Summer School 2018

Tricksterology: The Political Anthropology of Evil

^ 24th June to - 30th June 2018. ^

IPA Summer School, Acquapendente, Lago Bolsena, Italy.


We have the pleasure to announce the launch of the newest Summer School of International Political Anthropology (IPASS) based at the University College Cork. The theme of this 9th IPA Summer School is tricksterology (trickster knowledge) which is concerned with what knowledge can be gained about the trickster, and the peculiar “logic” used by the trickster (see Paul Radin). The trickster is innocent in intentions, but its confusing tactics always produce lethal effects, ranging from mere entertainment to demonic evil. Its knowledge, and our knowledge about it, is linked to flux or fluidity; it is a lifting-sinking-declining-growing kind of knowledge, moving in waves and reducing everything to the incommensurable liminal, always implying a call for thorough self-abandonment. Our task in this proposed course is to map the confusion produced by trickster logic, and its sources in enchantment, including the enchantment produced by technology and art (see Alfred Gell).

Tracing the trickster logic back to prehistory, and following its appearances through historical and anthropological evidence, up to contemporary times, where trickster logic is gaining increasing dominance in politics, economics and even social life, this Summer School will offer a comprehensible overview of the trickster phenomena.
For a preliminary reading, see Agnes Horvath and Arpad Szakolczai, 'Political Anthropology', in S.Turner and W.Outhwaite, The Sage Handbook of Political Sociology, 2018.



This Summer School will be of interest to both social science and humanities students, willing to read primary texts and analyse primary images, central understanding, anthropologically, the intellectual pre-history of our reality.

CostsEUR 45. There is no fee for the summer school and the accommodation is provided on a charitable basis, only a registration cost (45euro) and association membership (25euro). A donation of 5-10 euro a night would suffice for this, and a sleepling bag might be convenient. Other associated costs will be your own transport and food etc. Registration cost and association membership is paid by Paypal on our website.

Contacts: Diletta Tonatto +39 345.8060926;  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; Arpad Szakolczai +39 388.4074157

Application deadline:  15 May 2018

Summer School Staff

Dr Agnes Horvath, UCC, Cork

Professor Bjorn Thomassen, Roskilde University, Copenhagen

Dr Harald Wydra, Cambridge University

Professor Arpad Szakolczai, UCC, Cork

Dr. Tom Boland. WIT, Waterford


In order to register for the International Political Anthropology Summer School you have to:

  1. become a member (25,00 €)
  2. register for the IPASS (45,00 €) - only members can apply for the summer school



Name and Surname
E-mail address


45 euro Registration Fee for the IPA Summer School- PAYMENT ON SIGHT (following acceptance).



Contact us


  • Florence, Italy,
  • Cambridge University, U.K.
  • University College Cork, Ireland

please email to arrange an appointment

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