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53608-01 - Praktikum: City immersions: Methods and Research Practice 7 KP

Semester Frühjahrsemester 2023
Angebotsmuster Jedes Frühjahrsem.
Dozierende Laura Nkula Wenz (laura.nkula@unibas.ch, BeurteilerIn)
Anna Selmeczi (anna.selmeczi@unibas.ch)
Inhalt This course comprises two parts.

Part I: City Research Studio

In semester 1 (weeks 1-6) the City Research Studio/City Immersions we will explore housing issues, their expression in policy and their lived realities in the city. The City Research Studio will partner with Peoples Environmental Planning (PEP), a NGO that works to solve stalled housing projects. PEP will introduce a range of housing delivery contexts, which will provide an opportunity to research and track the ordinary strategies that families draw on to find and secure homes in the city and the ways in which these meet and encounter the state and policy. Our research will experiment with social science research methods and writing strategies to engage and reflect on these issues and practices. While opening up a space for experimenting with methods and writing up our findings, where possible our research will contribute to PEP and its partner NGO, CORCs, work in these neighbourhood contexts.

Part II: Experimenting with Publics
Experimenting with Publics provides a space to explore and research Cape Town city publics, the spaces and places through which people live daily lives, build and be in the city. Through participation and engagement with particular Cape Town publics we will experiment with research practice and writing, which experiments with knowing the city.
Two themes shape our approach to this work:
‘Sensing the City’ locates and engages with publics produced through public art and performance in Cape Town. Working with the interplay between aesthetics as referring to what is sensible on the one hand, and artistic on the other, this theme will ask questions about what publics public art is created for, what places are associated with these publics, and what assumptions about the aesthetic agency of the public drives public art interventions in Cape Town. Through visiting, attending and even participating in (public) artworks, performances and events, all the while remaining attentive and alert to their sensible contexts, we’ll experiment with ways of tracing the city’s embodied aesthetics.
‘Running the City’ explores publics produced through varied forms of organised running in different parts of Cape Town. Running the city will provide a chance to engage public space through movement, a voluntary, mass participatory tradition in this city. What do we see when we run, how do we engage, what are the ways running is a means to move collectively through the city on foot? Can running be a lens on the city, its transformation, its liveliness, its conviviality? Through participation in club training and runs in different parts of the city, we’ll visit and observe, as well as participate in the banal spaces, normal everyday bits of the city, documenting what are they, how do people use them.

Lernziele For Part I: City Research Studio
In the six CRS sessions, which make up part 1, you will have the opportunity to engage with the complexity of housing policy and its implementation in impoverished neighbourhood contexts in Cape Town. The CRS Part 1/City Immersions Part 1 offers an exciting and demanding context in which to learn and engage with housing struggles and the lived experiences of housing policy. Please give it your all as it is a unique context to engage with housing issues in practice and to reflect on collaborative approaches to research in southern cities. By the end of the CRS, you will have experimented with and reflected on different forms of qualitative interviewing city residents, engaged experientially and conceptually with different elements of the housing debate in South African cities, worked in collaboration with NGOS and their partners in neighbourhoods, and reflected on the ways in which this collaborative work shapes research purpose and form.
For Part II: Experimenting with Publics
Experimenting with Publics encourages students to reflect on the city as an aesthetic order; an order that is made up of layered patterns that define the distribution of sense experience among those who inhabit and traverse urban space. In other words, its aim is to look into the raced, gendered, classed, and otherwise segmented allocation of the city’s images, movements, sounds, smells, tastes and tactilities and how these shift and morph. In turn, it asks what conceptions of the ‘public’ – understood both as a collective political subject and as the collectively shared spaces of the city – give shape to these patterns of distribution. What ideas of good urban life and the ideal urban dweller can be read off the ways in which the design and regulation of city spaces invite or disallow particular aesthetic experiences and particular mobilities? How and where do we find sense experiences that offer alternative ideas of belonging and modes of being together? And, how do we ‘know’ and research through embodied forms of research practice, through ‘sensing’ and ‘running’?

As part of the City Immersions: Research Practice and Methods course, Sensing and Running the City offer an experiential lens on the city. The conceptual tools that will aid this inquiry are drawn from two overlapping bodies of literature: feminist geography and work on urban affect and mobilities. Feminist scholarship has been crucial in exposing the marginalization of affect and emotion in academic knowledge production (Anderson 2016), and feminist geographers have been key in making sense of everyday experiences of space and place as embodied (e.g. Paeke and Rieker 2013). In addition, thinkers such as Nigel Thrift and Ash Amin offer productive ways to think about the connection between affect, politics and knowledge as they feature in the construction, performance and perception of urban spaces.


Teilnahmebedingungen Anmelden: Belegen; Abmelden: nicht erforderlich

This course is only open to students of the Critical Urbanisms MA program.
Further conditions: successful completion of the Critical Urbanisms Introduction course and admission to the Urbanisms from the South Track.
Unterrichtssprache Englisch
Einsatz digitaler Medien kein spezifischer Einsatz


Intervall Block
Datum 20.02.2023 – 02.06.2023
Zeit Siehe Detailangaben

Keine Einzeltermine verfügbar, bitte informieren Sie sich direkt bei den Dozierenden.

Module Modul: Ways of Knowing the City (Master Studiengang Critical Urbanisms)
Leistungsüberprüfung Lehrveranst.-begleitend
An-/Abmeldung zur Leistungsüberprüfung Anmelden: Belegen; Abmelden: nicht erforderlich
Wiederholungsprüfung keine Wiederholungsprüfung
Skala Pass / Fail
Wiederholtes Belegen beliebig wiederholbar
Zuständige Fakultät Philosophisch-Historische Fakultät, studadmin-philhist@unibas.ch
Anbietende Organisationseinheit Fachbereich Urban Studies