IUR will co-host “Class and the City”, a national Ph.D. course

IUR will co-host a national Ph.D. course as part of the Swedish National Program for Research Education in Human Geography, Spring 2022. The course titled “Class and the City” is organized in collaboration with the Department of Social and Economic Geography of Uppsala University and Social Sciences at Södertörn University.

Course Organizers:

Course description 

After decades with low interest in class, both politically and theoretically, critical class theories have recently returned in both academia and in policy discourses. The renewed interest in class has direct and longed-for implications within urban theory, where class in best cases has been discussed indirectly, as hidden within other discourses like gentrification, segregation, urban social movements, urban unrests, neoliberalism, entrepreneurialism, social sustainability, etc. Class has for example been considered as one part within a broader gentrification discourse; while in reality, of course, it should be the other way around. We argue that the relevancy of class theory, and Marxist class theory in particular, needs more delicate treatment than current affairs admits, in order to more deeply grasp urban and geographical processes such as the mentioned above. 

This Ph.D. course wants to bring the question of class, city and geography upfront: theoretically, empirically, and politically. The course is organised around three course sessions.

1st sessionUppsala

The first session is mainly concerned with theory and conceptual discussions. How can we understand class theory within and beyond Marxism? How do various theoretical traditions understand class differently and which implications do this bring for urban theory? How can we understand phenomena like urban development and planning, gentrification, housing, participation, democracy, segregation, etc. in relation to class theory? How can we theoretically elucidate and understand intersections between class, gender and racism? 

2nd session: Malmö

In the second session we bring theories into the actual: how can class theory be understood in relation to variations of urban conditions? How can class be understood as a mediated reality and empirical material in relation to everyday experiences in city life? Building on the theoretical conceptualizations reviewed at the first session, we go into concrete examples on segregation, displacement, neoliberal urban policies, housing policies, climate change and ecological policies, etc. We will discuss case studies on class (struggle), and how class interacts with other social power relations like racialization and gender.

3rd session: Södertörn

This third session consists of two parts. One is an excursion in Stockholm with three stops: we go to Kista, Husby and Södermalm to see how class is and has been materialized and articulated differently within the city. We will for example visit a community centre (Folkets Husby) in Husby to discuss their experiences with community mobilization around issues of relevance for the working class population. The other part of the session consists of workshops and seminars where the course participants give an individual presentation based on the course literature in relation to their own research or other phenomena they find relevant for joint discussions. 


Please register by sending an email to Ståle Holgersen, stale.holgersen@kultgeog.uu.seby 1 December 2021. 

Further details: 

  • The course will be examined through a 5,000 word course paper.
  • The course gives 7.5 ECTS.
  • There will be a course evaluation at the end of the course.  
  • There is no course fee, but participants will have to cover travel, accommodation, etc. by own arrangements. Ph.D. candidates from Departments of Human geography in Sweden make the arrangements with their home institutions. If places are available, the course is also open for postgraduate students in other departments and disciplines.