Global Urban Studies (Spring 2019, MA-level, 15 ECTS)
Today, more people live in cities and urban environments than outside of them – indeed, we live in a world of cities. What does urban culture mean at a time of global urbanization? How can we study culture in cities in a truly global fashion, beyond the traditionally West-centric perspectives of urban studies? And can we compare cultural processes in cities around the world?
This course introduces the student to a multi-disciplinary field of comparative and cross-cultural studies of structure and change in urban societies. The focus is on combining ethnographic and textual analyses of urban life, economy, politics and social relations. The aim is to foster a critical awareness of the interrelations between cultural imaginaries, material conditions and the built environment.
The course is open to all MA-level students who will be rewarded 15 ECTS if passing the exam. More information here.
Summer schools (BA and MA-levels, July and August 2019)
Application deadline: 1st of April 2019. See more under individual courses above.
Urban Utopias (Fall 2016, 7.5 ECTS)
Over half of the world’s population lives in cities, and like it or not, the future is urban. But even before this became a fact, intellectuals have countered dystopian representations of the city by imagining, and even attempting to set in motion, utopian urban futures. What did they envision and why? And what would an urban utopia look like from the vantage point of today? In this intensive seminar, we study selected utopias while discussing futurology, utopianism and urbanism in a broader context as theory and method, fantasy and ideology. Students are asked to identify and research a utopian vision from the past or the present, and discuss it in relation to a specific city or to the urban condition in general.
Public Space and Politics in Modern Asian Cities (Fall 2015, 7.5 ECTS)
How are cities shaped by people and how do cities shape people? What does public space mean to citizens and power-holders? This intensive seminar-based course provides the student with an insight into the notion of public space and examples of how to apply the theories of urban studies to cases from across Asia. Among its themes, the course explores how modernism, colonialism, nationalism, socialism, traditionalism, neoliberalism and other major currents of modern world history have played into the construction, negotiation and contestation of public space in large cities. In seminars, focus is given to cases from Istanbul, Tehran, Tashkent and Mumbai, as well as from other cities. Students are expected to choose a city or particular urban phenomenon for focused, individual study.