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Elective Multicultural City: The Production of Belonging


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA Urban Studies programme.


This course explores the cultural politics of linguistic and environmental practices in cities. Exploring questions of power, identity, and inequality, this course traces the dynamics of governance and contestation at play in urban lives. Our objective is (1) to trace the emergence of such dynamics, (2) to understand how these dynamics are expressed through the metaphors, symbols, rituals, routines, and narratives that constitute individual and social experience, and (3) to track how these dynamics change historically and geographically across cities, including the ones we inhabit. How is urban space claimed through linguistic and environmental practices? And how do such practices produce and reproduce dynamics of governance and contestation? In this course, students will engage with critical approaches to study urban life as it intersects with nature, infrastructure, mobility, labor, citizenship, and policing. Topics such as urban forms of dwelling, work, leisure, circulation, and activism are discussed on local and global scales, with a specific focus on processes of cultural differentiation along the lines of generation, gender, race, and class. This course offers an approach that is sensitive to the dynamic, relational character of culture and that reflects the lived realities of the contemporary city.

This is the Multicultural City Thematic Elective.

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

1) Students develop and learn to apply knowledge of the ways in which cultural, linguistic and environmental practices vary across space and time in dynamic ways and how urban space is claimed through these practices;
2) Students acquire intellectual familiarity with different theoretical points of view in regard to urban governance, identity construction, and activism;
3) Students are introduced to the principles of urban ethnographic research, understanding its relationship to qualitative and quantitative methods.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Tutorial (compulsory attendance)

This means that students have to attend every tutorial session of the course. If a student is unable to attend a tutorial or lecture, they should inform the lecturer in advance, providing a valid reason for absence. The teacher will determine if and how the missed session can be compensated by an additional assignment. If they are absent from a tutorial without a valid reason, they can be excluded from the final exam in the course.

Assessment method


  • Attendance, presentation, and participation in workgroups
    -measured programme's general learning outcomes: 1, 4-5, 8, 10-11, 13-21, 23-26
    -measured course specific objectives: 1-3

  • Written assignments
    -measured programme's general learning outcomes: 1, 4-6, 8, 11, 13-17, 19-20, 24-26
    -measured course specific objectives: 1-3


Partial grade Weighing
Workgroup grade: Attendance, presentation, and participation 25%
Midterm Paper Proposal 25%
Final Research Paper 50%

End grade

To successfully complete the course, please take note that the end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of all assessment components.


Students who score an overall insufficient grade for the course, are allowed resubmit a reworked version of the Final Essay. The deadline for resubmission is 10 working days after receiving the grade for the Final Research Essay and subsequent feedback.
In case of resubmission of the Final Research Essay the final grade for the Essay will be lowered as a consequence of the longer process of completion.

Students who fail to hand in their final essay on or before the original deadline, but still within 5 working days of that deadline, will receive a grade and feedback on their essay. This will be considered a first submission of the final essay, however, the grade will be lowered as a consequence of the longer process of completion.
Students who fail to hand in their final essay on or before the original deadline, and also fail to hand in their essay within 5 working days of that deadline, get 10 working days, counting from the original deadline, to hand in the first version of their final essay. However, this first version counts as a resubmitted essay with consequential lowering of the grade, and there will be no option of handing in a reworked version based on feedback from the lecturer.

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

Inspection and feedback

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 organised.

Reading list

To be announced.


General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website.

Registration Exchange

For the registration of exchange students contact Humanities International Office.


  • 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.


This thematic elective will allow you to follow the Thesis and Thesis seminar: Multicultural City, if you meet the other entry requirements for the thesis as well.

You may only sign up for one thematic and one methodological elective in each semester of the second year (via MyStudyMap). Only if there is place left, you can take up a second Thematic and/or Methodological elective. A week before the start of the semester, you will receive an email from the administration which will indicate if any spots are still available. If this is the case, you can enroll by replying to this message. If more students show interest in a second elective than the number of places available, students will be selected via a lottery.