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The summer schools are open to anyone interested in the topic, from graduate students to journalists and policymakers. 
In selecting applications, however, preference will be given to doctoral students, particularly from the area of political science.
The schools will offer a panorama of the strategies to debunk different forms of political uses of denialisms and conspiracy theories from an interdisciplinary perspective: political theory, political philosophy, history, political science, international relations, legal theory, in order to offer a comprehensive analysis of the phenomenon.
THE FIRST SUMMER SCHOOL, of 32 hours of face-to-face lectures, which will confer 2 CFUs, will be held at the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies FROM MONDAY, JUNE 19th, TO FRIDAY, JUNE 23th, 2023: Denialism and Conspiracy Theories in EU: Logic and Political Forms

JUNE 2023: "Denialism and Conspiracy Theories in EU: Logic and Political Forms"




Michael Butter, Universität Tübingen


Butter is Professor of American Literary and Cultural History at the University of Tübingen since 2014. He is the author of four monographs: “The Epitome of Evil: Hitler in American Fiction, 1939–2002” (2009), “Plots, Designs, and Schemes: American Conspiracy Theories from the Puritans to the Present“ (2014), “Der »Washington-Code«: Zur Heroisierung amerikanischer Präsidenten, 1775-1865“ (2016), and “The Nature of Conspiracy Theories“ (2020). He is the Principal Investigator of the ERC project “Populism and Conspiracy Theory” and one of the PI’s of the CHANSE project “Researching Europe, Digitilisation and Conspiracy Theory”.


Manuela Caiani, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa


Caiani is Associate Professor in Political Science at the Scuola Normale Superiore, and associated faculty at theInstitute for Advanced Studies (IHS) in Vienna. Her research focuses on Social Movements and Europeanization; Far Right Politics; Extremism online; Right Wing and Left Wing Populism; Movement-parties; Qualitative methods of social research. She is Co-director of the International Observatory on Social Cohesion and Inclusion-OCIS, She has directed and collaborated in various international projects. She published for the following publishers: Oxford University press, Ashgate, Palgrave, Routledge. 


Uffa Jensen, Center for Research on Antisemitism, Technische Universität – Berlin

Jensen is a historian at the Center for Research on Antisemitism at the Technische Universität in Berlin and its deputy director. His research interests are the history of antisemitism, of German Jewry, of psychoanalysis, of the history of emotions as well as visual history. He has previously worked at the University of Sussex, the Universität Göttingen and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. His most recent publications include “Zornpolitik“ (2017), “Wie die Couch nach Kalkutta kam: Eine Globalgeschichte der frühen Psychoanalyse“ (2019) and “Ein antisemitischer Doppelmord“ (2022).



Peter Knight, University of Manchester


Knight is a professor of American Studies at the University of Manchester. His research is on conspiracy theories, and the economic humanities. He is the author of “Conspiracy Culture” (2000), “The Kennedy Assassination” (2007), “Reading the Market “(2016), and is co-author of “Invested (2022) and Conspiracy Theories in the Time of Covid-19”(2023). He is co-editor of the Routledge Handbook of Conspiracy Theories (2020).

Stella Levantesi, Journalist, Rome


Levantesi is a climate journalist and author. Her main areas of expertise are climate denial, delay, obstruction and disinformation, greenwashing, corporate responsibility on the climate crisis and climate change communication. Her book “I bugiardi del clima” (Climate Liars), published by Laterza 2021, investigates the history of climate change denial and obstruction strategies to climate action. She is the author of Gaslit, and she is a TEDx Talk speaker. Her works have been published on DeSmog, Nature Italy, The New Republic, Internazionale, BBC World Service, DW and others.

Marco Solinas,  Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies – Pisa


Solinas is Assistant Professor in Political philosophy and Project Manager of Jean Monnet Module GOLDSTEIN: “Debunking Political Uses of Denialisms and Conspiracy Theories in EU”. He’s currently working on critical theory of society and populism. He published in important international reviews including Philosophy and Social Criticism, CriticalHorizons, Zeitscrift für kritische Theorie, Philosophisches Jahrbuch, and he is the author of Via Platonica zum Unbewussten (2012), From Aristotle’s Teleology to Darwin’s Genealogy (2015).

Nadia Urbinati, Columbia University, New York


Urbinati is the Kyriakos Tsakopoulos Professor of Political Theory at Columbia University. She is a political theorist specializing in modern and contemporary political thought and the democratic and anti-democratic traditions. She has been a member of the School of Social Sciences of the Institute for Advanced Study, Visiting Fellowship at Princeton University, permanent visiting professor at the Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e Perfezionamento Sant’Anna of Pisa. She has published numerous works including Me The People: “How Populism Transforms Democracy” (2019) and “Democracy Disfigured: Opinion, Truth and the People” (2014).



