Postgraduate Course: Urban Anthropology (PGSP11458)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course considers what an urban anthropology can bring to 'classic' theories of the city by exploring the diverse ways in which people inhabit, experience, engage and imagine urban environments. In drawing on a variety of ethnographic contexts and theorizations of the city, the course demands a critical rethinking of cities as sites for understanding social inequalities, emerging aesthetics, cultural forms, and senses of place.
Despite the increasing scale and velocity of urban growth throughout much of the world in the past century, anthropologists have only recently begun to grapple with the complexity of urban social dynamics. Traditionally focused on remote and seemingly isolated communities, today an increasing number of anthropologists have joined scholars from other disciplines to explore different aspects of the social, political, economic and cultural dynamics of cities and the connections within and between urban areas.
This course considers what an urban anthropology can bring to 'classic' theories of the city by exploring the diverse ways in which people inhabit, experience, engage and imagine urban environments. The course gives particular attention to the visual and material aspects of the city as a built landscape not only through monuments, architecture and city planning but also through modes of dress, artistic expression, and styles of individual and collective self-representation and performance, all of which contribute to the texture, materiality and feel of urban landscapes.
1) Introduction 1: The City as a Utopian Vision
2) Introduction 2: Anthropologies of the City
3) Town & Country: Rural to Urban Migrations
4) Architecture, Space and Place
5) Urban Planning
6) Gentrification and Urban Social Inequalities
7) Policing and Security
8) The multicultural City and Urban Regimes of 'Culture'
9) Time and Memory in the City
10) Conclusion: Revisiting Utopian Visions
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2016/17, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 20,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Book Review (formative assessment), 1,000 words, 20%
Mapping Exercise (formative assessment), 500 words, 20%
Final assessment essay (summative assessment), 3500 words, 60%
||The course will be assessed through two coursework assignments followed by a final assessed essay. The first assignment will involve the review of a book (up to1000 words) to be chosen from a list of non-fiction and fiction books provided in the course handbook. The second assignment is a mapping exercise that requires students to choose a specific 'technology' through which to observe an urban context ethnographically. These may range from city monuments to tourist infrastructure or dress, or any other aspect of city that will allow students to create a map of a particular urban area. The maps, which students are invited to create in whatever form they choose, will be accompanied by a short written narrative of their observations of no more one page of text (up to 500 words). The final assessed essay (up to 3500 words) will respond to one question chosen from a list provided by the course organisers.
All assessments will be returned with feedback within 15 working days of submission.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Participate in an effective and informed way in debates regarding the history of urban anthropology, the issues regarding human cultural difference in urban environments, and the relation between urban anthropology and the work of social anthropology more generally.
- Demonstrate substantive knowledge and critical understanding of a selection of important historical and social issues with regard to the development and use of concepts and technologies in the planning, governance, and representation of urban environments, and of the contending viewpoints and claims on these issues.
- Identify and critically characterise a variety of key approaches from social anthropology, from other social science disciplines, and from interdisciplinary fields like urban planning and science and technology studies to understanding and evaluating issues concerning urban anthropology as a sub-field, and identify advantages, problems and implications of these approaches.
- Evaluate key contributions to the academic and public debates on the study of cities in scientific, philosophical, and humanities-related inquiries in order to engage wider audiences regarding issues of human social and cultural difference.
- Identify and evaluate a selection of techniques and procedures used in anthropological research in urban environments and their relation to the techniques and procedures of deployed in governance, planning, and urban development generally.
|Low, Setha. 1999. Theorizing the City: The New Urban Anthropology Reader. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.|
Hannerz, Ulf. 1980. Exploring the City: Inquiries Towards and Urban Anthropology. New York: Columbia University Press
Amin, Ash and Nigel Thrift. 2002. Cities: Re-imagining the Urban. Cambridge: Polity.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Be able to use collaboration and debate effectively in order to test, modify and strengthen their own views;
Make effective use of oral, written and visual means to negotiate, create and communicate critical understanding;
Seek and value open feedback to inform genuine self-awareness;
Transfer their knowledge, learning, skills and abilities from one context to another;
|Course organiser||Dr Casey High
|Course secretary||Miss Kate Ferguson
Tel: (0131 6)51 5122
© Copyright 2016 The University of Edinburgh - 3 February 2017 5:02 am