About the ESSCS

Week 2: Innsbruck and Obergurgl


The close diplomatic relations between Canada and the European Union, and in particular the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Canada and Austria in 2022, ask us to develop a better reciprocal understanding of the two partners with regard to cultural, political, and economic issues. The European Summer School in Canadian Studies is the first of its kind to meet these new demands and to support aspiring students and young researchers in building international networks. It addresses the multidisciplinary field of Canadian Studies, aiming to bring students from various countries in Europe and beyond together to strengthen the dialogue between the many fields that make up Canadian Studies: literary and cultural studies, indigenous studies, film studies, language policy, history, cultural economic and social geography, political science, translation studies, intersectional studies, and economics. Our programme offers international high-potential M.A./M.Ed. and Ph.D. students in the Humanities and Social Sciences critical perspectives on national myths and stereotypes as well as an overview of the status quo of Canadian Studies. 

Target Group

M.A./M.Ed./Ph.D. students and emerging scholars interested in Canadian or North American Studies.

Teaching Concept

The European Summer School in Canadian Studies offers an academic programme in Canadian Studies, which combines a master-class format (lectures and case study units) with independent study, and a cultural programme. The schedule alternates between plenary or input sessions and group work to enhance students’ active participation. Students conclude the programme with a portfolio that collects preparatory activities, results from on-site activities, tasks across different disciplines and a final, evaluative reflection on the programme. The ESSCS offers students from various disciplines the possibility to enrich their prior expertise and to develop interdisciplinary and transferable skills.

Certificate in Canadian Studies

The programme is compatible with various M.A./M.Ed. curricula and Ph.D. programmes. Upon completion, participants will receive a certificate signed by the two organising universities, Innsbruck and Vienna (5 ECTS, 125 hours workload in total, including preparatory readings, course work, and portfolio).

Teaching Language

English and French (participants are required to be fluent in one of these languages; ideally, the second language should be at A2 level). Teaching material will be made available in either English or French. To facilitate participation across language boundaries, translations and summaries will be provided where necessary.


  • 60 teaching hours: 10 days, 6 hours a day = 60 full hours
  • 45 hours for preparation: Readings will be provided to students. Reading and corresponding tasks have to be completed in advance and are part of the portfolio.
  • 20 hours for the composition of the portfolio:
    • written answers to the questions accompanying the readings
    • summary of and written response to two lectures of the student's choice
    • written response to one of the literary texts
    • evaluative reflection on the programme
    • to be handed in by August 15, 2022

Course Readings

  • 1 literary text (tba) by each of the two invited authors Madeleine Thien and Chloé Savoie-Bernard (in the original language or in translation)
  • 1 overview article on Canadian Studies today
  • A selection of texts provided by the faculty

Certificate Requirements

  • active class participation (50%)
  • portfolio (50%)


3 units per day (120 minutes each)

  • Unit 1: master class input lecture
  • Unit 2: interactive case study
  • Unit 3: cultural programme and/or independent study

Master Classes and Case Studies

Master classes and case studies are teaching units conducted by international scholars on specialized topics. After a lecture and discussion, students work together in interactive case study sessions with our renowned faculty. This format enables students to spend an entire day with the invited scholars.


Our instructors and lecturers represent a distinguished international faculty across the listed fields as well as writers from anglophone and francophone Canada:

Bear, SavageMcMaster UniversityIndigenous Studies
Dörrenbächer, PeterSaarland UniversityEconomic and Social Geography
Eibl, Doris G.University of InnsbruckFrancophone Literatures and Québec Studies
Fellner, AstridSaarland UniversityAnglophone Film Studies
Ganser, AlexandraUniversity of ViennaAnglophone Literatures and Cultures
Lehmkuhl, UrsulaUniversity of TrierHistory
Maillé, ChantalConcordia UniversityIntersectional Studies
Mathis-Moser, UrsulaUniversity of InnsbruckFrancophone Literatures and Québec Studies
Maurer, AndreasUniversity of InnsbruckPolitical Science
Savoie-Bernard, Chloé    Queen’s UniversityWriter
Reichwein, PearlAnnUniversity of AlbertaMountain Studies
Sandrock, KirstenUniversity of GöttingenAnglophone Literatures
Quell, CarstenOttawa, Executive Director, Off. Languages Centre of Excellence, Government of CanadaLanguage Policies
Schäfer, StefanieUniversity of ViennaAnglophone Literatures and Pedagogy
Simon, SherryConcordia UniversityCultural and Translation Studies
Staines, DavidUniversity of OttawaAnglophone Literatures
Thien, MadeleineCity University of New YorkWriter
Türschmann, JörgUniversity of ViennaFrancophone Film Studies