This course introduces students to the field of Australian Studies through a focus on different Australian places. It asks how these places are often simultaneously understood and imagined as Indigenous Country, as the site of colonisation and settler homemaking, or as locations of a modern multicultural nation. The process of narration plays an important role in such understandings and imaginings of places and we will focus on how and why such narratives (in the broadest sense) are constructed and what forms they might take. Starting out from an engagement with the Aboriginal Australian concept of ‘Country’, we will focus on iconic Australian locations such as the outback, the beach, the city, or the border and ask how they are narrated across a range of cultural productions including literature, film and the visual arts.

The summer school deals with the fake news spread by populism and conspiracy myths, which are used to fuel scepticism about political decision-makers and the reporting of established media. Democracy as a form of government is thus increasingly called into question and society starts to get fragmented. In input lectures, the media-technological and media-legal conditions for this are expounded, analytical methods opinion influencing and results of analyses already carried out are presented as well as possibilities of debunking and counter acting.

In the workshops, the students jointly take a look at platforms and social media through which fake news and conspiracy myths on various topics are spread. In doing so, they apply the analytical models presented. The results of their micro-studies provide an insight into the current dynamics of shifts in the perception and evaluation of social events and images of reality on a European level.

Learning objectives: Theoretical basics (interdisciplinary), models of cultural semiotic analysis for meaning building and their practical application for analysis