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  • Societal Challenges Virtual Lecture Series & Early Career Networking Hour
13. 10. 2021 / 15:22

In these times of climate change, pandemic, forced migration and increasing economic and political alienation, crisis talk is ubiquitous. While the world’s problems are unquestionably urgent, the current discourse of emergency risks aggravating them by privileging quick but ineffective reaction over the calm, reflexive analysis that is a necessary first step in combatting the woes besetting us.

The objective of this lecture series is to provide an antidote to impulsive disaster talk through perceptive academic analysis. Outstanding researchers within the Aurora University Alliance will give engaging online lectures during the 2021–2022 academic year on cutting edge research within two broad domains, Sustainability & Climate Change and Culture: Diversity & Identity

Each lecture will be followed by a virtual social hour for doctoral and postdoctoral researchers which will allow them to network with peers across the Aurora Alliance and start building the research teams that will deal with the challenges of the future.

Learn More and Register Here 

The full program for the Aurora Lecture Series can be found below. 



  • 13 October 2021, 17:00–18:30 CET
    Circular innovation and sustainable entrepreneurship
    Prof. Dr. Ir. Bart Bossink (Sustainability and Innovation, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
  • 27 October 2021, 17:00–18:30 CET
    Ignorance, ritual, abuse, and competition: The politics of Holocaust memory in the 21st century
    Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Dirk Rupnow (History, University of Innsbruck)


  • 11 November 2021, 17:00–18:30 CET
    Have you ever loved someone without housing? Houselessness and fundamental rights in a welfare state
    Dr. Luisa Schneider (Social and Cultural Anthropology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
  • 18 November 2021, 17:00–18:30 CET
    Insect declines in the Anthropocene: Framing is everything
    Prof. Dr. Jeff Harvey (Animal Ecology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)



  • 16 February 2022, 17:00–18:30 CET
    Historical and literary perspectives on pandemics: The need for a gendered response
    Prof. Dr. Patricia Plummer (Postcolonial Studies, University of Duisburg-Essen)
  • 17 February 2022, 17:00–18:30 CET
    Places to intervene in a system in crisis: Paradigm shift through Wellbeing Economy and Ecocide Law
    Prof. Kristín Vala Ragnarsdóttir (Sustainability, University of Iceland)


  • 23 March 2022, 17:00–18:30 CET
    Measuring sustainability
    Doc. Mgr. Miroslav Syrovátka (Development & Environmental Studies, Palacký University Olomouc)
  • 24 March 2022, 17:00–18:30 CET
    Is there something new in ‘neo-nationalism’? Right-wing populism in historical perspective
    Prof. Guðmundur Hálfdánarson (History, University of Iceland)


  • 7 April 2022, 17:00–18:30 CET
    The importance of early climate mitigation for future glacier change
    Dr. Fabien Maussion (Atmospheric and Cryospheric Sciences, University of Innsbruck)
  • 19 April 2022, 17:00–18:30 CET
    Decolonial approaches to laïcité as a mode to re-think contemporary Islamophobia
    Prof. Nadia Kiwan (French and Francophone Studies, University of Aberdeen)

The lectures will take place on Zoom and the networking sessions on the interactive Wonder platform.You can register for individual dates or the
entire series. You will receive a certificate for your participation. 

Learn More and Register Here