Think tank European Culture 2013 - 2014 Topic This year’s think tank will focus on European cultural heritage. The ceaseless public debate on how to finance culture and the current economic crisis seem to suggest that today the state is less concerned with the cultural education of its citizens. National governments, claiming to be concerned with ´civilizing´ their people, created institutions like museums to preserve, disclose and present their cultural heritage, both old and new. In so doing, they worked to establish a collective repertoire which the public can refer to and in some cases also identify with. Nowadays, museums are often independent and critical players who do not necessarily serve a designated political cause. Hence, our conception of museums is being reassessed and rethought. Against this backdrop, a new player is manifesting itself: the European Union providing national cultural organizations with financial means to develop new initiatives mostly by collaborating with partner institutions in other member states. This gives rise to the question what these member states have in common. Can we conceive of a museum on a European level? And if so, what should it look like? Assignment The assignment for this think thank is to conceive of a concept for a ‘European museum’. By critically reflecting upon the function of museums and by working towards a specific case study, the think tank attempts to develop a good practice which can serve as an inspiration for the field of cultural heritage, and for European as well as national cultural policies. In the first phase of the project, participants will try to get a grip on what European Culture stands for. In the second phase they will tackle a case study by working out a plan for disclosing the influence of Greek tragedy on European Culture today (e.g. from opera to film and law to architecture). The challenge for the think tank is to come up with a concept for a museum that meets the technological, educational and cultural demands of contemporary society. So thinking ‘out of the box’ is required. Deadlines October 14: individual paper on linking your own scientific background to the topic of this think tank. Purpose: focusing on the topic and learning to understand each other’s perspectives. December 2: paper by a group of three or four students on a more defined topic related to the assignment. Purpose: more focus, teamwork, keeping up the workflow, working towards the final paper. May 1: group paper as a final product of the think tank. Purpose: result of combining forces, useful for an external organization. Who are we looking for The think tank is open to Masters’ students from all scientific disciplines. Combining multiple perspectives is necessary. We are specifically looking for students from politics, law, economics, communication and information sciences, social studies and humanities. Working weeks The think tank will meet during three working weeks. Participation is mandatory. 1) Location Nijmegen: arrival Sunday August 25, departure Sunday September 1. 2) Location Rome: arrival Sunday December 1, departure Friday December 6. 3) Location Budapest: arrival Sunday March 23, departure Friday March 28. During the rest of the year participants will communicate by e-mail and Skype.