2022 Field Training School



Montecatini Terme, Tuscany, Italy, 18-26 July 2022

Convenors:  Italo Pardo and Giuliana B. Prato

With more than half of the world’s population now living in cities, and this proportion set to increase to two-thirds by 2050, the ethnographic study of life in urban settings is urgent and important. Urbanisation proceeding at such a pace has meant increases in the number and size of cities but also continues to alter the social fabric of urban centres, sometimes in profound ways, leading to new policy priorities (such as the globally encompassing Sustainable Development Goals). ‘States of emergency’ (prompted by violence, pandemics, crises) add a further layer of complexity. These multifaceted contemporary urban changes raise pressing methodological and theoretical questions.

This eight-day Field Training School and Research Seminar is addressed to postgraduate and doctoral students, and to postdoctoral researchers, professionals and practitioners who are interested in ethnographic research and empirically-grounded analysis. It is organised and hosted by the International Urban Symposium-IUS in collaboration with an international group of senior scholars from European, Indian, Middle Eastern and US Universities, who will lead a series of teaching seminars, student research seminars and field trips. Teaching will be in English. Social events will also take place taking advantage of the centrality of the location within easy reach of Tuscany’s world-renowned iconic places.

The School will offer an interactive learning environment and opportunities to discuss the rationale and practices of traditional and new research methods and mainstream debates. Students will have the opportunity to present their own research and receive feedback from leading scholars; and to engage in team work and networking,

The Teaching Seminars will focus on methodological and theoretical debates, benefiting from senior scholars’ wide range of ethnographic, methodological and theoretical expertise to address interrelated topical issues, including:

• urban diversity, migration, informality;
• legitimacy and legitimation;
• governance, stereotype and stigma;
• sport mega-events;
• rituals;
• crisis, emergency and conflict;
• public space, vernacular landscape, heritage, identity.

Participants will be required to complete readings for the teaching seminars and actively engage in discussion during the sessions.

The primary aim is to train students in the ‘art’ of conducting ethnographic fieldwork and develop the link between ethnographically-based analysis and social theory. The in-class work will be supplemented by structured city walks and focused observational field trips during which students will be asked to take notes and, then, produce a field report. Students will work in small groups. Two seminar sessions will be dedicated to the teams’ presentation, with the aim of developing and fine-tuning skills on writing research reports and engaging in the ensuing discussion.

With a view to honing and developing junior scholars’ skills as future professionals, the School will culminate in a full-day Research Seminar that will give students who are engaged in research the opportunity to:

• Present their work, engage in academic debate and benefit from expert feedback from the teaching staff.
• Produce a publishable article based on original research.
• Receive feedback from the Editorial and Scientific Board of Urbanities-Journal of Urban Ethnography, the expert peer reviewers for the journal, and the Editors of the book series “Palgrave Studies in Urban Anthropology”.

Publication. It is anticipated that expanded and revised versions of select Seminar papers will be published in outlets associated with the IUS, including the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Urbanities-Journal of Urban Ethnography.

Students are expected to have a good command of written and spoken English.


Standard fee: €900.
This fee will cover tuition, including teaching seminars, instruction to observational field trips and examination of attendant reports, participation in research seminars; teaching materials; internet access; single room B&B hotel accommodation for 10 nights; coffee breaks; light lunch; certificate of attendance. Travel and other living expenses are not included.

Alternative Accommodation Options:
By arrangement with the organizers, students will also have the opportunity to share twin or triple room accommodation with their chosen colleagues.
Twin room fee: €850 per person.
Triple room fee: €800 per person.


Applications should include:
• Completed Application Form (download the form here)
• A short CV (max 2 pages)
• If applicable, a 250-word abstract of a proposed scientific paper to be presented during the Research Seminar.

Applicants should email the above material no later than 21st March 2022 to the School Convenors:
Prof. Italo Pardo at: i.pardo@kent.ac.uk
Dr Giuliana B. Prato at: g.b.prato@kent.ac.uk

On request, the School will provide an official letter of attendance.


Applications will be accepted until 21st March 2022.
• The outcome of the selection process will be communicated to applicants by 28th March 2022.
Registration Fees should be paid in full by 29th April 2022.

CONTACTSFor further details and additional queries, please contact Prof. Italo Pardo at: i.pardo@kent.ac.uk