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Fall 2017 expanded practice seminar:


The College of Architecture, Art, and Planning and the Society for the Humanities announce an innovative graduate traveling seminar for students in the humanities and design disciplines. The Fall 2017 seminar is, “Migration and Discrimination” (ARCH 6308, SHUM 6308, ARTH 6308). Expanded Practice Seminars are offered under the auspices of Cornell University’s Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Collaborative Studies in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities grant. Selected students receive a $1,500 stipend and a funded, week-long travel program to Berlin in Fall 2017.

Expanded Practice Seminars bring students and faculty in the humanities and the design disciplines together around a common and pressing urban issue such as the cultural and material practices induced by national or ethnic divisions; the increasingly leaky taxonomy of the terra firma in areas where land/water boundaries are rapidly changing; and the inadequacy of static zoning models that fail to capture dynamic, urban economics and performance. The intent of the Expanded Practice Seminar is to study complex urban conditions using theoretical and analytic tools derived in equal part from the design disciplines and humanist studies. The Expanded Practice Seminar includes a site visit to experience the conditions under study and meet with local experts, designers, and authorities. This on-site component is a vital and novel aspect of these seminars. The seminar is open to selected students in a range of humanities and design disciplines. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the Expanded Practice Seminar, a wide range of skills and backgrounds are welcome. Advanced undergraduate students may apply, but preference will be given to students in their first three years of graduate study.

Materials to be submitted:
1. C.V.
2. 500–700 word statement of interest describing your background interest in the seminar topic

No letters of recommendation are required.

Applications must be submitted via by May 30, 2017.


SHUM 6308 Expanded Practice Seminar: Migration and Discrimination
Fall.  4 credits. 
Limited to fellowship recipients. 
E. Akcan & I. Dadi
T: 2:30 – 4:25 p.m.

This seminar proposes to triangulate three cities from three different countries to understand the connections between migration and discrimination. Istanbul, Lahore, and Berlin, in the context of Turkey, Pakistan, and Germany, will be the foci of analysis through the perspective of urban humanities fields such as architecture, visual arts, urbanism, and literature.

This triangulation will allow for the de-essentialization of “Muslim countries” as homogenous and fixed places by observing the differences between Turkey and Pakistan. It will also enable critical examination of established perceptions of these places as being fundamentally different from the “West,” by identifying diasporas in Germany, and hybrid formations and translations taking place in between the three sites. Discrimination will be discussed both as a cause and a result of migration: internal problems that compel citizens to emigrate out of their countries will be analyzed in conjunction with ideological constructs that subject them to persistent discrimination in their countries of arrival. Immigration from and through these three cities will be discussed as emblematic of the wider problem of increased contemporary displacement from South and West Asia, and North Africa.

Students will travel to Berlin to pursue on-site research on the historical and current migrant and refugee settlements (such as Kreuzberg and the Tempelhof airport), unaffordable rents and recent gentrification of immigrant areas. This seminar will be held in conjunction with the Architecture option studio about Berlin taught by Werner Goehner (enrollment in the studio is not a requirement for the seminar). The seminar will also bring together scholars working in related fields to offer open lectures, as part of the AAP Critically Now series.

Course Instructors: Esra Akcan (Associate Professor of Architecture, College of Architecture, Art, and Planning) and Iftikhar Dadi (Associate Professor of History of Art, College of Arts & Sciences)