Summer School ‘The right way to inclusion and diversity via the music of the West Side Story’

Erasmus University van bovenaf
Thursday 26 Aug 2021, 09:00 - Saturday 28 Aug 2021, 17:00
Spoken Language
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Erasmus University van bovenaf

From August 26th till August 28th 2021, a free multidisciplinary summer school will be organised on campus, by Dr. Emese von Bóné (ESL) and History Professor Paul van de Laar (ESHCC). This Summer School will focus on inclusion and diversity in Rotterdam in the light of the music of the film West Side Story. The programme is especially interesting for ESL, ESHCC, ESE and ESPhil students.

Take a look at the programme and apply to make this multidisciplinary Summer School a success. Music makes studying on the EUR campus fun. To open the curtain of the Summer School, watch the video ♫♪♪    ♫♪♪

Contact Emese von Bóné or Paul van de Laar to apply.

About the Summer School
During the summer school, you will learn about Rotterdam’s history as a port city, as narratives of the past play a fundamental role in the way cities are perceived and represented. Rotterdam has long been a place of cultural transfer and has witnessed a continuous flow of a wide variety of migrants, both temporary and permanent. The past decades have shown an increasing diversity in ethnic and religious groups, but also in socio-economic statuses among inhabitants with a migration background. Rotterdam hosts many ‘minority’ migrants, which is why it is now considered a superdiverse city. Because of this, Rotterdam is put to the test to show how to be an inclusive city. However, this doesn’t come without its challenges. According to History Professor, Paul van de Laar, the challenge is to link Rotterdam’s migration narrative of the past to a convincing inclusive narrative of the contemporary city. What is the best way to reach that goal? Research has shown that musical engagement may have a positive impact on social inclusion, and this is exactly what the summer school will focus on!

Building upon the experience of Paul van de Laar in Rotterdam’s history, Dr. Emese von Bóné will apply her experience in Law and Opera to the summer school. In her experience, Dr. Emese von Bóné has focused on legal aspects in opera, as was demonstrated in the collective performance of ESL students and Theater Hofplein students. Musical performances like these, have proven to be an ideal setting to experience dilemmas that deal with injustice, (in)equality and diversity. For the summer school, we have chosen for the musical film West Side Story, as it deals with diversity and inclusion but also with the social issues and economic circumstances around it. West Side Story came out in 1961 and is based on the love story of Romeo and Juliet (1595/96) of William Shakespeare and Bellini’s Opera I Capuleti e I Montecchi (1830). The relation between law and opera in a justified city, that is getting more and more divers, has been taken as an example: “West Side Story” portrays some of the problems our nation faces due to disparities in school funding, lack of equal educational and employment opportunities, and our willingness to turn our backs on countless children and their parents, most of whom are doing their best to make it with limited resources.

What to expect?
During the Summer School, workshops will be held; students will write their own narrative on the theme of the West Side Story; students will go on an excursion to the Worldmuseum/Maritime Museum in Rotterdam, as well as a citytour (by bike or by foot); and social events will be organized.

How to apply
Students starting Bachelor 3 or a Master in September can apply by sending an e-mail to and before June 30th. In your e-mail, you have to attach your motivation letter, in which you explain why you would want to join the Summer School and explain what would make it a success for you. Furthermore, please mention your name, e-mail, phone number and year of study in your e-mail. A maximum of 25 students will be selected.

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