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59013-01 - Seminar: Theory in Urban Studies 3 CP

Semester fall semester 2020
Course frequency Once only
Lecturers Kenny R. Cupers (, Assessor)
Content This seminar explores current theories in and for urban studies. Through intensive reading, students in the course will explore how urban theory, postcolonial studies, feminist theory, science and technology studies, theories of capitalism, the environmental humanities, and critical race studies have been brought to bear on urban research. Our central goal is to problematize the relationship between the intellectual project of various strands of self-identified theory and its purpose or intended domain of “application” in urban studies. Rather than conceiving of theory as somehow hovering above reality or disciplinary purviews and therefore universally applicable to urban analysis, this course situates theoretical production in the specific intellectual, material, and geographical contexts from which it emerges.

Central to this course is the ability to situate theory’s claims to validity in the urban. We will start from current urban debates that position “theory from the South” against renewed efforts to theorize global change and planetary transformation. Of particular interest here is an understanding how specific histories of global conflict as well as current anti-colonial, feminist, queer, environmentalist, and indigenous struggles spur theories of urbanity and urban transformation. Our focus will also be on the relationship between technology and subjectivity in the conceptualization of cities, and how race and gender can be analyzed as both constitutive of and constructed by the urban. We will also examine recent conceptualizations of nature and capitalism can inform new approaches to our understanding of cities, territories, and landscapes. In addition to discussions of texts and media, the course will feature targeted assignments for students to mobilize theoretical arguments in their ongoing urban research.
Learning objectives - An understanding of current theoretical debates in and for urban studies
- An ability to contextualize theoretical arguments and situate their claims to validity in the urban
- An ability comment upon, revise, and re-purpose theory for the argument of an urban research project

Comments ONLINE PRESENCE - ***Important note*** - a blended model of in presence and online teaching is aimed for - however, please do follow the instructions of the lecturer each week.
Please do not show up at the room without double checking the course model of each week and keep up to date 24 hrs prior to the next course.


Admission requirements Recommended for second year MA in Critical Urbanisms and Ph.D. in Urban Studies students
Language of instruction English
Use of digital media No specific media used


Interval weekly
Date 15.09.2020 – 15.12.2020
Time Tuesday, 16.15-18.00 - Online Präsenz -

ONLINE PRESENCE**BLENDED FORMAT**Please do not show up at the room without double checking the course model of each week!

Date Time Room
Tuesday 15.09.2020 16.15-18.00 - Online Präsenz -, --
Tuesday 22.09.2020 16.15-18.00 - Online Präsenz -, --
Tuesday 29.09.2020 16.15-18.00 - Online Präsenz -, --
Tuesday 06.10.2020 16.15-18.00 - Online Präsenz -, --
Tuesday 13.10.2020 16.15-18.00 - Online Präsenz -, --
Tuesday 20.10.2020 16.15-18.00 - Online Präsenz -, --
Tuesday 27.10.2020 16.15-18.00 - Online Präsenz -, --
Tuesday 03.11.2020 16.15-18.00 - Online Präsenz -, --
Tuesday 10.11.2020 16.15-18.00 - Online Präsenz -, --
Tuesday 17.11.2020 16.15-18.00 - Online Präsenz -, --
Tuesday 24.11.2020 16.15-18.00 - Online Präsenz -, --
Tuesday 01.12.2020 16.15-18.00 - Online Präsenz -, --
Tuesday 08.12.2020 16.15-18.00 - Online Präsenz -, --
Tuesday 15.12.2020 16.15-18.00 Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 212
Modules Modul: Fields: Knowledge Production and Transfer (Master's degree program African Studies)
Modul: Interdisciplinary and Applied African Studies (Master's degree program African Studies)
Module: Projects and Processes of Urbanization (Master's degree program Critical Urbanisms (Start of studies before 01.08.2020))
Module: The Urban across Disciplines (Master's degree program Critical Urbanisms)
Assessment format continuous assessment
Assessment registration/deregistration Reg.: course registration; dereg.: not required
Repeat examination no repeat examination
Scale Pass / Fail
Repeated registration no repetition
Responsible faculty Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences,
Offered by Fachbereich Urban Studies