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240530 SE Politics of the City: Narratives, Place Making and Identity Formation (P4) (2021S)

Continuous assessment of course work

Participation at first session is obligatory!

The lecturer can invite students to a grade-relevant discussion about partial achievements. Partial achievements that are obtained by fraud or plagiarized result in the non-evaluation of the course (entry 'X' in certificate). The plagiarism software 'Turnitin' will be used for courses with continuous assessment.


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 25 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

The course will be digital.

Monday 15.03. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Tuesday 23.03. 13:15 - 16:30 Digital
Tuesday 13.04. 13:15 - 16:30 Digital
Friday 23.04. 13:15 - 16:30 Digital
Tuesday 04.05. 13:15 - 16:30 Digital
Tuesday 18.05. 13:15 - 16:30 Digital
Friday 28.05. 13:15 - 16:30 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

This course provides a critical overview of urban studies with a particular focus on the role of narratives in urban politics. Over the past decade, urban studies have grown and prospered in parallel to the increasing importance of cities in economic and political restructuring under global neoliberalism. It has done so on the ground of a fruitful discussion under the themes of “city-making,” “urban entrepreneurialism/managerialism,” “gentrification,” “right to the city,” “securitization,” and so on. This course explores these recent discussions in urban studies through the lens of narratives and narrativity. What kinds of narratives are tied to cities in political, popular, and scholarly discourses? How are these narratives constructed? How do they complement and contradict each other? With such a perspective, the course intends to engage with the political and cultural context of the making of place and the city by highlighting its actors, policies, histories. The course will start with a theoretical engagement with the concept of narrative and narrativity in sociology and anthropology. We will continue with thematic discussions on the relations between narration and the making of cities. Some of the topics we debate through the readings include gentrification, art, under/development, heritage, security, cosmopolitanism, tourism. The methods and sources we discuss are multiple —from sociology and history, ethnography, political economy, and geography.

This course is intended for graduate students who have a research project or interest in such political and social processes and issues and a commitment to advance their engagement with these topics with the help of a case study through the class.

At the end of this course, the students will

1. Be fluent in the key concepts and issues covered in this course.
2. Be reflexive and pragmatic about how they can put narratives and narrativity to work in their own urban research agenda in a way that is both critical (i.e., politically relevant) and meticulous (i.e., empirically grounded).
3. Advance their own research agendas through written assignments and in-class discussion of personal projects.

Assessment and permitted materials

The course will be based on digital teaching. All class discussions are planned as online meetings on Moodle. Moodle will also be used to deliver readings, assignments and facilitate in-class activities.
At the end of the semester, students are expected to write a final paper.
The deadline for the final paper is 28 June 2021.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

This MA course will be based on the active participation of students in class discussions.
Attendance at the first meeting is mandatory.
Students may miss only one meeting without an excuse.
Each student is expected to come to class prepared (having read the assigned material and written the response paper).
In addition to writing a final paper, students are expected to write four 1-2 paged response papers throughout the semester.

The breakdown of grading is as follows:

Response papers and participation 40 %
Final Paper 60 %

Examination topics

Written papers, engagement in discussions

Reading list

to be announced later

Association in the course directory

Last modified: We 21.04.2021 11:27