Vorlesung

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 

LE 280. 534 Strategies and intervention of the production of space: Migration in the urban age

 

[1 VO (Lecture 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 and by Assoc. Prof. Sabine Knierbein***

 

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 280.534

Link. TUWEL

i. Aim of the course

Since the 1990s, the geographies of migration have undergone important changes that partly get visible in urban public space, and pose new challenges to architecture and planning. Not only have a broad range of countries emerged as new origins and/or destinations, but new forms of migratory movements – both voluntary and not – have come to dominate urban landscapes, adding new layers of contention to what were already highly hierarchized and stratified spaces. This transformation has fundamentally altered the political, economic and cultural realities in many cities – both large and small. Against this backdrop, new theoretical approaches and methods of inquiry have emerged to explain the (re)new(ed) interface between international migration and the urban. Public space has been both seen as catalyst of these transitions yet also as analytical interface to understand the new qualities of changing phenomena of migration and postmigration. Planning and architecture have faced manifest turns towards more embodied, affective and performative ways of working with communities in order to acknowledge diversity and create possibility of familiarization and de-alienation across socio-economic, cultural and political divides.

This course will introduce students to key conceptual and practical issues within the field of migration studies and will link these findings to an understanding of public space as key epistemic entry perspectives within urban studies to connect to wider shifts in the social sciences and humanities (abstract) and to a renewed approach to studying everyday life in planning and architectural theory.  Students will be allowed to probe into the century-old nexus between migration and cities. Taking a critical approach, the lecture revisits traditional – and presents new – theoretical bodies of knowledge concerning migration, identifies the main determinants and effects of present cross-border mobility, and engages with recent articulations of the ways through which migration (re)constitutes cities and vice versa.

ii. Contents of the course

The course is divided into three intensive teaching blocks (ITBs), each centering on a key thematic issue as follows:

ITB1 (October 1-5, 2018) – The Fundamentals of Migration in Urban Studies – will introduce students to the state of affairs in contemporary global migration (Nir Cohen) and will settle planning, urban design and architecture within the field of urban studies which helps to widen perspectives in the spatial arts with the help of social, cultural and political theory (Sabine Knierbein)

ITB2 (December 3-7, 2018) – Approaches to Migration and to Global Urban Restructuring – will introduce students to the main theoretical approaches used in migration scholarship (Nir Cohen) and will shed a light on manifest shifts that cities around the world have been witnessing over the last couple of decades, with a particular emphasis lived spaces of urban residents (Sabine Knierbein)

ITB3 (January 21-25, 2019) – Migration, Cities and Urbanization – will introduce students to the different models and theories as well as contemporary debates which have been used to describe and analyze the nexus between international migration, urban space (Nir Cohen) and socio-historic processes of capitalist urbanization (Sabine Knierbein)

 

ITB 1 From Migration to Post-Migration – The Fundamentals of Migration in Urban Studies   

Introduction: Migration, Public Space and Everyday Life [Unit 0, Module Kick Off and Lecture Introduction] (Cohen/Knierbein)

This introductory unit will present the contents, the organization and assessment criteria of the lecture unit. The objective is to establish first links between the study of migration, public space and everyday life in cities around the world with a focus on contemporary processes of urbanization.

Contemporary international migration: who, where and why (unit 1, Nir Cohen)

The lecture will introduce students to basic patterns of contemporary international migration. We shall discuss the main determinants of present-day migration, the socio-demographic profile of different types of migrants, their geographical dispersion at both national and local scales as well as key challenges they are faced with prior to, in the course of and in the aftermath of their cross-border mobility.

Public space: Governmentality and Post-Positivist Planning (unit 2, Sabine Knierbein)

Contemporary cities are changing rapidly due to processes of de-industrialization, sociocultural integration, global migration, climate change and economic globalization. Within those cities public spaces are the meeting place of politics and culture, social and individual territories, instrumental and expressive concerns. This lecture unit investigates how public spaces are used, instrumentalized and transformed into core catalysts of processes of urban transformation and capital accumulation in contemporary cities. Migrants’ experiences and approach to ‘citizenship’ in public spaces are a key constituent of what characterizes contemporary urbanization. A widening of the focus of the historical palimpsest from central public spaces to every day places situated in the urban peripheries allows a more nuanced understanding of the challenges that migrants face in contemporary cities. This lecture unit (1) introduces transitions in public spaces of European cities; (2) addresses different interpretations of patterns of urban restructuring (e.g. postfordist, neoliberal) in connection with Foucault’s theory of Governmentality as an explanatory frame for a historical analysis of urban restructuring and (3) introduces the concept of post-positivist planning (1st and 2nd generation).

