The course consists of three phases.

In the first, prior to arriving at University of Copenhagen itself, students study the syllabus with the aid of online lectures. Students are expected to undertake a short ethnographic exercise in their home city or current city, and write a synopsis about it, which should be handed in before the beginning of the summer school.

In the second phase, 23rd of July to 3rd of August 2018, students come to Copenhagen for a two-week summer school based around interdisciplinary seminars, lectures, debates, film screenings and field trips to urban activist communities in Copenhagen.

Finally, having submitted a final (reworked) synopsis, the student finishes the course with an oral presentation based on the synopsis.

Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to:

  • Complete the required reading before the course begins;
  • Conduct a short ethnographic fieldwork study with the aid of online lectures and tutorials;
  • Attend all sessions;
  • Actively participate in discussions and field trips.

 The program seeks to cultivate a knowledge of:

  • Relevant problems in the study of the relationship between cities, politics and change;
  • Central aspects of activism in urban settings;
  • Scholarly and methodical approaches to the cultural and social analysis of urban activism.

Students should develop general skills in:

  • Applying relevant theories, methods and tools of the program in a defined case study; 
  • Identifying, analyzing and understanding the potentials and challenges in the political and social life of a city or an urban space;
  • Approaching the processes and phenomena related to political change in cities from a cross-cultural and comparative perspective.

Students will be trained in:

  • Using ethnographic method to document political activism and change in an urban setting in relation to a defined case study;
  • Generating knowledge and analysis on the studied topic in its political, social and cultural context;
  • Discussing the findings in relation to cross-cultural and comparative perspectives.

Target audience

Master's students from any discipline with an interest in cities and politics are encouraged to apply. The course is open to Danish and international students. Good English skills are required. A few seats may be allocated to undergraduates in their final year of study and/or with particularly relevant backgrounds.

See Enrollment.

Assessment and credit

Active participation, understood as:

  • Active class attendance (75% attendance as documented in the attendance records);
  • Submission of draft synopsis and final synopsis at specified dates (just before and during the summer school respectively);
  • Oral presentation based on synopsis.

The Summer School is equivalent of 7,5 ECTS, based on approximately 55 total contact hours (classroom) + online lectures, fieldwork, field trips, synopsis writing and oral presentation etc. (total of 206.5 hours workload).

Please note that students only receive a "passed"/"failed", not a grade.


The conveners of the program are:

Anders Blok (Associate Professor, the Department of Sociology)

Rasmus Christian Elling (Associate Professor, the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies)

Amanda Hammar (Professor, The Centre of African Studies)

Apart from the conveners, a number of international guest lecturers will attend the summer school. Students will also have an opportunity to talk with urban activists in Copenhagen.