Urban Studies Summer School

Urban Studies Summer School

Inhabiting the Surrounds: Urbanity, Critique and Speculative Practice

Urban Studies Summer School organised by the Beyond Inhabitation Lab and Urban Transitions Hub 

23-26 September 2024, Turin – 2-6 June 2025, Lisbon

Confirmed keynote instructors
Turin: Ruth Wilson Gilmore (CUNY), Alana Osbourne (Radboud University) and Tatiana Thieme (UCL)
Lisbon: AbdouMaliq Simone (University of Sheffield) and Filip De Boeck (KU Leuven)



What does it mean to think around habitation and its struggles, in a world where every inch of the possible seems to have been colonised by the extractive and expulsive makings of racial, financial capitalism? How to assemble, and engage with, radical modalities of use-value concerning the staples of habitation – addressing housing (in)justice, the expansion of computation, the emergent multiplicity of entities forming ever-complex ecologies, to reimagine a sense of the future in the midst of a planetary crisis? How to re-approach a critique to dwelling praxis grounding it within the generative force of what AbdouMaliq Simone has named the surrounds, “a shape-shifing matrix of spaces, times, and practices that exist right now within the turbulent processes of contemporary urbanization”?

We are interested in establishing a conversation with engaged scholars tackling these questions in a number of transdisciplinary ways, and, in particular, we are keen to hear from those who transcend the remit of conventional ‘comparative’ urban approaches, and those who go beyond the rubric of liberal, Western literatures and approaches to understand geographies of struggles in a situated and politically relevant way. Grounded in the ‘collective study’ methodology of the Beyond Inhabitation Lab, and fostered by the long-standing critical tradition of urban thinking adopted by the Urban Transitions Hub, we have joined forces to provide a platform for thinking and exchange around these themes, in the form of a double-event School located in two Southern European cities (Turin and Lisbon).

Structure and eligibility

The School is dedicated to post-doctoral scholars, understood as Post-doctoral researchers, Assistant professors, Research fellows, and anyone else whose Ph.D. title is within 5 years from the award date at the time of the application. We will not accept applications from Ph.D. scholars who have yet to obtain their Ph.D. title.

The School is organised around two distinct moments:

  1. Turin, 23-26 September 2024: the cohort of selected post-doctoral participants will join us in Turin, for a 4-day event organised around three keynote lectures from Ruth Wilson Gilmore (CUNY), Alana Osbourne (Radboud University) and Tatiana Thieme (UCL), and ample (formal and informal) time to discuss the draft paper ideas, and to debate around the theme of the School at large.
  2. Lisbon, 2-6 June 2025: the same post-doctoral participants will join us in Lisbon, for a 5-day event organised around two keynote lectures from AbdouMaliq Simone (University of Sheffield) and Filip De Boeck (KU Leuven), a series of writing workshops with the purpose of building on the collective study initiated in Turin by discussing with the participants their drafts papers, and a day of outdoor urban explorations. 


In applying, participants commit to the production of one individual high-quality academic paper each, which will be considered for inclusion in one or more special issues arising from the School. In detail, this commitment includes:

  • The submission of a long abstract (800 words) at the time of application, upon which the candidate will be selected, also considering their CV
  • Following the Turin event, the production of a 4,000-word draft, which will have to be submitted 3 weeks in advance of the Lisbon event (drafts will be discussed by the instructors and participants during the Lisbon workshop)
  • Following the Lisbon event, the submission of an 8,000-word academic paper for the production of one or more special issues arising from the School, to be pitched to journals such as IJURR, Antipode, EPD (normal peer-review process will apply)
  • If the paper is selected by the organisers for the production of the special issue, the participant commits to following the peer-review process in a proactive and timely manner

What we offer

  • Leading keynote speeches and opportunity to engage with the speakers
  • A curated series of conversations, fostering intellectual exchange and bonding
  • Structured feedback provided to each of the Participants’ papers, with the intent to produce one or more insightful special issues in leading academic journals
  • Lunches and coffee breaks
  • For the Turin event: 3 scholarships of €350 each for selected applicants who could not afford to take part in the School otherwise
  • For the Lisbon event: 3 scholarships of €350 each for selected applicants who could not afford to take part in the School otherwise


The events are free. Transportation to the School locations, dinners and accommodation are not included; for the latter, we will suggest reasonably cheap options for both cities.


We welcome participants whose proposed works are grounded both empirically and historically/geographically, and we will give priority to those writing from the margins of Anglophone academia. Particular attention will be paid to works drawing on critical-race, feminist, and queer approaches to urban habitation and/or those informed by more-than-human, materialist, political-ecological approaches.

Please note that the School is strictly in-person (no online attendance will be possible). The working language will be English.

To apply, fill out the following form by 30th April 2024. We will not accept delayed applications in any circumstance.