Cities and Society
A research seminar series
Dar Es Salaam by Night. Photo: Dereje / Shutterstock.com
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 initiating 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. By inviting international expertise working at the frontiers of urban research, this seminar series seeks to support the development of a dynamic and robust research environment around urban issues within the Department of Sociology and Human Geography, while simultaneously creating a space for linking up an existing urban departmental momentum to broader research networks and debates in Norway and beyond.
The seminar series consists of one- or two-day events that combine lectures, smaller research seminars, and (when possible) practice-based urban excursions. The series will be organized around semester-long themes to explored by representatives of different subdisciplines including mobilities studies, critical urban studies, cultural geography, transport geography etc.