UNIC News and Events

Dignified Spaces in European Cities: A Collaborative Online Course

9 Nov 2022
Drawing by MA Anthropology student Ingrid Glen as part of the Dignified Spaces course

UCC lecturer in the study of Religions, Dr James Kapalo, participated in a successful collaborative online course with colleagues from UNIC partner universities led by Dr Martin Radermacher of Ruhr-Universität Bochum together with Dr Katharina Baeur of Erasmus University Rotterdam, Dr Nazli Ozkan and Dr İpek Rappas of Koç University Istanbul. A co-authored article on the course was recently published in 'Mediapolis' journal: Dignified Spaces in European Cities: A Co-teaching Experiment – Mediapolis (mediapolisjournal.com)

The online course, Dignified Spaces in a Plural Europe: On the (In)Visibility of Cultural and Religious Communities in Post-Industrial Cities, was held for graduate and upper-level undergraduate students across disciplines in the four universities, and ran from February to April 2022. 

The central aim of the course was to elaborate on the concept and experience of dignity, particularly what it means for marginalized communities living in plural post-industrial urban cities in Europe. The course co-ordinators said they "started off with the idea that in order to live in and with dignity, religious and cultural minorities need to establish and have their own spaces, infrastructures, and material conditions... When defining “dignified spaces,” we had in mind sites ranging from churches or former factories that are currently used as refugee shelters or mosques, to online prayer sites that connect communities in Europe and North Africa."

Course work involved researching relationships to these spaces via ethnographic research, including non-traditional creative outputs like audio-visual formats, maps, posters, and drawings. 

The course successfully combined some of the corner stones of the UNIC European University alliance initiative: academic collaboration, urbanism and sustainability themes, and virtual exchange. Students benefited from a European University experience from their home university.

You can read more about the course in the journal article, 'Dignified Spaces in European Cities: A Co-Teaching Experiment', found online here: Dignified Spaces in European Cities: A Co-teaching Experiment – Mediapolis (mediapolisjournal.com)

If you are a UCC staff member interested in learning more about UNIC and academic collaboration opportunities, please email unic@ucc.ie.

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