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International Summer School in Urban Ethnography

The fourth edition of the Summer School in Urban Ethnography builds on the collaborative working environment established in the previous editions. The School’s core mission is to provide participants with an inside view on the practice and the skills of urban ethnography.

As such, the School represents a forum where adepts, students, cadets and scholars may familiarize themselves with the status of the discipline, absorbing the tools as well as the tricks of the trade directly from long-time practitioners. A sustained theoretical reflection is, in our view, an essential companion rather than an alternative to fieldwork. This means that discussion on key social-theoretical notions and theories is encouraged.

The fourth edition of the School pivots around urban cultures. Our aims thus include:

  • theorising culture in order to develop rich interpretations of urban cultures and cultural practices;
  • understanding the relations between cultural phenomena and urban transformation;
  • thinking through contemporary cultural practices in the context of urban spaces;
  • clarifying the concepts that connect cultural practice to social theory.

Teaching method will be based mainly on interactive formats, such as workshops, data sessions, and roundtables. Participants will have a chance to present their current research project, receive  feedback and recommendations. 
There will be three extended lectures by established international scholars. Presentation of case studies and on-going research will occupy a large share of the allotted time. A small ethnographic exercise will be carried out in groups. Reading materials will be circulated well in advance among participants, ensuring that they arrive at the meeting with a strong shared background.

The Summer School draws on the expertise of the Department of Sociology at the University of Trento in the study of urban sociology, urban cultures and territorial analysis. It is co-organized and supported by the Italian ethnography journal Etnografia e Ricerca Qualitativa and the independent publisher professionaldreamers.

About the Cover Picture
The cover picture has been taken from Helicotrema Project performed in Venice in  2013 by the Blauer Hase Collective ( The project proposes a series of sonic pathways comprising sound works, audio plays, audio documentaries, soundscapes, experimental poetry and various formats based on the acoustic component and aims to create site-specific listening situations, experimenting how the listening experience can be enriched and adapted to different urban contexts.
The project has also been published in lo Squaderno webzine n. 28 (