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Multicultural City Lecture Series


Admission requirements

This course is available for students in the BA Urban Studies programme and to a limited amount of external students.


Cities have always been inherently diverse and multicultural places, where a wide range of people, ideas, and cultures come together and interact. This is a big part of what makes cities so dynamic, interesting and creative. This course is organised around the idea of the Multicultural City, and introduces students to a range of ideas and issues relating to cities and multiculturalism from multiple disciplinary perspectives.

The course is divided into twelve lectures and 3 building blocks that all students will attend. The three building blocks each will consist of four lectures focused on 1. Culture, 2. Language, 3. History.

1) Culture: This first building block focuses on the way in which multiculturality is, indeed, an issue of culture in its relation to ethnic, religious and social backgrounds. We will look especially at different modes of cultural expression, the role of media in this respect, and the ways in which multiculturality leads to forms of empowerment, transformation and creativity. Guiding threads are how cultures, as forms of life, relate to people’s status as political subjects of cities and how they colour individual cities in their own distinct way, providing them with a certain character.

2) Language: This second building block focuses on the roles of language in the dynamic of multicultural cities. Given multilingualism is the norm and not the exception for most people living in the world, we will examine the situations where multilingualism can be seen as a “problem” or “challenge” in cities in some contexts, while in others it is viewed as a valuable asset. These different perspectives can have important consequences for the people living in multicultural and multilingual cities, and how those cities are seen by the rest of the world.

3) History: The third building block focuses on multiculturalism and the city in historical perspective. We take as our case study the experience of urban Britain from the middle of the twentieth century to the present day, tracing how new flows on migration after the Second World War transformed the demography, politics, culture and experience of many British cities. At its best, this period saw the emergence of a diverse, tolerant and culturally rich mode of urbanism, accompanied by a proactive political project of multiculturalism. At its worst, it unleashed outbursts of racist politics and placed cities at the centre of racial and structural inequalities which continue to resonate to this day.

Course objectives

General learning outcomes

See tab Additional information for the overview of the programme's general learning outcomes. In the assessment methods below is outlined which general learning outcome will be tested through which method.

Course objectives, pertaining to this course

The student has acquired:
1) A broad understanding of the concept of multiculturalism and its importance for urban studies
2) An understanding of how different disciplines approach the issue of multiculturalism and the city from cultural, linguistic, and historical perspectives
3) A familiarity with a range of related intellectual concerns and analytical frameworks - such as migration, postcolonialism, gender, sexuality, diversity, sociolinguistics – which scholars use to approach the topic of multiculturalism and the city
4) The ability to present their own accounts of urban multiculturalism in a scholarly written format
5) The ability to combine multiple disciplinary perspectives on multiculturalism and apply these to a specific urban case study


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture.

Assessment method


1 Final examination, 100%
-measured programme's general learning outcomes: 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 11, 13, 14, 19, 21.
-measured course specific objectives: 1-5


Partial grade Weighing
Final exam 100

End grade

To successfully complete the course, please take note of the following:

  • The grade for the Final Exam must be 5,50 or higher.


Faculty regulations concerning participation in resits are listed in article 4.1 of the Faculty Course and Examination Regulations.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

To be announced.



  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Student Affairs Office for BA Urban Studies.


A limited amount of external students can follow this course as an elective course. To enroll, send an email to the Education Administration Office: Student Affairs Office for BA Urban Studies.