Conference: Elite Formation, Consumption and Urban Spaces (Tagung), 26. – 27.11.10, Berlin

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Elite Formation, Consumption and Urban Spaces (Tagung)

Cultural Perspectives on African Decolonization

During the second half of the twentieth century the African continent was shaped not only by political but also by social and cultural change and crisis. In the rapidly growing cities, new social spaces and groups emerged. These actors often portrayed themselves as ‘modern’, and their emerging social practice not only mirrored this change but also played an active part in moving the boundaries of social distinction in colonial societies – between new elites, traditional elites, urban middle classes and workers as well as Europeans. This transcending of boundaries can be explored in many different ways. New marketing strategies for consumer products and luxury goods, promising a career, success, and high social status, aimed at urban elites and middle classes. Political imaginations were debated in the press; in clubs and associations an emerging collective identity could be negotiated. New cultural codes in language, clothing, behavior, leisure time and sociability evolved, at times challenging the colonial order. Focusing on the practice and discourse of African actors, the conference looks at decolonization not only as a political but also as a profoundly cultural process, and seeks connections between both approaches. The conference will be held in English.

Visitors are welcome. We kindly ask you to announce your participation by sending a mail to by 15th November 2010.

The conference is organized in cooperation with the International Research Centre “Work and Human Life Cycle in Global History”.


Friday, 26.11.2010

16:00-17:30: Enrolment

17:30-18:30: Address of welcome and introduction: Andreas Eckert/ Regina Finsterhölzl/ Daniel Tödt (Berlin)

18:30-20:00: Keynote by Sean Nixon (Essex): Cultural Intermediaries or Market Device? Some thoughts on conceptualizing advertising

20:00-22:00: Reception

Saturday, 27.11.2010

10:00-12:00: Panel 1 “Consumption and Advertising”

Senior Discussant: Hans Peter Hahn (Frankfurt)

Andrea Scheibler (Oxford): Materiality and sociality in late colonial Nairobi: consumption, contestation and the Tai Tai class

Regina Finsterhölzl (Berlin): Advertising, decolonization and social change in Ghana, 1940-1970

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Simon Heap (Woking): Marketing Modernity. Star Beer in Nigeria, 1949-1966

12:00-13:00: lunch break

13:00-15:00: Panel 2 “Elite formation and sociability”

Senior Discussant: Michael Pesek (Berlin)

Jean-Herve Jezequel (Bordeaux): Living like and ‚Educated Man‘. Ponty Graduates’ cultural repertoires in Colonial West Africa, 1930s-1950s

Daniel Tödt (Berlin): ‘Quelle sera notre place dans le monde de demain?’ – Discourse and Sociability of the ‘Évolués’ in Belgian Congo, 1945-1960

Dominique Connan (Florenz/Paris): ‘Multiracialism’ and the Socialization of the African Elites in Late Colonial Nairobi: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of the United Kenya Club, 1946-1963

15:00-15:30 coffee break

15:30-17:00: Panel 3 “Staging Decolonization? Urban spaces of change”

Senior Discussant: Andreas Eckert (Berlin)

Jinny Prais (New York): ‘Do Gold Coast Youth Think?’ The Struggle to Define a New Urban Aesthetic and Modernity in Colonial Accra, 1930s

Susann Baller (Basel): Urban Youth and Decolonization in Senegal: Sport and Culture Clubs in the 1950s and 1960s

17:00-17:30: coffee break

17:30-18:30: Final comments by Dmitri van den Bersselaar (Liverpool/Berlin)

Contact information:

Regina Finsterhölzl / Daniel Tödt
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Tel: +49-(0)30-2093-4984
Fax: +49-(0)30-2093-4893

CfP Deadline: 01.11.2010 The Third Graduate Student Conference on the History of American Capitalism: “Capitalism in Action”

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From: Jeremy Zallen <>

This is a reminder that submissions for The Third Graduate Student Conference on the History of American Capitalism are due November 1, 2010. Interested graduate students should email a 750-word abstract and a C.V. to For additional details, please see below.

Please help circulate to interested colleagues and students:


The Third Graduate Student Conference on the History of American Capitalism:
“Capitalism in Action”

Harvard University | Cambridge, MA | March 4th-6th, 2011
Sponsored by the David Howe Fund for Business and Economic History at Harvard University.

Keynote Speaker: Jackson Lears

Discussions of American capitalism often uncritically rely on loaded but abstract terms, from “markets” to “capital.” This conference aims to bring together emerging scholars who are interested in interrogating the nitty-gritty details of how capitalist systems have been imagined, constructed, maintained, altered, and challenged by an array of different historical actors in the United States and across the globe.  What does “the economy” look like once we shift our focus from intangible market models towards the concrete workings of capitalist society and culture? In this conference, we hope to expand our understanding of American history by analyzing many different moments of “capitalism in action.”

