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2019 (Conflicting Truths)

Conflicting Truths in Academic and Journalistic Writing

The theme of this year, Conflicting Truths, will gather in Ohrid previous and new partners from universities in Germany, Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia and Croatia for a successful and beneficial continuation of the Summer Schools 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018. Truths are assessed and established on the basis of the CHEP (2018 project) elements of credibility, honesty, ethics and politeness. While many people believe that there is only one truth, we will foster the discussion and interpretation of different truths, from a national perspective of the student participants of the summer school. The discussion will concentrate on academic and journalistic writing.

Study and exchange

The TU Chemnitz English Department welcomes students and scholars for semesters abroad and our international Master's study program in English. Find more information on exchange opportunities on the website of our International Office. TU Chemnitz students are also encouraged to explore our Erasmus partnerships with South Eastern Europe.

 

Workshop in Vrsac, May 16 - 19, 2019

This year, there will be one workshop, which will take place in Vrsac, Serbia.  Partners from universities in Germany, Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia and Croatia will discuss about the upcoming summer school in Ohrid and relevant aspects such as theoretical concepts, possible group activities, applications and so on. There will also be a beneficial discussion on the criteria and purposes of the forthcoming joint publication, REAL 17. The workshop will take place during the period May 16-19.

Program

Presentations:

Plan and accommodation

Daily schedule

Teacher Training College Vrsac

Villabreg Hotel Vrsac

Photos

Study Visit in Chemnitz, Germany, June 28 - July 7, 2019

Promissing young researchers from Albania, Croatia, North Macedonia and Serbia had the opportunity of a 10 days research trip to the University of Chemnitz. The research trip consisted of participating in a workshop on academic presentations, access/intro. to our library / e-journals, extensive feedback on their presentations, the discussion of their theses/articles in a small international Conference in Chemnitz, "Digital English World-Wide," a meeting on the upcoming Summer School and other social activities.

Summer School in Ohrid, North Macedonia, August 23 - 31, 2019

The Ohrid summer school 2019 will gather in Ohrid (Congress Center) previous and new partners from universities in Germany, Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia and Croatia for a successful and beneficial continuation of the Summer Schools 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018. As in the previous successful summer schools, there will be an initial essay application on the project’s theme, many interactive discussions, group activities and a final journalistic or academic text that students from different countries will jointly write. By considering well-known and recent examples from academic and journalistic writing (e.g. the incidents in Chemnitz, the name dispute between North Macedonia and Greece etc.), students will discuss as to which extend, they agree to the presented truths or to what extend they are influenced by them. To create a better connection between the students and a positive and fun environment, there will also be activities such as a joint boat trip and visit to the historical center of Ohrid. There were also short presentations by every teacher (see Teacher Presentations) and extra-curricular activities. Every participant will receive a copy of the REAL volume published by the project team in 2019.

Students willing to participate applied by sending a 1500-2000-word essay in English (as an example of academic or journalistic writing) on "Conflicting Truths" from their national perspective to their university coordinators or to Vincenzo

Student feedback

"I think that my critical thinking has developed a lot. It made me realize that everything has at least 2 sides to consider."

"[...] It was amazing how members of international groups supported each other."

"[...] honestly, I didn't want this summer school to end."

Teacher Presentations

Student Presentations

National Groups: Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia (Vrsac, Nis)

Mixed Groups: Air Pollution in Macedonia, Lake Ohrid in UNESCO, Smoking Law, Tourism in Ohrid, White Lies

REAL 17

Conflicting Truths in Academic and Journalistic Writing

The present volume draws on the experience of the Summer School held in August 2019 in Ohrid, where graduate students and experienced scholars met from Germany, Albania, Serbia, Macedonia, and Croatia. All contributions discuss original empirical research on texts that construe conflicting truths in the idest sense, either from academic or from journalistic writing, mainly from a South Eastern European perspective. The contributions can also serve as a general model for open and critical international and intercultural academic discourse in joint teaching, research and publishing.