Approaches and Theories of International Migration (unit 3, Nir Cohen)

Beginning with the waves of migration from Europe to the New World in the early 20th century, social scientists have attempted to explain and theorize this mass mobility a cross-border. While early attempts have focused primarily on the long-term integration of migrants into their new environments, more recent conceptualizations of migration have highlighted the simultaneous effect both origin and destination countries have on migrants and, lately, the importance of their migratory trajectories. The lecture will introduce students to the basic approaches and theories in the field of international migration, taking account of the fundamentally different landscapes migrants are facing in today’s interconnected world.

 

ITB 2 (Post)Migration and the Urban – Approaches to Migration and to Global Urban Restructuring

Lived Space: Social non-movements and planning beyond representation (unit 4, Sabine Knierbein)

International Public Space Research offers (1) a plethora of approaches to adopt, appropriate and act in public space through changing everyday practices (e.g. everyday urbanism, ordinary city, insurgent planning, insurgent public space, etc.). Their importance for constituting everyday life in the city is once again stressed by reconsidering lived space dimensions (e.g. in planning and architecture). While (2) the focus of this stream of thought rests on marginalized groups and those parts of the urban society that do not feel integrated into mainstream/majority society and hegemonic governance, a growing critique of (bourgeois) social movements (and their failures) gains momentum. This critique is based on empirical insights from studying public spaces of the Middle East, and sheds a light on patterns of global neoliberal restructuring from the perspective of the global South. The lecture will (3) establish a link between these recent ways of challenging architecture and planning education through the focus on the everyday dimension of urban space.

Cities between neoliberalism and (ethno)-nationalism (1) (unit 5, Nir Cohen)

Neoliberalism and (ethno)nationalism are arguably two of the most salient structural forces that shape contemporary cities. On the one hand, the increasing ‘grip’ of so-called free market forces over the city (re)produce multiplicity of seemingly open spaces of consumption and production to the benefit of residents, investors and visitors. On the other, (neo)nationalistic ideologies, which promote urban “closure” for fear of ethnicized, racialized and classed others. This lecture and the next (N.5) will introduce these two basic forces, allowing students to think through the (dis)harmonious ways through which they act upon urban spaces.

Embodied Space: Politics of Affect and Performative Planning (unit 6, Sabine Knierbein)

The lecture will (1) offer an understanding of embodied protest as an affective form of staging dissent and thereby shaping ‘the political’ in the city. By taking on a particular perspective from the field of anthropology on the embodied dimension of protest, different examples of bodily protest in public spaces will be explored and discussed. In a successive part this lecture unit (2) deals with the concept of ‘politics of affect’: How does embodied action, or, as Setha Low coins it: embodied space, relate to an (analytical, interpretative) understanding of the relevance of experience and affect that is very much inscribed in contemporary feminist political theory. Finally, (3) a transfer will be established between considerations linking embodied space conceptions, politics of affect and concrete spatial practices by architects, planners and designers, refugees, activists, inhabitants, dwellers and tourists in Vienna during the so-called “march of hope” towards Vienna in 2015.

Urban Studies and the Ethics of Care: Lessons from Tel Aviv (unit 7, Nir Cohen)

In this talk, I set to challenge the rigorous centering on the satisfaction of material rights as a leading approach for explaining urban antagonism in Israel. Employing an ethics of care paradigm, I suggest instead that animosity is frequently induced and sustained by the long-entrenched perception of marginalized groups that (the more) powerful segments are unwilling (or unable) to take their perspective. Urban resentment is further exacerbated when the perceived misidentification of dominant groups is interpreted within an ‚elitist‘ discourse of allegedly cosmopolitan values, like environmentalism or human rights.

Using insights from Southern Tel Aviv, my talk explores the micro-politics of care(ing) as it unfolds in local urbans scenes. Drawing on qualitative methods, including semi-structured interviews and content analysis, it examines the ways in which members of different residential groups narrate their (often unrealized) quest to be listened to, empathized with and, ultimately, cared for by other distinct groups. It is this purported ‚empathy deficit‘, it is argued, that often generates and sustains animosity between urban groups divided along class, ethnic and religious lines.

Emancipatory space: Post-political thought and agonistic planning (unit 8, Sabine Knierbein)

Throughout the 20th century a series of emancipatory spatial practices as well as accompanying scientific debates rendered urban spaces a liberating ground of opportunity and possibility, cosmopolitanism and freedom from a multitude of political, cultural, social and economic constraints. This lecture (1) connects the concept of emancipation to aspects of urbanization in the 20th and 21st century, (2) links it back to earlier thinkers who have stressed the importance of dissent and agonism to constantly revive democracies in practice and (3) outlines current strands in planning theory that work in the line of these new positions in contemporary political theory, particularly with approaches to agonistic planning.

