Our upcoming public keynote is part of the KOSMOS Workshop “Beyond Urban Transformation: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Urban Everyday Life”, organized by the Urban Ethnography Lab and funded by the Excellence Initiative by Humboldt-University of Berlin, hosted at Georg-Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies, September 5-8, 2018 in Berlin.

Prof. Dr. Alexa Färber
Institute for European Ethnology, University of Vienna, Austria
THE CITY AS PROMISSORY ASSEMBLAGE OR:
HOW TO THINK AND STUDY THE NON-/TRANSFORMATIVE

September 5th, 2018, 6 p.m.
at Georg-Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies
Humboldt-University of Berlin
ABSTRACT
Cities are ever-changing arrangements of human and non-human actors, of ideas and their realizations, of lived, experienced and represented urban environments. Concepts in urban studies, therefore, focus on different kinds of transformations that have taken place throughout history, how these transformations have come about, and what urban morphologies result from these transformations. From the perspective of everyday routines, stability, dependability, and reliability are indispensable for secure ways of living and experiencing the city. This tension of the urban as non-/transformative is articulated by manyfold promises made in and by the city. In this lecture, Prof. Alexa Färber proposes to think this non-/transformative character of the urban together with the notion of promissory assemblage. An understanding of the city as promissory assemblage allows us to study how different urban scales of are interrelated, and enables us to grapple the contradictory character of concepts such as “commons” and “urban resilience.” The remaining question is: How do we meet situations where the non-/transformative is an issue of everyday concern in the city?
Beyond-Urban-Transformation_GSZ-Berlin-September_5-8_with-infotex_forprint_v2
The KOSMOS workshop “Beyond Urban Transformation. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Urban Everyday Life” brings together senior and junior scholars from urban anthropology, geography and design to collaborate on researching how urban transformation can be studied ethnographically from the perspective of everyday practice. As ethnographers, geographers, artists and urban planners, our research models must navigate multiple scales of analysis in cities while committing to fine-grained analysis of everyday life experiences of urban transformations, which reflect the larger scale processes of urban change. Under the broad theme of urban transformation, our workshop will focus on the two sub-themes of urban resilience and urban commons. The topics will be explored during the workshop through a detailed process of sharing about current research praxis and developing collaborative, interdisciplinary models for research engagement. We will focus on methodological approaches that generate “thick data” (as opposed to big data) about the practice of the urban everyday life. The workshop will focus explicitly on the connection between core theoretical concepts in urban studies, including resilience, urban commons, and practice, and their concomitant interdisciplinary methodological approaches. The invited workshop participants will develop new approaches to bridge theoretical concepts with interdisciplinary research methods. For more information please visit www.urban-ethnography.com.
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Workshop Host:
Urban Ethnography Lab,
Georg Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies
Humboldt-University of Berlin
Coordination: Carolin Genz, Aylin Yildirim TschoepeIn cooperation with:
University of Toronto, Ethnography Lab, Toronto, Canada
Harvard University, Cambridge, USA
Humboldt-University of Berlin, Department for Geography, Germany
funded by KOSMOS – Excellence Initiative, Berlin, Germany
Posted in UEL
Posted by:Carolin Genz

Carolin Genz holds a master degree in European Ethnology and Urban Cultures from Humboldt-University of Berlin (2009-2013) and is currently doing research at the Department for Cultural and Social Geography at the Humboldt-University since 2015. Her Ph.D. topic is: "Urban Resistance: Upheaval of Civil Society? Ethnographical perspectives on the transformation of urban everyday life“. Specifically, her research focuses on practices of production and appropriation of space, urban governance and digital tools of urban resistance and network practices. Furthermore, she is an academic consultant and member of the advisory board for Gender Mainstreaming and Diversity for the Senate Department of Housing and Urban Development in Berlin.

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