Beyond Urban Transformation: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Urban Everyday Life

Urban Ethnography Lab

05.09.2018 - 08.09.2018

About the Programme

The workshop “Beyond Urban Transformation. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Urban Everyday Life” organized by scholars from Humboldt University, Harvard University and the University of Toronto 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 the 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 workshop participants will develop new approaches to bridge theoretical concepts with interdisciplinary research methods. Urban Ethnography Lab, Berlin, Germany KOSMOS – Excellence Initiative, Berlin, Germany Georg-Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies, Berlin, Germany Humboldt-University of Berlin, Geography Department, Berlin, Germany University of Toronto, Anthropology Department, Ethnography Lab, Toronto, Canada Harvard University, Boston, USA

Who's Coming

We specifically address Ph.D. students and early career scholars who are interested in the intersection of Urban Anthropology, Human Geography and Urban Design, but also welcome applicants from other disciplines at different stages with a strong background in the topics of this workshop.

About You

Please send your application including: (1) your short bio / CV ( with information on where you currently study/work); (2) a 350-word description of your previous experience (ethnographic or otherwise) relevant to the workshop, a brief statement of your interest in the workshop, how other participants can benefit from your contribution and what you hope to learn from your participation and how it contributes to your current research/work.

About Us

Researchers and practitioners from many fields have been adapting ethnographic research methods to suit the complex demands of contemporary urban settings. The Urban Ethnography Lab is an initiative by scholars from the Humboldt University’s Georg Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies, the Department of Social- and Cultural Geography from Humboldt-University of Berlin and University of Toronto’s Ethnography Lab.


A scholarship is available, click "Register" to find out more.