Dignified Spaces in a Plural Europe: On the (In)Visibility of Cultural and Religious Communities in Post-Industrial Cities

This class focuses on politically, socially, and spatially marginalized communities in the urban centers of the UNIC universities and their access to dignified spaces. The students’ task is to locate and visit spaces of religious minorities in their urban environment and to conduct and present a qualitative data collection. The general aim is to compare the situation in four cities (Cork, Rotterdam, Bochum, and Istanbul) and thus expand our analytical horizons of spaces of dignity.

Virtual Place


Start: 14.02.2022
End: 11.04.2022


Koç University , Koc University , Erasmus University Rotterdam , University College Cork

In the period from February to April 2022, students from a wide variety of social sciences and humanities programs out of four UNIC Universities came together for the online seminar “Dignified Spaces in a Plural Europe.” Guided by the professors’ theoretical and methodological input, participants developed their own small-scale research questions regarding the relationship of religious minorities to their (dignified) place. In groups or individually, they collected data about religious minorities in their cities and conducted ethnographic research about these groups. As a result, the individual case studies were discussed with regard to the theoretical concepts of dignity, representation, and visibility.

5 researchers 1 city representative 1 organizers 15 students

Post-industrial cities in Europe often face challenges with regard to cultural and religious diversity. These challenges concern social, economic, political, and other spheres of public life. In this seminar, we looked specifically at socio-spatial and infrastructural conditions of selected religious and cultural minorities in the four UNIC cities Bochum, Rotterdam, Cork, and Istanbul. We considered these cases from the perspective of the question if and how built urban environments afford and impedes dignity and representation of these minorities. Students collected examples and discussed these in light of the guiding research questions. In a CityLab event, they were able to discuss these questions with citizens and representatives from political institutions in Bochum. Some of the students also presented results on the EASR-conference in Cork, taking place in June 2022. This is the annual conference of the European Association for the Study of Religions.

Watch a video on this course here.


UNIC CityLabs | UNIC Superdiversity Academy | UNIC Seed Fund

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Organizing unic universities

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