Cities and Society
A research seminar series and podcast
As we continue to push towards unprecedented levels of planetary urbanization, cities are increasingly identified as the primary strategic ground for resolving some of the most pressing environmental, political, and social challenges of the 21st century. Urban questions currently attract growing attention from a wide ranging set of academic disciplines including computer science, economics, and engineering - opening new and exciting avenues for interdisciplinary research and collaboration. However, at the same time, the field of urban geography is experiencing significant turmoil, with many of its longstanding frameworks being called into question by some of the field’s leading scholars. In light of this broadening interest in urban issues both in society and at the university, we suggest an urgent need to reexamine some of the basic categories and concepts used to define and decipher urban processes, and to more broadly pose the question of what characterizes the urban today and what approaches that can help us to successfully generate new urban theory and knowledge.
To address this need, we are hosting a monthly research seminar centered on the broad question of how we as urban geographers and sociologists can best contribute to these debates around the contemporary relationship between cities and social change. In extension of the seminars, we will publish a podcast series to continue the conversation on these issues. By inviting expertise working at the frontiers of urban research, this seminar and podcast series seeks to address these questions, contribute to the public discourse on urbanism and support the further development of the research environment around urban issues within the Department of Sociology and Human Geography at the University of Oslo.