CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Fall School: Politainment


The new media and infotainment industry is rapidly changing the way politics and politicians are represented. In the world of multimedia advertising, candidates seek to cast themselves as celebrities or personalities and use non-traditional forms of communication to reach their audiences. Similarly in several countries political campaigns are more focused towards a business/marketing plan instead of parties’ political alignment. Alongside, the emergence of new media and increased citizen journalism is continously redefining the public sphere and social contract between the citizen and government. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are enjoying new roles for enhanced social mobility in bringing about a major change in the social fabric; a prominent example can be witnessed in form of Arab Spring in Middle East. This new role of political activism assumed by the new media has received limited attention as an academic discipline in many institutions.

It is with these aspects in mind that the Chair of Muslim Culture and Religious History wishes to offer a joint course for the students of Erfurt and Punjab University in Pakistan to discuss the rising issues in the field of politics, media or Politainment. In this regard, the Chair of Muslim Culture and Religious History at the University of Erfurt is inviting applications for the Fall School on Politainment in Lahore, Pakistan 5-17 October, 2014.

Application Procedure (for Erfurtian students)

  • Interested applicants are required to apply online starting 1st June, 2014.
  • Online Application
  • Deadline : 10th July, 2014



Selection of Fall School participants is a two-tier process:

  1. Online Application
  2. Selection Workshop

Students first apply online for the fall school till 10th July, 2014 through the link given above. A small group of students will be shortlisted based on their performance in the application. The shortlisted candidates will compete in the final round through Selection Workshop. During the Selction Workshop shortlisted candidates will interact in a group of 4-5 to discuss a topic for 15 minutes. The topic will be announced at the beginning of workshop. A board comprising three University lecturers will supervise and rank the students based on their performances.


Important Dates:

  • 15th July, 2014: Shortlisted candidates will appear in Selection Workshop* 
  • 19th July, 2014: Annoucement of final candidates for the fall school
  • 21.-22.07.2014: Two mandatory orientation workshops in order to prepare students for the Fall School

Fall School Programme

The Fall School on Politainment is being offered as a part of our project 'Changing Role of Social Media in Muslim Countries' which focuses on strengthening ties with our partner universities with a focus on dialogical and cultural exchange.

Select Topics

The topics covered in this Fall School would focus on:

  • Political Communication
  • Infotainment / Politainment
  • Political Campaigning on the web
  • Media, Ethics & Censorship
  • Religion, Politics & New Media

Eligibility Criteria

This Call for Application is only intended for the students of Erfurt University

  • BA/ MA/ Ph.D students (must be enrolled during Summer Semester 2014 and during Winter Semester 2014/15)
  • Strong interest/experience in socio-political activities
  • Conversant in English

For more details, see our FAQ below.

Co-curricular Programme

During the course of two weeks the students of Erfurt University will get a unique opportunity to interact with the students from Punjab University. The Fall School will offer an array of cultural activities which will include among others:

  • visits to socio-political organisations
  • interaction with the media outlets
  • museums and art galleries
  • cultural evening
  • two day excursion to Islamabad
  • Gala/Farewell dinner

What is included

Every successful Erfurtian participant will be entitled to:   

  • Administrative Support for the Visa for Pakistan
  • Airfare/visa/insurance (up to 625 €)
  • On-Campus accommodation (in Lahore, Pakistan)
  • Local travel & excursions
  • Farewell Dinner

There is no participation fee for the students of Erfurt University to participate in this Fall School. Flight, accommodation, local travels within Pakistan are covered by the Chair of Muslim Culture & Religious History. Every participant will receive an administrative support for the visa. For the airticket, visa and medical insurance every participant would receive a travel grant up to 625€. During the course of two weeks, the participants of the Fall School will be alloted a room in the Punjab University's official residence hall for the foreign guests and professors. For local travel and excursions a bus would be available all times for excursions and official visits. 

Erfurtian students can also earn credits for the Fall School by officially signing up it as a regular course in ELVIS for Winter Semester 2014 (if it appears in your course modules)

What is expected

All the participating students:

  • will be provided with a literature/reader in August in order to prepare for the lectures.
  • are expected to actively engage in academic discussions
  • will be regularly taking part in mock as well as planned workshops
  • shall possess video making/editing skills in order to record and edit short videos

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I am not a student of Erfurt University, can I still apply for the fall school?
A: No, you need to be a student of Erfurt University to be eligible for this programme.

Q. I am a registered student of Erfurt University graduating in Summer Semester 2014, can I also apply?
A. No, you need to be a registered student of Erfurt University for both Summer Semester 2014 and Winter Semester 2014/15 in order to be eligible to apply.

Q. What do I need to prepare for the selection workshop?
A. The topic for the selection workshop will be announced at the time of workshop, thus you do not need to prepare anything.

Q. If I have successfully passed the selection workshop and officially selected for the Fall School, is it must to attend the orientation workshops?
A. Yes, it is must to attend the orientation workshops otherwise your selection will be cancelled.

Q. Can I earn credits through ELVIS system by attending the fall school?
A. Yes, you can but you need to check it with up with your course coordinator.

Q. What if my flight costs more than 625€?
A. The maximum travel air travel allowance that we will pay is 625€. This also includes the health insurance, visa fee and vaccination cost. You will have to pay rest of the cost yourself.

Q. Will I have pay for my accommodation in Lahore and Islamabad?
A. No, the accommodation in Lahore and Islamabad will be covered by us.

Q. Will we need to pay the entrance fee for example during the visits to museums and exhibition?
A. No, all the costs for local travel, excursions, and entrance fee would be covered by us.

Q. What do I need to prepare in order to avoid any difficulties during the excursion?
A. All the details regarding programme, travel, vaccination, health insurance, money exchange, food and costume tips will be discussed during the two mandatory orientation workshops.

Q. Do I need a visa for Pakistan?
A. yes, as a foreign passport holder you need a visa for Pakistan. 

Q. How shall I apply for the visa for Pakistan?
A. During the mandatory orientation workshops, students are being provided complete administrative support about the visa procedure.

Q. Will you provide the flight ticket for Lahore?
A. No, students generally coordinate together in order to find a cheap flight connection to Lahore. Most of the times students fly together in order to avoid any travel difficulties. The maximum we will pay for the flight ticket (including travel insurance, visa fee and vaccination) is 625€ even if the ticket cost is higher than that.

Important Dates (NEW)

  • 10.07.2014:  Deadline for Online Application
  • 15.07.2014:  Shortlisted candidates appear in Selection Workshop
  • 19.07.2014:  Annoucement of final candidates
  • 23.-24.07.14:  Two mandatory orientation workshops in order to prepare students for the Fall School.
Poster "Fall School: Politainment"