Cities Alive the Podcast

The Cities Alive Podcast is an innovative new project that brings a fresh urban approach to exploring how we understand the places we live in.

The planning and Design Centre is excited to announce the launch of its new podcast, Cities Alive: Brining the City to Live with Stories. Cities Alive is a fun, evocative and accessible way to learn about what’s going on at the forefront of urban planning design. The podcast crosses disciplinary boundaries to bridge the gap between profession and public. We invite you to take a listen and share with your colleagues and friends.

To listen, click here:

ITUNES: Cities Alive

Graduate Course: Social Capital, Trust and New Institutional Analysis

Possible interest for Environmental Geography Students.

The course is listed as “Sociology 505A – Tutorial in Social Theory”.  It is neither a tutorial, nor is it in social theory. It is a regular graduate seminar and is scheduled to be taught on Tuesday from 1:00 – 4:20 p.m.

Course Description

This Seminar provides an introduction to the theory and methods associated with social capital analysis. In particular:

  • It examines the extent to which social capital is both an attribute of individuals on one hand, and of society on the other.
  • It examines the extent to which social capital is intricately related to other approaches within social analysis, most notably analyses of: (2 trust and distrust at the individual level; and (2) social networks and resilience at the societal level.
  • It provides an examination of the ways in which social capital can be operationalized, both at the individual and societal level.
  • It examines ‘applications’ of social capital analysis in a range of social spheres, e.g. health; community development; climate change.
  • It examines the way in which social capital is associated with inequality, social class and power – the fundamental building blocks of sociological analysis.
  • It examines other perspectives such as New Institutional Analysis and Adaptive Capacity Analysis and how they may be used (conceptually and empirically) in tandem with social capital analysis.
  • It relates social capital to broader issues of the network society, globalization,      economic development, and spaciation in relation to social capital and network analysis.
  • It provides a comparison between analyses of social, cultural and symbolic      capital.

Perhaps of most relevance to you, it provides you with a set of concepts, conceptual frameworks and empirical tools that you can use in your own conceptual and empirical research on virtually any topic you choose.  in particular, it relates individual level analysis to societal level analysis, and qualitative and quantitative analysis. put another way, this is a course that can provide you with a set of conceptual and methodological tools to analyse most empirical topics.

The course assumes that sociological analysis is concept driven. It takes some ‘mid-range’ social theory related to social capital, trust, new institutional analysis, risk, and adaptive capacity and provides you with a framework of conceptual, analytical and empirical tools that will enable you to ‘do’ sociology.

A goal is to provide those taking the seminar with the tools that they can use to develop a research project, using social capital and related forms of analysis.  However, the tools of research conceptualization, design, and measurement that are presented in this seminar are also relevant to those engaged in research projects that may not use social capital analysis.


Possible Interest: Course CSIS 500C

Critical Studies in Sexuality Program
The University of British Columbia
2013 Winter Session

CSIS 500C, sec 001 (3 cr)
2013W Term 2 (Jan-Apr 2014)
Tuesdays, 2-5pm
Allard Hall (Faculty of Law building) B101
Instructor: Dr. Dina Al-Kassim
Sexualities Under Globality: What do we know? How do we know?

Today, publics are more knowledgeable about other sexualities than ever before. Global media saturation is the context for a reconsideration of transnational sexuality studies that puts key texts of the field in conversation with these new knowledges. Transnational sexuality studies critically analyzes networks of power and pleasure in this new global context.

We will read foundational texts of sexuality studies and queer theory (Foucault, Butler, Najmabadi) and assess contemporary flashpoints of global sexualities. Our geographical areas of focus will be Africa, the Middle East, USA and the EU. Our syllabus is interdisciplinary drawing upon writings in medical anthropology, philosophy, queer and feminist historiography, queer theory, critical race studies and contemporary journalism.

Three key nodal points will organize our conversation: HIV/AIDS in Africa, political discourses surrounding sexual violence against women, and provocation activism (Femen, Ni Putes, Ni Soumises, and more). These three nodes force a confrontation with the resurgence of colonial epistemologies and misogyny after anti-colonial struggle, postcolonial critique, and the institutionalization of feminist and queer theory. In South Africa, HIV/AIDS became a flashpoint for anti-colonial and sexually progressive discourses, practices and activisms that were mapped as AIDS denial vs. GLBT activism. Astounding creativity was unleashed by this conundrum of contesting political rhetorics of liberation and a major instrument of international human rights was legislated protecting the rights of GLBT citizens. Today sexual violence against women is resisted by queer positive feminists globally in every language while according to some, the provocations of groups like Femen forms of quasi hate speech. Meanwhile, ethnic studies, critical race studies, gender and sexuality studies have received institutional sanction and their critiques saturate the landscape. Attentive to the ways that institutional knowledge is produced and disseminated we will examine transnational sexuality studies and queer theory in the context of this shifting historical landscape of competing activisms in a global frame. How does political contestation promote change in practices of knowledge formation? What can be learned from these examples where the appearance of a retrograde movement becomes the impetus to progressive change for sexual and gender minorities? How has the inclusion of women and racial and sexual minorities in institutions affected what and how we know the diversity of sexualities?

Requirements: Passionate reading and attachment to discussion. One in-class presentation. One 20pp seminar paper.