Ruptures and Utopia in Present Societies: Psychoanalytic Perspectives and Social Critique

IPU Summer School: 4–16 July 2021 / Berlin, Germany

Modern societies are currently in deep crisis: within growing parts of the population, confidence in democratic institutions is seemingly eroding. In many places, the challenges of increasing inequalities, imminent ecological and health catastrophes and worldwide migration movements are being met by means of de-solidarization, national isolation and the return to identitarian constructions. The Covid-19 pandemic and the related political measures have triggered a growing emergence of conspiracy theories. The political discourse is increasingly characterised by emotionality, constituted through a variety of misunderstood emotions, desires and fears underlying the cracks, breaks and divisions within the political sphere. However, these fractures are not only of destructive nature, but offer a utopian potential as well.

What exactly divides modern societies?
What is the function of these cracks?
What utopian potential do they foster?

The Summer School “Ruptures and Utopia in Present Societies: Psychoanalytic Perspectives and Social Critique” of the IPU Berlin addresses these questions from sociological, psychological and psychoanalytic perspectives. In a multifaceted program consisting of lectures, workshops and excursions, international scholars and students will engage with the following three topics:

  • Antisemitism and Identity Politics
  • Authoritarianism and the Emergence of Conspiracy Theories
  • Generational Ruptures

Intercultural reflection groups offer students the opportunity to pursue their own experiences with the treated contents. The additional module of Video Documentation will enable all participants to discuss, process and spread these contents in a digital manner.

The full program is available here.


Who is eligible to apply?
The course is especially designed for master and PhD students from abroad who are studying in the areas of psychology, sociology and cultural studies. Bachelor students must be in their final year of study to be eligible for application. Students should have some previous knowledge in at least one of the topics addressed by the course. We will give preference to applications from students who are writing their bachelor, master or PhD thesis in either Psychoanalysis or Critical Theory. We accept applications from students from all around the world and do not prioritize any particular region. However, it is our aim to compile the most diverse group of students as possible.

Application Deadlines

Application deadline for DAAD scholarships: 15 April 2021

General application deadline (without scholarship): 15 May 2021

Application deadline for IPU students: 15 May 2021

What is required for the application?

1. Application Form
2. Letter of Motivation (one page)
3. Transcript of Records and/or last university degree (not necessary if you are a student of the IPU)
4. Short CV (one page)
5. Proof of English language proficiency min. B2
6. If you are applying for a DAAD scholarship, a certificate of current enrolment from your home university is required

Please send all documents together in one PDF file via e-mail to:

In case a visa is required, please take the timely aspect of this matter into consideration before applying.

Criteria for selection
1. Letter of motivation
2. Academic engagement in related projects
3. Academic performance
4. Regional diversity of participants


Euro 440,- (course fee only) to be paid no later than three weeks after acceptance.
Accommodation, meals and transportation must be organized and covered by the participants themselves.

DAAD Scholarship

Who is eligible to apply for the scholarship?

The summer school is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). All participants from abroad who apply for the summer school before 15 April 2021 (application deadline for scholarships) have the option to apply for one of approximately twenty DAAD scholarships.

Please state clearly in your application whether you will still apply for the summer school if your scholarship application is not successful.

What does the scholarship cover?
The scholarship for applicants who reside within one of the Erasmus+ program countries (EU countries + Iceland, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Turkey) comprises a lump sum of Euro 500,- per participant.

The scholarship for all other applicants consists of a country specific lump sum for travel costs. For further details, please refer to the list of mobility grants of the DAAD.

For all applicants who receive a DAAD scholarship, participation in the whole two weeks of the course is mandatory.

Scholarship payment
The scholarship is paid in cash upon arrival at IPU Berlin only.

Please send your application to:

Participation and Scholarships for IPU students

Since the Summer School is primarily an event for students from abroad who are not yet studying at a German university, there are only 10 placements available for students of the IPU Berlin. As the event takes place during the lecture period, these spots are available to students who are currently writing their Bachelor's or Master's thesis.

Out of these 10 placements, the IPU Berlin awards 5 scholarships to reimburse the course fee of 440 €.

Deadline of application for the scholarship for IPU students is 15 May 2021. For all IPU students who receive a scholarship, participation in the whole two weeks of the course is mandatory.

In case you have further questions, we will be happy to answer them by email.

Please note: In the event that it won’t be possible to organize the summer school as an in-person only course because of the pandemic regulations, the IPU Berlin will offer a hybrid/online version of the summer school. In this case, the participation fee will be reduced by 50 percent and will then amount to 220 €. If the personal attendance of the selected scholarship holders won't be possible due to evidenced pandemic-related reasons (e.g. travel and quarantine restrictions, closed boarders) they can take part online and won't have to pay a participation fee for the summer school.