Visiting Professorship in Urban Studies 2019 
Urban Citizenship. Public Space, Post-Migrational Perspectives and
Civic Innovation

MASTER MODULE: Urban Citizenship, Post-Migrational Perspectives and Civic Innovation 

EX 280. 536 Paths and tools of the production of space: Mobile Methodologies


[1 EX (Exercise course), 2 SWS (contact hours, one is 45min, counted for 13-15 weeks per term), 4 ECTS]

***This course will be offered by Dr. Nir Cohen, Visiting Professor in Urban Studies 2019 at TU Wien and Senior Lecturer at Bar Ilan University, Israel, by Dr. candidate DI Judith Lehner (Project Assistant) and by BA MA candidate Angelika Gabauer (University Assistant). ***


Course Registration for Module “Urban Citizenship, Postmigrational Perspectives and Civic Innovation” is still open! Get one of the last available spots to take part in a comprehensive Master level teaching programme consisting of lecture 280.534, seminar 280.535 and exercise 280.536.

Link: TISS 280.536


i. Aims of the course

The aim of this exercise is to transfer the theoretical knowledge gained in the module’s lecture and seminar to specific urban sites and fields of action. Specifically, it will allow students to develop methodological and practical toolboxes to examine, evaluate and engage with challenges faced by mobile populations in urban space. Drawing on in-depth interviews, mental maps and ‘mobile ethnography’ and using a local case study, students will explore the spatial urban experiences of individuals and groups who are “on the move”. 

ii. Contents of the course

Starting from a specific urban site of civic innovation in Vienna, students in this exercise will use in-depth interviews, mobile ethnographies and mental/cognitive mapping to explore everyday geographies of migrants in the city. The course is divided into three intensive teaching blocks (ITBs), each centering on a different stage of research:

ITB1 – Getting Started: Exploring the Field – will introduce students to the main urban actors and field site and to basic methodologies, including in-depth interviewing, mental maps and mobile ethnographies. 

In the introductory exercise unit, each student is asked to bring an image of a place s/he would characterize as part of her/his mobile methodology and explain the choice. 

In the following units (‘Actors Walks and Talks’), students will be introduced to a range of pertinent urban actors around Vienna. In addition, input lectures will inform on qualitative methods of field research such as specific techniques of interviewing and mapping as well as on ethical issues in conducting fieldwork. 

At the end of ITB1 students will form groups, identify their research sub-theme and begin developing a research design for their chosen case study.

ITB2 – Gathering ‘thick’ data – will work as a platform to discuss the specific issues and challenges encountered by students in their research between ITB1 and ITB2. Further, instructors will provide critical feedback to groups of students concerning the data they already collected/analyzed.

ITB 3 – Presenting research findings – will support students in their visualization and presentation techniques and focus on the mapping process of a ‘map of mobile ethnographies’. In the closing unit, students will present their group work and engage in a discussion, transferring the theoretical knowledge gained in the module’s lecture and seminar to the case studies.

iii. Assessment of students’ performance

The evaluation of the course will be based upon the following activities:

Students’ final grades in the exercise are based on a group-based project, which creatively intervenes in one or more dimension (e.g., health, education, welfare, communal affairs) of the daily spatialities of mobile groups in the city of Vienna. The criteria for evaluating projects are threefold:

(I) Excellence (40%) — in data collection, analysis and project design; 

(II) Impact (35%) – in addressing real needs of its end users and making a significant difference in their engagement with everyday problems; 

(III) Creativity (25%) – in non-conventionally about everyday spaces of mobile groups in the city.

iv. Further information

This exercise „Paths and tools of the production of space” is part of the module 11 „Urban culture, public space“ (consisting of three courses, VO 280.534, SE 280.535 and UE 280.536) which is offered during three five days intensive teaching blocks (ITB) by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space (https://skuor.tuwien.ac.at). Module 11 compiles a set of integrated courses dealing with lived space at the interface of the fields of urban studies and urban design/urban planning. In 2019, the main focus will be on „Urban Citizenship: Public Space, Post-Migrational and Civic Innovation“.

The courses mainly address master students (late bachelor or early doctoral students), especially from planning and architecture are invited to take part. Yet we explicitly welcome students coming from other Viennese universities in related disciplines, such as urban studies, urban design, geography, sociology, political science, landscape architecture, cultural studies, … as well as ‚Mitbeleger‘. The course language is English. We support students’ active participation in debates and interactive teaching formats, and encourage you to bring in and develop your own ideas and critical perspectives. We seek to create an international level of debate and exchange and welcome students from all countries and cultures. Just contact us (info@skuor.tuwien.ac.at).

Students interested in this course are highly recommended to take part in the lecture (TISS No 280.534) and the seminar (TISS No 280.535). To take part in all three courses of the module 11 please register for module 11 until 30th September 2018 @ noon via TISS registration for the course, VO 280.534. Further course registration will be carried out directly at the kick-off meeting on 1st of October, 9am in seminar Room 3/4, 2nd floor, Augasse 2-6, 2nd floor.

v. Schedule

The main body of teaching will be delivered during three intensive teaching blocks (ITB):

ITB 1 – October 1-5, 2018

ITB 2 – December 3-7, 2018

ITB 3 – January 21-25, 2019

For the Exercise, further (online) consultations will be offered by the teaching team between the ITBs.

vi. Bibliography

Ben-Ze’ev, E. (2015). Blurring the geo-body: mental maps of Israel/Palestine. The Middle East Journal69(2), 237-254.

Norbert Götz & Janne Holmén (2018) Introduction to the theme issue: “Mental maps: geographical and historical perspectives”, Journal of Cultural Geography, 35:2, 157-161, DOI: 10.1080/08873631.2018.1426953

Novoa, A. (2015). Mobile ethnography; Emergence, techniques and its importance to geography. Human Geographies – Journal of Studies and Research in Human Geography, 9(1), 97-107.

Rubin, H.J. & Rubin, I.S. (2012). Qualitative Interviewing: The Art of Hearing Data (3rd Edition). Sage Publications. Chapters 3, 6, 7 and 9.