Cities between neoliberalism and (ethno)-nationalism (Part II) (unit 9, Nir Cohen)

Neoliberalism and (ethno)nationalism are arguably two of the most salient structural forces that shape contemporary cities. On the one hand, the increasing grip of so-called “free market” forces over the city (re)produce multiplicity of seemingly open and liberal spaces of consumption and production to the benefit of residents, investors and visitors. On the other, (neo)nationalistic ideologies, which promotes urban “closure” for fear of ethnicized, racialized and classed others. This lecture complements the previous (N.3), discussing emerging patterns of ethno-national(ism) in selected cities, and the ways in which they (re)structure existing and produce new urban realities.

 

ITB 3 Citizenship and Claims to the City – Migration, Cities and Urbanization

Urban Citizenship and the Right to the City (unit 10, Sabine Knierbein/Henrik Lebuhn)

Debates on urban citizenship have been updated particularly in the fields of human geography and urban sociology in the past years, identifying the need to revise concepts of citizenship bound to the legal status of national identities with a particular emphasis on diversifying urban life. This debate has been empirically informed by a growing number of long-term city residents who lack access to the representative political systems, and thus cannot issue their political right to participate in the formal mechanisms of democracy. A second strand referring to material and symbolic rights of cities’ inhabitants is the debate around the right to the city which has recently gained ground on a global scale (UN Habitat). The lecture units draws connections between both debates and asks students to critically revise the key conceptions of ‘citizens’, ‘inhabitants’ and ‘dwellers’ that are often used in (participatory) planning.

Migrants meet cities? Geographies of encounter in urban space (unit 11, Nir Cohen/Henrik Lebuhn)

While cities have long been migrants’ primary points of (initial) settlement and integration into the host society, they have not always been particularly welcoming to them. Indeed, cities – or parts thereof – have often been sites of competitive (or outright violent) encounters between newcomers and old-timers. The extreme diversification of cities in recent decades have made these engagements evermore challenging. The lecture will offer a broad overview of the literature on relations between non/migrants in destination cities. From the early work of the Chicago School until contemporary super-diverse cities, we shall ask what – if any – has changed in migrants’ encounters in/with cities. 

Who acts how? Insurgent Citizenship and Insurgent Planning (unit 12, Sabine Knierbein/Henrik Lebuhn)

Recently, the concept of insurgent urbanism  has been connected to public space research, stating that the focus on the everyday is an important aspect of community design debates, particularly when ethnic difference or multicultural demands to space are expressed. This seminar unit tackles conceptions of insurgent urbanism, insurgent citizenship and insurgent planning. While potentially significant in their ability to destabilize the hegemonic hierarchy in the political and institutional systems, everyday insurgencies may not be inherently positive or benevolent. Insurgent acts in themselves do not necessarily result in broader transformative outcomes. Nevertheless, however imperfect or conflict-laden they are, insurgent spatial practices can create conditions for critical reflections and potential social transformation.

Migration in the Urban Age [Closing unit] (unit 13, Nir Cohen, Henrik Lebuhn and Sabine Knierbein)

In this concluding lecture unit, we will briefly repeat contents of all offered lecture units and establish cross linkages between the different lecture unit to offer the students the opportunity to better connect specific lecture parts to the overall picture. Basic links of (post)migration studies in the urban age will be drawn. Thereby, students will learn a lot about how to study the urban through the lenses of migration and diaspora studies combined with a critique of everyday life patterns and lived space analysis.

iii. Assessment of students’ performance

  1.  A 1500-word (6 pages, double spaced) essay on a topic related to one or more themes discussed during the course (90%). Essays should tackle a key issue within migration studies (Nir Cohen) and urban studies (Sabine Knierbein) but can take various forms, including a critique of a theory, in-depth comparison between pertinent research methods, case studies, and review / evaluation of a selected book chapter or journal article. Format and topic should be cleared with course instructors before write up. Submission deadline for essays is January 31st, 2019.
  2. Reading of lecture bibliography and active engagement in the sessions of the course (10%).

iv. Further information

This lecture „Strategies and interventions 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 (http://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 seminar (TISS No 280.535) and the exercise (TISS No 280.536). To take part in all three courses of the module 11 please register for module 11 until 30th September 2018 (23:59 pm) 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.

Dates of the Module 11
The main body of teaching will be delivered during three intensive teaching blocks (ITB):
ITB 1 – 1-5 October 2018
ITB 2 – 3-7 December 2018
ITB 3 – 21-25 January 2019