We welcome papers by fellow graduate students from many different fields, such as cultural, social or business histories of capitalism.  We encourage papers on a range of diverse topics. Possible paper subjects could include anything from mortgage-backed derivatives, land speculation and the geography of garbage to corporate personhood, consumer branding and the political economy of baseball. We welcome the submission of panels as well.

Interested graduate students should submit a C.V. and a 750-word abstract of their paper (description, significance, sources, current status) to:

History of Capitalism Conference

Charles Warren Center
4th Floor Emerson Hall
Cambridge, MA  02138

The submission deadline is Nov 1st, 2010.  Those selected to present will be notified by Nov 19th and receive a stipend towards travel costs.

For additional information, please see: or email For the websites of previous conferences, please see and

Faculty supervisor: Professor Sven Beckert

Organizers: Nikolas Bowie, Eli Cook, Jeremy Zallen and Caitlin Rosenthal

Jeremy Zallen
G3, History
Harvard University

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Urban Laboratory University College London

The UCL Urban Laboratory, established in 2005, is a university wide initiative to bring together the best urban teaching and research at UCL. Our activities build on the full spectrum of work at UCL across the arts and sciences ranging from civil engineering to film studies, from urban history to the latest developments in architectural design.

Urban research at UCL draws on a rich heritage of ideas including the path breaking insights of figures such as Patrick Abercrombie, Peter Hall, Ruth Glass, Peter Cook and Reyner Banham. The engagement between UCL and wider public debates over the future design and planning of cities is a distinctive feature of our research.

The focus on cities at UCL has a strong international dimension building on extensive networks across Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.

London Seminar Series “Urban Salon”

The Urban Salon is a London based seminar series aimed at scholars, artists, practitioners and others who are exploring urban experiences within an international and comparative frame.

The seminars are informal and open, with relatively short presentations supporting circulated or visual material and plenty of time for discussion. We want to allow the diversity of urban experiences in different contexts to inform thinking about cities; we hope that narratives taken-for-granted in one context will disturb and be disrupted by experiences in other places. Or that accounts of the circulations of people and practices will expose commonalities across apparently quite divergent contexts.

All the while, we want to decentre the dominance of European and North American urban experiences in understanding urbanity, while keeping them in sight, but coming to them through a wider world of cities and urban experience.

We welcome suggestions for future events. Please contact one of the organizers.  General enquiries can be sent to the site moderator Füsun Türetken at fusun.turetken.09 at

Tilburg University, Flemish Free University of Brussels, Estonian Academy of Arts, Manchester Metropolitan University

M.A. European Urban Cultures (Polis)

The M.A. European Urban Cultures (Polis) is a full time, postgraduate degree jointly developed by four European universities; the Tilburg University (Netherlands), the Flemish Free University of Brussels (Belgium), Estonian Academy of Arts (Tallinn, Estonia) and the Manchester Metropolitan University (UK).

Polis offers a specialist programme aimed at graduate students from Europe and elsewhere with undergraduate degrees in subject areas such as the social sciences; cultural and leisure studies; art, design and architecture; urban theory and planning; cultural marketing and management. The course is also targeted at professionals and administrators eager for the latest experiences, ideas and insights in urban cultural policy.

The minimum requirements for entry are related undergraduate diploma or degree, together with good proficiency in English.

The main topics include:

  • European cultural policies
  • popular cultures
  • theory and practice of urbanism
  • urban regeneration
  • cultural consumption
  • cultural management
  • creative industries
  • cultural and leisure theory
  • globalisation and the city
  • reading the city

The students will acquire the skills to evaluate urban cultural policies from the perspective of the latest expertise in urban and cultural theory. Furthermore, they will be able to formulate innovate strategic plans, aimed at combining and mutually strengthening interests of local cultural creativity and urban development. The course will develop expertise in urban cultural planning and policy, from a strategic, European perspective.

Darmstadt University

Urban Studies (MSc)

The urban studies program at Darmstadt university was launched in April 2007. It offers a number of different study opportunities to prepare the participants to meet the new challenges resulting from advancing globalization and the need for participatory governance, poverty reduction and interdisciplinary networking. The courses are innovative through its modular structure and its faculty composed of the best experts and academics available worldwide.

The umbrella of the different course options is the 2-years master’s course  ‘International Cooperation and Urban Development’  which awards an advanced diploma. Students who are not available for the full period may obtain a diploma certificate after one year, or a specialization certificate for individual modules that take one or two weeks.

Further postgraduate options include a PhD diploma and tailor made training courses in the field of urban development planning and housing.

The MSc. course starts every year in October.  Applications are being accepted any time  until June, 15th of the same year.  In order to be considered in the first selection round, applications should arrive before 1st of December of the year before. For extension of the deadline  please contact  Mrs. Lauren Hammond. Please note that the German Embassy requests a pre-selection procedure in some countries  (i.e. in Vietnam, China)  for which the deadline is in May. Interested persons may either make use of the application form contained in this web site or write to  PAR.

