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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. Languages are not only the expression of communal existence, they also serve to mark social layers, the demarcations of subcultures, they help people to define themselves by means of gender, or they function as tools of division. At the same time languages are the major modes of connection and of communication in relation to whatever it is that human beings exchange in their desires to get something from or give something to others.

  • 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

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

  • 3) An understanding of urban multiculturalism from cultural, linguistic, and historical perspectives

  • 4) A familiarity with a range of related intellectual concerns and analytical frameworks - such as migration, postcolonialism, gender, sexuality, diversity, heterotopia, sociolinguistics – which scholars use to approach the topic of multiculturalism and the city

  • 5) The ability to summarise and evaluate various intellectual approaches to urban multiculturalism.

  • 6) The ability to critically reflect on knowledge, methodology and outcomes provided by readings.

  • 7) The ability to present their own accounts of urban multiculturalism in a scholarly written format

  • 8) The ability to define and use their individual cultural background(s) in any form of multicultural analysis or reflect on possible blind spots


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

Assessment method


  • Three essays (One essay per thematic block, each reflecting on concepts and research discussed. For further details please see the course syllabus.)
    -measured programme's general learning outcomes: 1, 4-5, 9, 11, 13, 15, 22
    -measured course specific objectives: 1-7


Partial grade Weighing
Essays 100

End grade

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

  • The end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of the three essays with each essay accounting for 1/3 of the grade.

  • The weighted average of essay grades needs to be 5.50 or higher.


If you fail your essay grade (the grade is below 5.5) you may resubmit the failed essay(s) for the chance to obtain a pass grade (5.50). The deadline for the resubmission of the resit essay is to be consulted with the lecturer.

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.


  • Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

  • Students will be enrolled for Exams by the Administration Office, as long as they have a valid Tutorial enrolment.

  • General information about uSis is available on the website.


  • 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