SE International urban studies

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Aim of course

This seminar series is offered by an international team to doctoral students and advanced master students in urban studies (“Stadtforschung”), with the overall aim of providing an opportunity for the students to discuss their PhD work as additional support in the development of their research theories and methods. The course is organized through informal group discussions of the participants’ research projects. In particular, the seminars aim to help the students critically review, clarify, and receive constructive feedback on their own research projects, their aims, objectives, concepts and methods; learn about a range of theories and methods in urban research; develop the capacity for and engage in critical assessment of similar research projects; develop a friendly and supportive group of researchers who can benefit from knowing about each other’s work during the seminars and even afterwards.

The field of urban studies is broadly defined so as to cover different investigations related to a complex understanding of the city as a socio-historic process. The seminars will have a particular emphasis on urban culture and public space, but contributions on other subjects are eligible. Doctoral students at any stage of their work from architecture, spatial planning, and more widely from social sciences and humanities, who are researching into urban issues are welcome to attend. Advanced master students who are in their final phase of writing their master thesis are most welcome as well.

Subject of course

The seminars will be interactive, delivered through four concentrated blocks in the autumn semester. After a general introduction, the students will each be allocated a 90-minute slot, in which their work is discussed in the group by the seminar tutors and other students. The students will prepare a text of 5-15 pages about their research and upload it on the course website at least one week in advance, so that the tutors and fellow students can read it in preparation for the session. In their allocated slot, the students first present their work (maximum 30 minutes), describing the subject of their research, their aims and objectives, their theoretical framework, their research methodology, and the results of their work so far. The tutors and fellow students will then engage in a discussion about these points with the students, helping to clarify and develop the concepts and methods of the research project. The nature of the seminars is developmental, designed to help the students with constructive feedback. Furthermore, the students will benefit from the range of issues that are covered and discussed. The development of a friendly group atmosphere is an essential part of the course, and so it is important that all participants attend all the sessions and engage in supportive discussion of one another’s work.

Additional Information

Depending on the number of interested PhD students, applicants might be asked to hand in an abstract of their research project in order to select up to 12 seminar participants.

The seminar will be held within teaching blocks on:
21st of October 2010

9th of November 2010

7th & 8th of  December 2010

18th of January 2011