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Tarini Bedi to conduct a workshop series in Urban Studies



5 July 2021

How to study the many layers and narratives of the city? How to catch a sight of what is often invisible, reluctant to surface and to manifest, yet ubiquitous? Can we find tools that facilitate the study and enhance the visibility of neighborhoods, tokens of belonging, everyday heritage and mobilities - to mention only a few? What methods can we pull out from our disciplinary toolkits and share across disciplinary boundaries to teach about the changes, experiences, and practices that make up the urban fabric of Kathmandu, Delhi, and Heidelberg? Lastly, how can we study cities affected by the Pandemic in their own ways, keeping in mind that the Pandemic has restricted our access to the “urban field” itself?

The series of thematic workshops on “Studying the City,” developed within the DAAD themed partnership “
Urban Transformation and Placemaking: Fostering Learning from South Asia and Germany” (2020-2023), was designed to respond to these disciplinary challenges. The four short workshops will engage with some key approaches to urban life and mobility developed within the Humanities and will critically reflect on them by combining the reading of texts with discussions and, possibly, participants’ own materials. The series is open to faculty members and advanced students from the three partner institutions involved in the project: the
School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) in Delhi, the
Centre for Art and Design at Kathmandu University (KUart), and the
Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies (HCTS) at Heidelberg University.

The workshop sessions, jointly curated by the teaching staff of the three partner universities, will be co-taught by
Prof. Tarini Bedi, associate professor of Anthropology at the
University of Illinois, Chicago, and presently a guest professor at the
HCTS Chair of Visual and Media Anthropology. Prof. Bedi, already a fellow of the HCTS-based digital archive
Tasveerghar, recently started a four-year collaboration with HCTS professor
Christiane Brosius (Visual and Media Anthropology) in the areas of mobility studies, urban transformations, and media. The collaboration stems from a recent internationalization initiative by the International Office at University of Heidelberg, for which renowned international scholars have been invited to join the HCTS professorships for research and teaching in various disciplinary areas (read the news

Online workshop series program:

Digital Methods | Prof. Tarini Bedi
Curating the City | Sujan Chitrakar (KUart Kathmandu) & Prof. Tarini Bedi

Mapping the City | Dr. Dasgupta (SPA Delhi) & Prof. Tarini Bedi

Walking the City | Prof. Christiane Brosius (HCTS) & Prof. Tarini Bedi

The partnership “Urban Tramsformation and Placemaking,” in whose context the workshop series is located, is part of the “
Shaping Asia” networking initiative coordinated by
Prof. Christiane Brosius (
HCTS Chair of Visual and Media Anthropology) and
Prof. Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka (
University of Bielefeld). The network brings together scholars from the Humanities and Social Sciences working in and on different regions of Asia with the aim of of establishing a platform for collaborative projects focused on Asian societies and cultures. The partnership is also part of the DAAD programme “
Subject-Related Partnerships with Institutions of Higher Education in Developing Countries,” which aims to creating high-quality, effective, and cosmopolitan higher education institutions in developing countries and in Germany by sponsoring curriculum enhancement of partner universities abroad.

This initiative was further made possible through funding from the University of Heidelberg in support of the creation of a “urban lab” research-based teaching structure between Chicago and Heidelberg. Its goal is the development of interdisciplinary research-based teaching modules that can be translated into sustainable structures of collaborative learning and the planning of excursions for faculty and students from the partner institutions.

You can download the poster of the workshop series