Preference will be given to students who have already defined a dissertation topic. The language of instruction is English. Competency in English and a reading knowledge of another European language are required.Logistics: arrive in Frankfurt/Oder [vicinity of Berlin!] on Monday, July 7 for the TASI opening dinner; class starts on Tuesday, July 8; class ends on Saturday, July 19 at 1 p.m.; depart from Frankfurt/Oder on Saturday, July 19 after 2:00 p.m.

Pending final budget approval, all fellows will receive a fellowship to cover most expenses:

  • Institute tuition
  • Housing and meals for the duration of the Institute
  • Access to library and archival materials and Internet resources
  • partial travel support

Fellowships for advanced graduate students enrolled at North American universities include up to $550 in support of round-trip airfare to Berlin/Germany. This support will be granted on a matching fund basis. The fellow’s home department will need to provide at least $200 to trigger the full University of Minnesota match. Fellows enrolled at a European university will receive up to $150 to cover travel costs to Frankfurt/Oder.

Complete applications for admission to the Institute must be received by April 21, 2014. Applications may be submitted electronically to cges@umn.eduIf you choose this option, please put “2014 TASI Application” in subject line. Decisions will be made by May 12, 2014.

A complete application consists of 1) applicant information sheet, 2) a letter of interest, 3) a two-page dissertation abstract, or a two-page statement about the relevance of this topic to the applicant’s research, 4) a curriculum vitae, 5) an unofficial graduate transcript, and 6) one confidential letter of recommendation by a faculty member familiar with the applicant’s research project. The letter of interest should include information on the applicant’s scholarly background, interests, and career goals. Please send applications to:

Professors Matthias Rothe and Anika Keinz
DAAD Center for German & European Studies
University of Minnesota
214 Social Science Building
267— 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455