Thesis Seminar (Master and Doctorate) – Urban Studies

Link: TISS 280.514

SE Seminar / Semester hours: 2.0 / ECTS 3.0

i. Aim of course

***This thesis seminar is offered together by Visiting Professor in Urban Studies 2019, Dr. Nir Cohen, by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sabine Knierbein and by Prof. Dr. Simon Güntner. Special Colloqiuum Guest: Prof. Dr. Sophie Watson (Open University, UK)***

The Seminar is offered to doctoral students and advanced master students in urban studies (“Stadtforschung”) and related disciplines, with the overall aim of providing an opportunity for the students to discuss their thesis projects as additional support in the development of their research theories and methods. The course is organized through informal group discussions of the students’ research projects. In particular, the seminar aims 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.

Contemporary urban theory has developed apace over the last decade to consider the complex urban processes and issues that have risen as a result of globalisation, diversification of the economy, socio-demographic shifts, neo liberal political agendas, migration and growing concerns around the environment amongst many other salient issues. Urban studies now concerns itself also with new theoretical agendas which focus on questions of theorizing everyday life and discussing emerging epistemologies of collective acts of appropriation of (public) urban space. The seminar will have a particular emphasis on urban culture and public space, but contributions on other subjects are eligible. Master and doctoral students at any stage of their work from architecture, spatial planning, and more widely from social sciences, humanities and the arts, who are researching into urban issues are welcome to attend.

ii. Subject of course

The seminars will be interactive, delivered through several concentrated blocks in the winter semester. After a general introduction and depending on the number of attending students, each participant will be allocated a 30-minutes slot, in which his/her work is discussed in the group by the seminar tutors and other students. The students will prepare a text of 4-6 pages about their research and upload it on the course website at least two weeks 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 (approx. 10 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. Students will be expected also to relate their research to contemporary urban theory through selected readings from the designated course text. 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.

iii. Additional Information

The course language is English.

The course is structured in five blocked days of which one is a semi-public colloquium. A minimum of 80% participation is mandatory. Attendance at the Kick-Off meeting is required to confirm registration to the course.

iv. Dates

Wed 09:00 – 11:00 03.10.2018 Seminarraum 268/3 Unit 0 Kick Off
Wed 11:00 – 13:00 03.10.2018 Seminarraum 268/3 Unit 1
Wed 14:00 – 16:00 03.10.2018 Seminarraum WD02 A03 Unit 2
Wed 09:00 – 17:00 28.11.2018 Seminarraum 268/1 Units 3-5 Colloquium Day
Wed 09:00 – 11:00 05.12.2018 Seminarraum 268/2 Unit 6
Wed 11:00 – 13:00 05.12.2018 Seminarraum 268/2 Unit 7
Wed 16:00 – 17:30 05.12.2018 Seminarraum 268/2 Unit 8
Wed 09:00 – 11:00 23.01.2019 Seminarraum 268/2 Unit 9
Wed 11:00 – 13:00 23.01.2019 Seminarraum 268/2 Unit 10
Wed 14:00 – 16:00 23.01.2019 Seminarraum 268/2 Unit 11
Thu 11:00 – 13:00 24.01.2019 Seminarraum 268/3 Unit 12
Thu 14:00 – 16:00 24.01.2019 Seminarraum 268/3 Unit 13

v. Examination modalities

  • Exposé text of max. 4-6 pages about own research and 1 paragraph of written comment to all other exposés (25%)
  • Presentation of the individual thesis project (12min) (25%)
  • Preparation of poster for exhibition and oral presentation of key claims in 6-8 min (25%)
  • Delivery of creative writing exercises (25%)

Criteria for evaluation: Deepness of analysis, engagement in the discussions, reflection and self-reflection, creating an own position, ability to take criticism; degree of reflection on researcher’s role, processes, methods, designs, pitfalls and aporias.

vi. Course registration

Please register for the course via TISS

  • Begin: 31.07.2018 09:00
  • End: 01.10.2018 14:00
  • Deregistration end: 02.10.2018 14:00