Sommerschule 2016

23.09.2016 - 29.09.2016

"Un escalier à Belgrade" by antomoro (Own work) [FAL 1.3], 15.04.2013, via Wikimedia Commons

Die Sommerschule 2016 führte die Graduiertenschule für Ost- und Südosteuropastudien und den Masterstudiengang Osteuropastudien in die serbische Hauptstadt Belgrad. Unter dem Motto "Exploring Belgrade: Theory x Discipline x Method" wurden vom 23. bis 29. September 2016 Fragen der Urbanität und des Stadtraums aus unterschiedlichen Blickwinkeln bearbeitet. Kooperationspartner vor Ort war Prof. Dr. Dubravka Stojanovic von der Philosophischen Fakultät der Universität Belgrad.

Here you find Marina Klysko's report on the Summer School 2016.

The Summer School 2016 was an interdisciplinary exploration of the city in which we dwelled, Belgrade. The aim was to get acquainted with Belgrade as an important post-socialist and Southeast European city but also to reflect on how we – influenced by our disciplinary, theoretical, and methodological ‘habits’ - construct objects of research, apply particular methods, and shape our perception of reality. Hence the aim was to juxtapose the various ways of ‘constructing’ the city, working across and at the intersection of different disciplines, theories and methods. We were particularly interested in how various disciplines (anthropology, visual arts, architecture, engineering, geography, history, literature, political science, planning, etc.) approach a city, and how they, through procedures of selection and research design, arrive at particular insights, producing ‘knowledge’.

Some of the questions we asked were: does every city, every urban site, every emerging urban issue, need its own method of exploration? Are some disciplines better equipped than others to answer particular questions? How important are reflections on method in urban studies, a field dominated by grand theorizing? How important is it to develop new methods sensitive to local contexts? How specific, unique, and changeable are urban sites and to what extent does this require methodological innovation and flexibility? Is there any scope to take seriously the intuitive and subjective exploration of cities carried out by novelists, film makers, and artists, normally denied scholarly attention or status?

The participants to the Summer School were divided into three working groups covering three major fields of urban research. In these respective fields, the groups investigated how theory, discipline, and method intersect, and they also reflected on representation and representational formats in their field. The three fields were:

1. “Everyday life“, led by Ger Duijzings and Čarna Brković. Key words: street, social and community life, rituals and cultural activities, class and ethno-religious differences, the social fabric, social inequality and cohesion. Disciplines and representational formats relevant for this field are for example: anthropology and ethnography, urban sociology, human geography, cultural and performance studies, social history, the visual arts, photography and documentary film.

2. “The past: history and memory“, led by Ulf Brunnbauer, Miranda Jakisa (Berlin) und Nina Weller. Key words: the historical growth of cities, urbanization, public memories, mnemonic and monumental landscapes, material legacies of previous urban and political regimes, urban palimpsests. Disciplines and representational formats relevant for this field are: history, architectural and art history, geography, memory studies, the fine arts, historical fiction, biography and autobiography, fictional and documentary film, photography, mapping, etc.

3. “Public spheres: local politics and urban planning“, led by Marie-Janine Calic und Jasper Trautsch. Key words: local governance, public spaces, political discourses, power, elites, social and political movements, street protests, art interventions, media. The disciplines and representational formats relevant for this field are: history, political science, media studies, critical geography, urban planning, public art, photography and documentary film, mapping, the internet, social media, etc.

Each day started with plenary sessions offering brief statements by academics attached to the Graduate School, speakers and (local) experts from abroad and Belgrade, in which they provided overviews of theoretical and methodological approaches relevant in their field. Some dealt specifically with Belgrade. The plenary sessions were followed by working group sessions, where theoretical literature and representational formats were discussed, and where this was ‘translated’ and connected to the local context of Belgrade. In the afternoons the working groups did fieldwork, exploring the city following the methods and lines of inquiry typical for their field, meeting up with local experts, visiting relevant urban sites or venues, and carrying out observations and gathering relevant materials. The working groups reported back on their work with presentations of 30 minutes each during the last plenary session in the afternoon of Wednesday 28 September. Prior to the Summer School students made themselves acquainted with the general and discipline specific key readings on urban theory, as well as some introductory texts on Belgrade, for which a reader was provided.


Public events:

Friday, 23.09.2016

6-7:30 pm, Rectorate building University of Belgrade, Studentski Trg 1

Opening of the summer school & Lecture
Dubravka Stojanović: “Urbanization of Belgrade as a Paradigm of Serbia’s Modernization”


Saturday, 24.09.2016

9-11 am, University of Belgrade, Faculty of Philosophy, room 108

Vladimir Kulić:“Writing New Belgrade”


Monday, 26.09.2016

9-11 am, University of Belgrade, Faculty of Philosophy, room 108

Olga Manojlovic Pintar: “Belgrade through an Introspective Prism, Producing Knowledge about the City and/or Probing Disciplinary Limits?”

6 pm, Goethe-Institute Belgrade, Knez Mihailova 50

Public panel discussion
“Cities Inside Out - Urban Peripheries Compared”: discussion moderated by Ger Duijzings with Lila Leontidou (Athens), Imre Azem (Istanbul), Cătălin Berescu (Bucharest), and Ivan Kucina (Belgrade) as speakers.
In cooperation with the Goethe-Institute Belgrade — further information & programme


Tuesday, 27.09.2016

9-11 am, University of Belgrade, Faculty of Philosophy, room 108

Jovo Bakić: “City at the Periphery of the World Capitalist System: a Case Study of the Belgrade Waterfront”


Wednesday, 28.09.2016

9-11 am, University of Belgrade, Faculty of Philosophy, room 108

Ivana Spasić:“Everyday Intersections: the Urban Laboratory”