From October 2009 onwards, this Masters course will simultaneously be taught at the Vietnamese-German University in Saigon (VGU). This makes it possible for students from the Darmstadt course to attend the same classes in Vietnam for one semester or less.

Since 2008, ‘International Cooperation and Urban Development’ is part of the ERASMUS MUNDUS program – the Higher Education program of excellency of the European Commission. For details see This programme combines the Darmstadt ‘urban-studies’ program with different specialization options in Rome, Barcelona or Grenoble and grants a double degree at the end of the two years course.

Please also consult our other web pages


Sommerschule 25. – 29. Juli 2010 Diskurs und Raum in Erlangen

Humangeographische Sommerschulen Gesellschaft und Raum

Die Vorstellung gegebener Räume wird seit einigen Jahren in der Humangeographie aber auch in zahlreichen benachbarten Sozial- und Kulturwissenschaften hinterfragt.

Nicht zuletzt mit dem cultural turn in der Geographie und dem spatial turn in den Kultur- und Sozialwissenschaften werden Konzepte diskutiert, die sich für die diskursive Herstellung und Reproduktion von Räumen bzw. von Regionalisierungen interessieren.
Die Sommerschule „Diskurs und Raum“ bietet DoktorandInnen und fortgeschrittenen Studierenden der Geographie und benachbarter Kultur- und Sozialwissenschaften eine Einführung in Theorien der raumorientierten Diskursforschung, führt in Ansätze der empirischen Operationalisierung ein und gibt Hilfestellungen für die Konzeption eigener Forschungsprojekte. Getragen wird die Sommerschule von einer Gruppe DiskursforscherInnen, die seit mehreren Jahren im Wissenschaftsnetz „Diskursforschung in der Humangeographie“ kooperieren und die 2009 gemeinsam das Handbuch „Diskurs und Raum“ herausgegeben haben.

University College London

Urban Studies (MSc)

This unique course is a collaboration between four UCL faculties (the Bartlett; Arts and Humanities; Engineering; and Social and Historical Sciences).  Students take two core modules in “Urban imaginations” and “City, space and power” and then choose further courses from over twenty optional modules ranging from research training (for the dissertation) to specialist modules such as “Creative cities”, “Spatial planning”, “Urban design”, “Asian cities in a globalizing South”, “Italian cinema and the city”, and “Post-colonial theory and the multicultural city.” This advanced interdisciplinary programme is aimed at two main groups of students:  first, students from a professional background who wish to take an opportunity for critical reflection and skills enhancement for their career development; and second, students who wish to consider embarking on a research career in the urban field and see the MSc as a useful first step towards independent writing and research at PhD or postdoctoral level. Entry requirements are the equivalent of a first or upper-second class degree. Full time, part time and flexible study options are available.

Graduate School of Social Sciences, University of Amsterdam

Urban Studies (MSc)

In the academic year 2010-2011 the Master’s programme Urban Studies will cease to exist.
Instead, within the Urban Studies domain students can choose for

  • the track Urban Sociology as part of the regular Master’s programme Sociology;
  • or for the track Urban Geography as part of the regular Master’s programme Human Geography;
  • or for the Master Urban and Regional Planning.
  • Besides, students can apply for the Research Master Metropolitan Studies if they comply with the specific requirements.

Refer to
Urban Sociology (see Stadssociologie)
Human Geography (see track Urban Geography)
Urban and Regional Planning (Planologie)
Metropolitan Studies

UNICA Euromaster in Urban Studies


The urban Millenia has arrived. Now the majority of the world’s population lives in cities. Urban culture is reshaping the world. Urbanisation and globalization are two sides of the same coin

4CITIES is a two-year interdisciplinary master’s programme in urban studies, organised within UNICA, the Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe, financially supported by the European Commission

4CITIES incorporates sociology, geography, history, cultural studies, and humanistic urban studies

4CITIES will present you with ways of analyzing and understanding the specific character of cities. Thus, it will prepare you to participate in the resolving of urban problems and the invention of new strategies to describe and address the process of globalization

4CITIES offers you the possibility to study on location, to go from capital to capital as a group, starting in Brussels, moving on to Vienna, then Copenhagen, and finishing the programme with an intensive course in Madrid. Fieldtrips to other cities are part of the curriculum during each stay

4CITIES requires that you take your exams at the end of each semester. The majority of the final semester will be situated at the location of your own choice, relevant to your work in your master’s thesis

4CITIES opens your possibilities for you to work on urban problems in both the private or public sector. Potential job fields are: urban policy advising, project management, planning, research, teaching, and media

Registration is now open for 2010-2012. For more information on applications, please click  here