2023 Field Training School



Montecatini Terme, Tuscany, Italy, 21-27 July 2023

Convenors: Italo Pardo and Giuliana B. Prato, University of Kent, UK

More than half of the world’s population now lives in cities, and this proportion is set to increase to two-thirds by 2050. 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. The socio-economic, political and cultural ramifications of these multifaceted contemporary urban changes highlight the urgent need to understand what is going on in our cities; hence the importance ethnographic research. And the attendant methodological and theoretical questions.

This 7-day Field Training School is aimed at postgraduate students and postdoctoral scholars who are interested in research in urban settings and in empirically-grounded analysis. 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 School is organised and hosted by the International Urban Symposium-IUS in collaboration with an international group of senior scholars from leading universities. It will address key issues; including, legitimacy and legitimation; governance, stereotype and stigma; informality; urban diversity; crisis, emergency and conflict; sport mega-events; rituals; vernacular landscape, heritage.

The School offers an interactive learning environment and opportunities to discuss the rationale and practices of traditional and new research methods and mainstream debates.


The School will include:

  • Thirteen 80-minute Teaching Seminars led by senior scholars, who will use a wide range of ethnographic, methodological and theoretical expertise to address topical issues.
  • A targeted Observational Field Trip will supplement the in-class work. Students will report on the field trip.
  • Student Research Seminar. With a view to honing and developing junior scholars’ skills as future professionals, the Research Seminar 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.

Social events will also take place taking advantage of the centrality of the location within easy reach of Tuscany’s world-renowned iconic places.

Teaching Seminars
Participants are expected to complete the selected readings for the teaching seminars and actively engage in discussion.
Teaching will be in English.

Observational Field Trip
During the structured city walks and observational field trip, students will be asked to take notes in view of producing small groups’ reports on their observations. Two sessions will be dedicated to the students’ presentation, followed by discussion.

Research Seminar
The Research Seminar will give students who are engaged in research:

• The opportunity to present their work and benefit from expert feedback from the teaching staff.
• A chance to produce a publishable article based on original research.
• The opportunity to receive editorial attention from the Editorial and Scientific Board of Urbanities-Journal of Urban Ethnography (https://www.anthrojournal-urbanities.com/) and the Editors and Authors of the book series “Palgrave Studies in Urban Anthropology” (https://link.springer.com/series/14573).

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.


  • The standard fee for the event is €760. This fee will cover single room Hotel Accommodation (B&B and light lunch) for 8 nights (Arr. 20th July, Dep. 28th July), tuition, teaching materials, facilities, internet access, Covid-19-related sanitation, coffee breaks and certificate of attendance.
  • Alternative Accommodation: By arrangement with the organizers, students may be able to share a twin room accommodation. If this option is chosen, the total fee for the event will be €640 per person.

All hotel rooms are en-suite. Travel and other living expenses are not included.


To apply, please download the Application Form here and return the completed Form to the School Convenors, Prof. Italo Pardo at: i.pardo@kent.ac.uk and Prof. Giuliana B. Prato at: g.b.prato@kent.ac.uk


  • Applications will be accepted until Monday 20th March 2023.
  • The outcome of the selection process will be communicated to all applicants by 27th March 2023.
  • Registration Fees should be paid by 1st May 2023.

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