Henry Arnhold Dresden Summer School 2019

The Struggle for the Truth

Institutions of Culture in Polarized Societies


Dresden, 23 September – 2 October 2019

The public discourse has become an arena of the struggle for truth. Claims to truth are negotiated in mutual accusations of representing the wrong truth. Terms such as post-factual, fake news and alternative facts make it all the more difficult to communicate about differing explanations of the world and diverging interests on a sophisticated level. Such communication moreover takes place against the background of growing skepticism – not only towards the nation’s elites, but also towards institutions that have traditionally conceived of themselves as producers and representatives of existing orders of knowledge and society.

This is the topic the Henry Arnhold Dresden Summer School 2019 will address. The ten-day programme will pursue issues of scope for action, competencies and responsibility. How do museums and libraries proceed when they find themselves at the centre of societal polarizations? What role do they play as arenas and venues of societal debates? And what position do they take themselves, as protagonists, with regard to polarizing issues?