Skip to content High contrast mode

Rhetoric-performative Post-foundational Analysis in Social Sciences and Humanities

Tuition fee


EARLY BIRD prices valid until 28.2.2018
NORMAL prices after 28.2.2018

Expenses for Special Courses
Air Quality in China 190,00 EUR to be paid together with the course fee
Managing Sustainable Forest Landscapes 190,00 EUR, paid in cash during the course

More information 



This course introduces post-foundational political thought as a framework through which to approach the most pressing questions of our era. These include questions related to democracy, economy, populism, gender, climate change, identity politics, and the notion of “post-truth”. With emphasis on rhetoric and performativity, the course investigates how meaning-making takes place through contingent concepts, discourses and structures we inhabit.

Through in-class discussions, group work, and guest lectures, the course will enable the participants to learn and begin to apply insights from this strand of continental political philosophy to the study of contemporary political issues. Teaching will be composed of lectures, seminars, and workshops.

The students will learn about different forms of post-foundational thinking and get to explore the ways in which it can be combined with various research methods. As central to the post-foundational framework, the course will introduce the works of authors such as Jacques Derrida, Judith Butler, Chantal Mouffe and Ernesto Laclau.

Learning objectives

The course introduces post-foundational thinking and the related perspectives of conceptual analysis, post-structuralist discourse theory, interpretive political analysis, and discourse theory. The broader aim is to learn how to make use of theory in research in social sciences and humanities.

As the outcome of the course, students will learn how to use post-foundational theory in actual research contexts, whether engaging with theoretical or empirical research. The students will be able to establish the differences between these approaches within the field of post-foundational theory and assess their applicability to their own topics of interest.

Course format and teaching methods

The course is built around lectures and workshops by leading scholars in the field of post-foundational discourse analysis. The students will also conduct individual and group assignments as part of the course.

Target students

MA/PhD level students. BA degree or previous knowledge of research methods and research practice required.


Emilia Palonen (responsible teacher),
You may contact the course coordinator with questions concerning the course content.

With any other questions concerning Helsinki Summer Schoool or the application process, please contact

Apply now! Summer 2019
Application start
Dec 1, 2018
May 31, 2019 23:59
Europe/Helsinki time

If you need a visa, please apply 31st of May the latest.

Application deadline
Jul 20, 2019 23:59
Europe/Helsinki time

NB! The application deadline is June 26th, 2018. However the students of the University of Helsinki may apply until July 20th, 2018.

Studies commence
Aug 7, 2019

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States