New Urban Life Across the Globe

5th  July - 5th August + 8th - 20th  August 2016 

Copenhagen, Denmark



International two-week summer school  from 25th of July to 5th of August 2016. Presented by the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, Centre of African Studies and the Department of Sociology, the University of Copenhagen.


For the first time in human history, more people now live in cities than outside them, and many of the major political contestations of the 21st Century occur in urban settings.


Recent years have thus seen a surge in horizontally organized political movements, experiments in local governance, new forms of protest and grassroots initiatives, eco-activism and social innovation in cities and smaller towns spanning from Barcelona to Istanbul, Hong Kong to Detroit, and Bogotá to Cape Town. Uniting these trends is the belief that the state and its traditional institutions cannot meet all the needs arising from urbanization, and that real democratic change must begin from below.


These developments demand a new ontology of the political that “sees like a city” and pays attention to urban life as both localized and globalized, as well as a new epistemology of “the urban” that can take into account the diverse field of politics emerging in cities.


During this summer school, the students will be immersed in critical urban theory and practical approaches to urban ethnography, drawing from a broad range of excellent research at three faculties of the University of Copenhagen. The aim of the course is to cultivate knowledge of the relation between the urban and social and political change today. Students will develop a general skill in applying urban theory from the humanities and the social sciences on cases from urban societies across the world. Special emphasis will be placed on combining theory from the global north and south.


Methodologically, the students will be trained to conduct urban ethnography and to gather qualitative data on selected processes of social and political change that could include activist communities, issues of contested authority, planning controversies and everyday city-making. Finally, they will be trained to work analytically with this kind of data, and to discuss urban theory in relation to the ethnography.



Read more about the summer school.



























Urban Culture in Theory and Action is an international two-week summer school at University of Copenhagen. The next summer school runs from 8th to 20th of August 2016. Deadline for applications: 1st of April 2016.

















This IARU Global Summer Program, supported by Asian Dynamics Initiative and curated by Urban Culture Lab, presents students with a unique opportunity to experience urban culture in theory and action in Copenhagen.

The course focuses on cultural entrepreneurship and social innovation in the city by combining urban theory with hands-on practice. Through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and field trips, the student will engage with cultural practitioners, social activists and urban theorists from Copenhagen and around the world. Bringing academic knowledge of urban life together with empirical know-how generated by practitioners, the program do-it-yourself approach will help students develop their own ideas into project proposals that can inspire entrepreneurship and innovation in their home cities.

The program is tied together with the simultaneous Strøm electronic music festival and embedded within Copenhagen’s alternative spaces, particularly the co-creative communityPB43. Using Copenhagen as a laboratory for studying the creative and innovative use, development or repurposing of urban space, the course also opens up to cross-cultural and global perspectives through presentations of research from around the world.


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