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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Geography

Undergraduate Course: Advanced Ethnography: Documenting City Life (GEGR10124)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis research elective is an 7-day residential field class in Berlin. The field class is comprised of one orientation day and introduction to the 'New Berlin' and 6 fieldwork days, during which there will be a range of staff-led activities (equivalent of 2 days- teaching over 6 days). The staff-led fieldwork will develop skills in identifying, gathering and producing original empirical material/research skills around the themes of 'The Berlin Wall and the legacies of division' and 'Memory-work and the Holocaust'. They will also provide opportunities for students to discuss questions, problems and ideas arising from their research.

The majority of time during fieldwork days (at least 5 hours/day) in Berlin is dedicated to group research projects. Students are required to do some preliminary reading and research into their research projects before we depart on the field class. An introductory lecture, alongside a research design workshop and a feedback session will provide students with guidance on the design and framing of their research project before we leave for Berlin. In Berlin, workshops and student presentations will provide students with opportunities for further guidance and feedback while they are doing their research. the fieldtrip will end with final workshop focusing on the analysis of research material and writing the research project so that the students return to Edinburgh ready to write the degree assessment.

Course description Advanced Ethnography: Documenting City Life is a field class in Berlin provides students with advanced training in the conception, framing and practice of research in Human Geography, with a particular focus on an urban setting.

The primary aim of the field class is to provide students with advanced skills in designing and conducting research projects. Students will gain advanced skills in one or more research methods, which might include: participant observation; in-depth interviews; visual methodologies; quantitative techniques; oral histories; discourse analysis; archival research. Students will also develop skills in the interpretation and analysis of original research materials. Formative and summative assessments will provide opportunities to develop skills in the oral, written and visual presentation of ideas and data.

The course will also deepen the students understanding of a range of theoretical, conceptual and political issues in Human Geography, and particularly the sub-disciplines of Urban Geography, Cultural Geography and Social Geography.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Geography in the Archive (GEGR10064) AND Physical Geography Fieldwork: Iceland (GEGR10072) AND Human Geography Fieldwork: Journey to the Western Isles (GEGR10100) AND Researching with media: ordinary, popular and indigenous people's knowledges (GEGR10113)
Other requirements None
Additional Costs A contribution to the travel and subsistence will be required. Details of which can be requested from the Course Administrator.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  24
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 2, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 8, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 8, Fieldwork Hours 50, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 6, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 122 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework: 100%
Degree assessment: One 4000-word project
Formative assessments to include a research proposal and 2 oral presentations on progress during the fieldtrip.
Feedback The field trip operates like a studio in architecture or design. You will be working collaboratively with your peers and members of staff. As such we are seeking to foster a supportive learning environment where you will receive lots of feedback and guidance throughout the field trip and your project work. Peer feedback is also an important component of the field trip and it important that you are prepared to comment on, constructively criticise, and support each other¿s work. Feedback will take a number of forms and be provided at different stages of the course. You can expect:
¿ detailed guidance on developing research proposals (staff)
¿ feedback on research proposals (peers and staff)
¿ workshops during the field trip providing detailed feedback on data collection, data analysis and presentations (staff and peers)
¿ verbal feedback and guidance while doing research and analysing research materials through group mentoring
¿ oral feedback on experiments with writing style (staff)
¿ written feedback on 800 word section of the draft report
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. design, plan and execute a group research project that is appropriately framed by a critical understanding of theoretical and conceptual issues in Human Geography
  2. demonstrate advanced skills in the use of research methods and the appropriate analysis of original research materials
  3. employ an range of writing and analytical skills for the original interpretation and presentation of research
  4. evaluate and reflect critically on your research practices, and to make judgements where data or information is limited or comes from a range of sources
  5. demonstrate detailed knowledge and understanding of a substantive concern at the forefront or Urban, Social or Cultural Geography
Reading List
Recommended reading
On Berlin:
Allen, J (2006). 'Ambient Power: Berlin's Potsdamer Platz and the Seductive Logic of Public Spaces', Urban Studies 43 (2), 441-455.
Boyer, C. (1996). 'The City of Collective Memory: Historical Imagery and Architectural Entertainments'. Boston, M.A: MIT Press.
Boym, S (2001). 'The Future of Nostalgia'. New York: Basic Books
Cochrane, A. (2006). 'Making Up Meaning in a Capital City: Power, Memory and Monuments in Berlin', European Urban and Regional Studies, 13 (1), 5-24.
Cochrane, A. and Passmore, A. (2001). 'Building a national capital in an age of globalization: the case of Berlin', Area 33 (3), 341-352.
Dekel, I. (2009). 'Ways of looking: observation and transformation at the Holocaust Memorial, Berlin', Memory Studies, 2 (1), 71-86.
Funder, A. (2003). Stasiland. London: Granta Books.
Huyssen, A. (1995). Twilight Memories: Marking Time in a Culture of Amnesia. London: Routledge.
Knischewski, G. and Spittler, U. (2006). 'Remembering the Berlin Wall: the wall memorial ensemble Bernauer Strasse', German Life and Letters, 59 (2), 280-293.
Ladd, B. (1997). The Ghosts of Berlin: Confronting German History in the Urban Landscape. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Staiger, U. (2009). 'Cities, citizenship, contested cultures: Berlin's Palace of the Republic and the politics of the public sphere', Cultural Geographies, 16, 309-327.
Stangl, P. (2008). 'The vernacular and the monumental: memory and landscape in post-war Berlin', GeoJournal, 78, 245-253.
Till, K. (2005). The New Berlin: Memory, Politics, Place. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Varvantakis, C. (2009). ' A monument to dismantlement', Memory Studies, 2(1), 27-38.
Young, J. (1992). 'The Counter- Monument: Memory Against Itself in Germany Today', Critical Inquiry, 18 (2), 267-296.

On Research Design and Methods:
Back, L. and Puwar, N. (2012). Live Methods. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Becker, H. (2001). 'George Perec's experiments in social description', Ethnography, 2(1), 63-76.
Clifford, N., French, S. and Valentine, G. (2010). Key Methods in Geography. London: Sage.
Cloke, P., Cook, I. (2007). Doing Ethnographies. London: Sage
DeLyser, D., Herbert, S., Aitkin, S., Crang, M. and McDowell, L (2009). The Sage handbook of Qualitative Geography. London: Sage.
Emmison, M., Smith, P. and Mayall, M. (2012). Researching the Visual. London:Sage.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills At the conclusion of the course students will have further developed their transferable skills in:
- working with autonomy to plan, design and execute a research project (both independently and as part of a small group).
- applying knowledge and understanding to frame empirical research, and to employ a range of research methods and practices to gather, produce and analyse original data
- oral, written, and visual presentation of ideas and analysis, including a formal presentation of research to an informed audience.
- Working effectively as part of a team
Course organiserDr Daniel Swanton
Tel: (0131 6)50 8164
Course secretaryMiss Carry Arnold
Tel: (0131 6)50 9847
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