Call for Applications (Deadline Extended): 2019 Bologna Summer School

Summer School poster

Deadline: April 9, 2019

Summer School in Global Studies and Critical Theory


Bologna • June 24 – July 5, 2019

UPDATE: Deadline extended to April 9, 2019

The 2019 Summer School will revisit early twenty-first century urban landscapes. Particular attention will be paid to the extent to which their production is entangled with the movements of global capital and the vagaries of the world’s financial markets, at a time of enhanced computing and technological power, rising inequalities, escalating changes of the internal dynamics of the Earth System (see Kruth, 2018) and widespread popular authoritarianism. Of crucial importance will be the analysis of neoliberal policies based on partition from the poor city, of slum infrastructures both carrying the aftermaths, very often, of colonial violence; and of cities of extraction disconnected from histories of industrialisation. These broken landscapes, distorted by crime as well as by heterogeneous forms of public and private violence, are also often places of conviviality, unpredictable encounters, solidarity and unexpected forms of urban communing (see for example de Boeck, 2017).  To state the obvious, if the ancient polis was the origin of the concept of the political, we will be asking: what ideas of the political emerge in contemporary cityscapes?

Early twenty-first century urban landscapes are shaped by biophysical and chemical processes that transport and transform materials and energy and thus provide the conditions necessary for life. They are made and remade by changes in the climate system, including oceans and seas, wind, heat, precipitations and the atmosphere (see Derickson, 2017). Cities will be apprehended as aqueous territories capable of generating and guiding design with the environment as an active participant in the process Port cities and littoral cities in particular will be read from  their ocean edge, the materialities of their sea as well as its histories of slavery and maritime imperialism.

Finally we will pay attention to early twenty-first urban landscapes as much as works of the imagination as works of material social construction. Changing our emphasis to focus on flows and movement, migration and mediation more than on structures and settlements, we will assess the extent to which urban dwellers combine the reality of motion and the desire for stability.

Up to 40 participants will be selected and required to attend all plenary lectures, the two morning courses, and at least one afternoon class per week.

The Academy of Global Humanities and Critical Theory and other sponsors offer several grants covering fees, accommodation, and/or travel.

Note to Duke Applicants: Up to 5 travel grants are available for Duke students admitted to the Summer School (funds provided by the Duke Graduate School and administered by the Franklin Humanities Institute). If accepted, please contact FHI Associate Director Christina Chia (


Applications must be submitted by April 9, 2019 at 3.00 pm (GMT+1) - NOTE EXTENDED DEADLINE!

For more information: