Candidat lecture: Kathrin Wildner

Inventive Methodology for Urban Research

11th of November 2015, 11.00-12.30, Hörsaal (lecture hall) 14, main building, Vienna UT, Karlsplatz 13, 1040 Vienna.
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The city is a complex assemblage of materialities, actors, narratives, and discourses. From this perspective, the urban might be seen as an ongoing negotiation of local as well as transnational ideas and practices played out in public spaces.  Classical methods of social science and urban studies are no longer sufficient to adequately address the contemporary city. New approaches are necessary to examine, analyze and interpret urban configurations and transformations, collective imaginations, and complex relationships of networks, exchange, and power. It is imperative to reflect critically upon methods, to go beyond the disciplinary boundaries of the social sciences, to invent methods that generate and facilitate a new perspective on urban public spaces in global and post-colonial contexts.

Grounded in qualitative urban methodology, I am employing different tools (e.g. mapping and sound recordings), and drawing upon contemporary art practices (e.g. re-readings and performative interventions) in order to unearth and configure potentials of public space. In my talk, I discuss these new methodological approaches and how I have applied them in the setting of the contemporary global metropolis, using examples from my recent and ongoing research projects in Istanbul, Bogotá, Novosibirsk and Berlin.

Kathrin Wildner


Dr. Kathrin Wildner is an urban anthropologist. She has done ethnographic fieldwork in New York City, Mexico City, Istanbul, Bogotá and new urban periferies. As an urban researcher, she teaches, publishes and participates in transdisciplinary projects and international exhibitions.

She is a founding member of metroZones – Center for Urban Affairs and  was the coordinator of arts and sciences within the interdisciplinary research and art project The Global Prayers Congress: Faith in the City (2010-2014). Between 2013-2015 she was Visiting Profesor at the Masters Program „Spatial Strategies “ (Raumstrategien) at the Art Academy Weißensee, Berlin. Since 2012, she has held the position of professor of Cultural Theory and Practice at HafenCity University, Hamburg, where she is responsible for the “Urban Publics” component of the “Performing Citizenship” PhD Program.

Recent publications include Global Prayers. Contemporary Manifestations of the Religious in the City, Zürich 2014 (mit J. Becker, K. Klingan, S. Lanz), Stadtforschung aus Lateinamerika. Neue urbane Szenarien: Öffentlichkeit – Territorialität – Imaginarios, Bielfeld 2013; (with A. Huffschmid), Transnationalism and Urbanism, New York 2012 (with S. Krätke and S. Lanz, Urban Prayers, Berlin 2011 (with metroZones), Public Istanbul – Spheres and Spaces of the Urban, Bielefeld 2008 (with F. Eckhardt).

Further City of Vienna Visiting Professorship 2017 candidate lectures

Ed Wall: Everyday extraordinary. Contrasting practices of public space. 7 October 2015, 11.00-12.30, Urbanize 2015 Festivalzentrale, Room 59, Marxergasse 1, 1030 Vienna.
Jaime Hernández-García: Informal Public Space. Production, Consumption and Materialization. 7 October 2015, 12.45-14.00, Urbanize 2015 Festivalzentrale, Room 59, Marxergasse 1, 1030 Vienna.


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