Contributions:

  • Schmied, J. "Conflicting Truths in Academic and Journalistic Writing: Forms, Functions, and Intentions"
  • Đorđević, J. "Conflicting Truths in the Comment Sections of Serbian News Websites: One Click is All It Takes" 
  • Schmied, J. "Framing the News Media in Germany? Background and Linguistic Analyses of a Manual for the General Public Broadcasting Services in Germany (ARD)"
  • Dheskali, V. "Attacks by the Hamas Resistance Movement or Terrorist Movement, Israeli Defence or Occupation Forces? A Corpus-Based Comparison of the Framing of the Israeli-Palestine Conflict in American, Arab-Speaking, Israeli and Palestinian Online Journals"
  • Prtljaga, J. "'It must be true – the President says it'. Using Epistemic Modals to Construct Truths in European Political Discourse"
  • Mitić, I. "(Non)lingual Elements as Markers of Truth in the Serbian Media: The Case of the “1 of 5 Million” Protest"
  • Dheskali, V., Zenelaj, J., Pashaj, I. "Analysing the Truths about Brexit Represented on UK, EU and USA News Websites: The Case of Modal Assessments"
  • Ivanova, M. "Semantic and Pragmatic Truth Implications of Concession in Single- and Double-Blind Open Peer Reviews"
  • Palinkašević, R. "The Truths about Healthy Diets: Popular Views, Preschool Teachers’ Beliefs and Teaching in Serbia"
  • Shalevska, E. "The Language of Media Framing: The Case of North Macedonia’s Ex-Prime Minister"
  • Milojković, M. "Conflicting Truths in the Coverage of “1 of 5 Million” Protests in Serbia: A Discourse Analysis"
  • Lokvenec, S. "Conflicting Truths in a Literary Text: A Case Study of Nabokov’s Lolita"
  • Dheskali, J. "Statistics Can Lie! – Using Descriptive Statistics in Academic Writing to Shape Reader’s Interpretations"
  • Albrecht, S. "Using Topic Modeling to Analyse Political Speeches"
  • Goredema, P. "Conflicting Truths in the English Language Curriculum: A Synopsis of Professional and Preservice Teachers’ 
    Self-Efficacy Concerns"
  • Petrovska, I. & Ivanova, M. "Teaching Lexical Patterns in English and Macedonian Media Discourse: Confronting Issues of Conflicting Truths"

Conflicting Truths in the media

Follow our activity under University News (below)

Student impressions

Check out Marina's blog posts on her first academic experiences in South Eastern Europe during the Workshop in Vrsac and Summer School in Ohrid.

Dive into the atmosphere of our annual Summer School:

Summer School Video.

Reflections on Truths

The parable of the blind men and an elephant originated in the ancient Indian subcontinent, from where it has been widely diffused. However the meaning of the popular proverb differs in other countries. It is a story of a group of blind men, who have never come across an elephant before and who learn and conceptualize what the elephant is like by touching it. Each blind man feels a different part of the elephant's body, but only one part, such as the side or the tusk. They then describe the elephant based on their limited experience and their descriptions of the elephant are different from each other. In some versions, they come to suspect that the other person is dishonest and they come to blows. The moral of the parable is that humans have a tendency to claim absolute truth based on their limited, subjective experience as they ignore other people's limited, subjective experiences which may be equally true.

Truths and Framing

Read more on conflicting truths in the context of ARD's framing manual as covered by Web.de, CDN, Süddeutsche Zeitung here  and here, Spektrum, and Die Zeit. More on the fight against fake news in France in Franceinter.

Truths, Facts and (Fake) News

Recommended reading:

Bennett, W. L. (2016). News: The politics of illusion. University of Chicago Press.

Starbird, K. (2017). Examining the Alternative Media Ecosystem through the Production of Alternative Narratives of Mass Shooting Events on Twitter. Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.

Wineburg, S., McGrew, S., Breakstone, J. and Ortega, T. (2016). Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning. Stanford Digital Repository

The 2017 Fake News scandal in Macedonia as covered in Die Zeit, CBS News and Wired.

Find out more about fact-checking in Google News, FactCheckand Poynter.

Press Articles