What we offer 

Our courses are offered in English (and in German), and explore topics in various academic disciplines, such as history, literature, philosophy, art history, sociology, anthropology, political thought, and academic writing. Classes take place in small discussion groups led by professors and teachers from the Central European University and surrounding institutions in Vienna.  Each year we explore a different theme that speaks to the problems and crises of our time, and indeed of all times.  In 2021 our theme will be ‘Freedom and Society’.  

Our courses are taught in Favoriten (Tenth District) in the evening, from 6-8.30pm, and may involve optional academic excursions and extra-curricular activities at other times, including weekends.  Absolutely no payment is required; the courses are offered entirely for free. All course materials are supplied, and childcare for students with young children is available*.  In 2021 our courses run for 11 weeks from September to November. Teaching will take place in person. If in-person teaching is not possible by the start of the programme, we will move classes online. Students who complete their chosen courses will receive an academic certificate.   

*The availability of childcare will depend on the current Covid regulations at the start of the course. This means that we might not be able to offer childcare due to such regulations. 

Courses in Autumn 2021 

Our courses in 2021 will explore classical and contemporary texts and topics in philosophy, gender studies, politics and literature. Anyone who is interested in these topics and hasn’t had the opportunity to attend university is welcome to apply to our courses. There are no educational requirements for entry, though priority will be given to applicants of low income and/or who have experienced educational disadvantages in the past. 

Course descriptions and calendar

Political Thought and Literature

Christof Royer, Sam G. Hall

Tuesdays, 14.09 – 23.11, 18:00 – 20:30

The first part of the course is devoted to an analysis of the concept of human freedom in moral, social, and political thought. The second part of the course will examine theatrical representations of themes relating to liberty and, especially, the causes of various forms of unfreedom, such as sexual repression and colonial subjection, as understood by the greatest writer in the English canon, William Shakespeare, before concluding with a discussion of early modern theories of liberty.  

Philosophy and Gender Studies

Alexander Linsbichler, Adriana Qubaiova

Thursdays, 16.09 – 25.11, 18:00 – 20:30

In the last decade, Europe has witnessed heated controversies over restrictions of political, democratic, social, and economic freedoms. “Gender” has been at the core of many of these debates. However, both gender and freedom remain highly contested concepts. The first part of this course will introduce the philosophical method of explication to analyse distinct notions of freedom and to facilitate more fruitful discussions. In the second part of the course, we will discuss different notions of gender and how they relate to freedom, based on the reading of classic and contemporary texts in feminist theory.