Monday, June 19th

2-4 p.m.: Introduction to the summer school and lecture by Marco Solinas: “Denialism and Conspiracy Theories in EU: Logic and Political Forms” (compulsory reading: Pirro, Andrea LP, and Taggart, Paul, “Populists in power and conspiracy theories”, in Party Politics, vol. 0(0), 1-11 2022) – main building, classroom n. 10.
4-6 p.m.: Lecture by Peter Knight: “The Great Reset and Conspiracy Theorisation of Everything” (compulsory reading: Jigsaw, “The Conspiracy Theories – Issue”, in The Current, n. 005) main building, classroom n. 10.


Tuesday, June 20th

9 a.m.-1 p.m.: Lecture by Peter Knight: “What difference has the internet made to creation, circulation and consumption of conspiracy theories?” (compulsory reading: Joseph Bernstein, “Bad News. Selling the story of disinformation”, in Harper’s Magazine, September 2021, issue: “Disinformed”) – main building, classroom n. 10.
1-2 p.m.: Lunch at the School (canteen).
2-4 p.m.: Lecture by Nadia Urbinati: “Conspiracy: Systemic and Pragmatic” (compulsory reading: Nadia Urbinati, “Conspiracy: Systemic and Pragmatic”, in Social Research, Vol 89, No. 3 (2022), pp. 222-245) – main building, classroom n. 10.
4-6 p.m.: Lecture by Michael Butter: “A Short History of Conspiracy Theories” (compulsory reading: Winston Churchil, “Zionism versus Bolshevism: A Struggle for the Soul of the Jewish People”, in Illustrated Sunday Herald, February 8, 1920, p. 5) – main building, classroom n. 10.

Wednesday, June 21th

9 a.m.-1 p.m.: Lecture by Michael Butter: “Populism and Conspiracy Theories” (compulsory reading: Jan-Werner Müller, “What, If Anything, Do Populism and Conspiracy Theories Have to Do With Each Other?, in Social Research: An International Quarterly, vol. 89, n. 3, fall 2022, pp. 607-625) – via Maffi 27, classroom n. 7.
1-2p.m.: Lunch at the School (canteen).
2-6 p.m.: Lecture by Stella Levantesi: “The Politics of Climate Change Denial: Propaganda, Delay and Obstruction Tactics to Climate Action” (compulsory reading: Stella Levantesi, “Climate Deniers and the Language of Climate Obstruction”, in DeSmog, June 16, 2022) – main building, classroom n. 10.

Thursday, June 22th

9 a.m.-1 p.m.: Lecture by Uffa Jensen: “Antisemitism and Conspiracy Theories in the EU” – first part (compulsory reading: Önnerfors, Andreas: Der Grosse Austausch” : conspiratorial frames of terrorist violence in Germany, in: Önnerfors, Andreas und Krouwel, André (Hrsg.), Europe: Continent of Conspiracies. Conspiracy Theories in and about Europe London 2021, S. 76-96) – main building, classroom n. 6.
1-2p.m.: Lunch at the School (canteen).
2-6 p.m.: Lecture by Manuela Caiani: “Online Hate Speech, Conspiracy and the Radical Right” (compulsory reading: Manuela Caiani and Paolo Graziano, “The Three Faces of Populism in Power: Polity, Policies and Politic’s”, in Government and Opposition, vol. 57, Special Issue 4, October 2022, pp. 569-588) – main building, classroom n. 6.
6-7 p.m.: Learning check.
8-10 p.m.: Social dinner – ristorante La Grotta, via San Francesco 103.

Friday, June 23th

9-11 a.m.: Lecture by Uffa Jensen: “Antisemitism and Conspiracy Theories in the EU” – second part (compulsory reading: Simonsen, Kjetil Braut: Antisemitism and Conspiracism, in: Butter, Michael und Knight, Peter (Hrsg.), “Routledge Handbook of Conspiracy Theories”, London 2020, S. 357-370) – via Maffi 27, classroom n. 7.
11 a.m.- 1 p.m.: Lecture by Marco Solinas: “Logic and Political Forms of Conspiracy Theories (compulsory reading: Wagner-Egger, Pascal – Delouvée, Sylavain – Gauvrit, Nicolas – Dieguez, Sebatian, “Creationism and conspiracism share a common teleological bias”, in Current Biology, vol. 28, issue 16, R867-R868 (2018)) – via Maffi 27, classroom n. 7.



Claudia Annovi, Elia Battaglia, Matteo Bellioni, Tommaso Biagioli, Giacomo Bigliardi, Massimo Caon, Alessio Esposito, Alessandro Gazzetti, Nicola Manganiello, Giulia Melchiorri, Marianna Mirva, Diana Piroli, Riccardo Nedal Rouzzack, Terezia Sabova, Sofia Scacco, Giuliana Sorci, Ginevra Stanziani





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