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The Politics of Suspicion

Programmes organised by the Graduate School of Social Science (including this programme) are cancelled for summer 2020 in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. If you’re interested in following this programme in the future, please email with the programme name in the subject line and we will keep you updated on all developments in the coming months. Want to keep updated on social media and online content for summer 2020? Follow us on Instagram and Facebook at the links below.

Programme at a glance

Academic dates: 28 June - 16 July 2020
Housing dates: 26 June - 17 July 2020
Academic fee: € 1600 read more about what’s included.
Housing fee:

€ 625 for a private room with shared facilities and a € 75 refundable deposit. For more information, see Housing and practical matters.

Credits: 6 European Credits
Who is this programme for?                                                                                                              For current university students (Bachelors and Masters) in the arts and social sciences with an interest contemporary politics, media, and cultural studies. 
Academic director: Dr. Boris Noordenbos
Early application deadline: 1 February 2020
Regular application deadline: 1 April 2020

Programme description

How is conspiratorial suspicion currently mobilized for political means, and to what effects? Today, these questions are more urgent than ever. They require thorough, multidisciplinary exploration.

This immersive three-week programme sets out to explore the current global ubiquity of suspicion. It approaches the topic from a diverse set of angles and disciplines, including political science, psychology, sociology and cultural studies. It also pays attention to regional variations in the ‘cultures of suspicion’ and invites students to discuss cases and contexts they are most familiar with.

The course acknowledges the prominent role of (popular and digital) culture in reflecting and shaping contemporary narratives of suspicion and conspiracy. The suspicious worldview relies strongly on cultural scripts and genres to imagine secret collusions and manipulations that, allegedly, do not meet the eye.

Delving into literary, visual and digital conspiracy cultures, and charting their historical development, the course always returns to urgent contemporary questions about their social and political repercussions and real-life consequences.

The programme will start and end by evaluating what responsible attitudes are available to scholars and citizens in an era that seems to be increasingly defined by suspicion.

Weekly film institute

In order to understand the nature of suspicion and conspiracy thinking, this programme will include weekly film screenings. Film is an excellent way to understand the theoretical, aesthetic, and political implications at play in suspicious outlooks and conspiracy-based interpretations. After the screenings, participants will engage in an analysis of the film from many different perspectives, linking readings and lived experiences to what was shown on screen. 

Get in touch with us at or call +31 (0)20 525 3776.

The Politics of Suspicion
Mode Short-term
Credits 6 ECTS, 3 weeks
Language of instruction English
Starts in June