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48489-01 - Studio: Highway Africa: Infrastructure, Decolonization, and the City 10 KP

Semester Herbstsemester 2019
Angebotsmuster Jedes Herbstsemester
Dozierende Kenny R. Cupers (kenny.cupers@unibas.ch, BeurteilerIn)
Manuel Herz (manuel.herz@unibas.ch)
Myriam Perret (myriamclaire.perret@unibas.ch)
Ernest Sewordor (ernest.sewordor@unibas.ch)
Inhalt This course immerses students in interdisciplinary urban research practice. Focusing on urban Ghana and its (post)colonial legacies, it explores questions of infrastructure, power, and development that are central to global urbanism today.
With the end of colonization in Africa came unprecedented ambitions of modernization. Key to such modernization was the development of new infrastructure. Ports, dams, highways, and new energy and communications networks would facilitate industrial production, growing commerce, and new forms of consumption—all of which were crucial to build a newly independent continent after centuries of colonial exploitation. For members of the elite, infrastructure development was first and foremost an economic measure, to facilitate the production and movement of goods and materials across Africa. At the same time, political actors saw in some of the projected infrastructure networks opportunities to forge a new era of pan-African cooperation and trans-continental development. For a fledgling African middle class, infrastructure conjured imaginaries of upward social mobility and for entire communities they opened up hopes of movement and prosperity unlike anything experienced before. Amongst African nations, Ghana was hailed as a unique experiment that could chart the course for African decolonization at large. The course focuses on Ghana’s transition to independence as a lens to understand more broadly the relationships between infrastructure, decolonization, and urbanism.
With the gigantic boom in foreign infrastructure investment across the continent today, infrastructure is pertinent to the future of urban and rural lifeworlds. Chinese developers, the African Development Bank, the European Union, and other international actors are planning railways, highways, ports, pipelines, and other forms of infrastructure that are radically transforming African urban centers and countrysides. But can such infrastructure make Africa rise from colonial oppression? Can infrastructure decolonize? Can what was once a key tool of colonialism—the railways built by European powers to extract resources—also be used to undo its results? How is infrastructure contested and what are the conflicting rationalities to which it gives rise? What are the stakes of the large-scale dreams of development which infrastructure building continues to carry? How does infrastructure shape the course of history and the horizon of our global future?
Focusing on the multiple dimensions of urban and regional development on the ground, this research studio questions dominant approaches to infrastructure and urbanization in and beyond Africa. When highways, dams, or railways figure in urban or Africa-focused research, they tend to appear as merely technical problems of development: either they are described as lacking, or they are treated as magical solutions to reduce poverty and conflict. The aim of the research studio is to contribute to new understandings about the relationship between material infrastructure and the everyday realities of urbanization, by taking account of its historical complexity, lived experience, and the multivalent dreams and projects it generates.
Lernziele The studio trains students in collaborative, interdisciplinary urban research practice that combines humanities and qualitative social science methods with visual and spatial analysis and representation. In a first block, students are trained in critical reading and analytical skills, focused on scholarship on infrastructure, power, and urban transformation. In a second block, students are introduced to archival, visual, and oral research methods, which are practically put to work during one-week urban fieldwork trip. In subsequent blocks, students gain essential skills in developing their own urban research project, which includes writing, visualization, and presentation skills.

The format of this course is a research studio. This is a new and unique teaching format at the University of Basel, and is one of the central elements of the new MA in Critical Urbanisms. The research studio combines conventional formats such as lectures, reading seminars, and tutorials, but most importantly, it allows students to work together in a shared space. Jointly taught by core and affiliated faculty, with regular visits by external experts, the studio takes place in a dedicated space, which acts as a laboratory in which small teams of students hailing from different disciplinary backgrounds can work closely together. Students work on a range of different and complementary outputs, ranging from essays to illustrated booklets, maps and diagrams, photographic projects, videos, and installations. This work will be assembled and edited to be made public as a collective outcome of the research studio.
Bemerkungen The “research studio” a new and unique teaching format at the University of Basel, and is the central element of the new MA in Critical Urbanisms, which started in the autumn 2017.

 

Teilnahmebedingungen 1st year students of the MA Critical Urbanisms
Unterrichtssprache Englisch
Einsatz digitaler Medien kein spezifischer Einsatz

 

Intervall wöchentlich
Datum 25.09.2019 – 19.12.2019
Zeit Mittwoch, 10.00-18.00 Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Donnerstag, 10.00-18.00 Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Datum Zeit Raum
Mittwoch 25.09.2019 10.00-18.00 Uhr Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Donnerstag 26.09.2019 10.00-18.00 Uhr Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Mittwoch 02.10.2019 10.00-18.00 Uhr Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Donnerstag 03.10.2019 10.00-18.00 Uhr Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Mittwoch 09.10.2019 10.00-18.00 Uhr Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Donnerstag 10.10.2019 10.00-18.00 Uhr Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Mittwoch 16.10.2019 10.00-18.00 Uhr Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Donnerstag 17.10.2019 10.00-18.00 Uhr Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Mittwoch 23.10.2019 10.00-18.00 Uhr Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Donnerstag 24.10.2019 10.00-18.00 Uhr Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Mittwoch 30.10.2019 10.00-18.00 Uhr Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Donnerstag 31.10.2019 10.00-18.00 Uhr Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Mittwoch 06.11.2019 10.00-18.00 Uhr Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Donnerstag 07.11.2019 10.00-18.00 Uhr Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Mittwoch 13.11.2019 10.00-18.00 Uhr Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Donnerstag 14.11.2019 10.00-18.00 Uhr Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Mittwoch 20.11.2019 10.00-18.00 Uhr Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Donnerstag 21.11.2019 10.00-18.00 Uhr Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Mittwoch 27.11.2019 10.00-18.00 Uhr Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Donnerstag 28.11.2019 10.00-18.00 Uhr Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Mittwoch 04.12.2019 10.00-18.00 Uhr Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Donnerstag 05.12.2019 10.00-18.00 Uhr Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Mittwoch 11.12.2019 10.00-18.00 Uhr Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Donnerstag 12.12.2019 10.00-18.00 Uhr Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Mittwoch 18.12.2019 10.00-18.00 Uhr Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Donnerstag 19.12.2019 10.00-18.00 Uhr Alte Gewerbeschule, Studio 357
Module Modul: Interdisciplinary Research Practice (Master Studiengang Critical Urbanisms)
Leistungsüberprüfung Lehrveranst.-begleitend
An-/Abmeldung zur Leistungsüberprüfung Anmelden: Belegen; Abmelden: nicht erforderlich
Wiederholungsprüfung keine Wiederholungsprüfung
Skala 1-6 0,5
Wiederholtes Belegen beliebig wiederholbar
Zuständige Fakultät Philosophisch-Historische Fakultät, studadmin-philhist@unibas.ch
Anbietende Organisationseinheit Fachbereich Urban Studies

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