2024 Field Training School



Montecatini Terme, Tuscany, Italy, 21-27 July 2024

This annual Training School is organised and hosted by the International Urban Symposium-IUS in collaboration with an international group of senior scholars from leading universities.

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 an intensive exercise aimed at postgraduate students, postdoctoral scholars and practitioners who are interested in research in urban settings and in empirically-grounded analysis. The primary aim is to train participants in the ‘art’ of conducting ethnographic fieldwork,  develop the link between ethnographically-based analysis and social theory and bring out the relevance of such analysis to the broader society.

The School will address key issues, including legitimacy and processes of legitimation; governance;  urban diversity; stereotype and stigma; application and challenges of new technologies; informality; sport and health; mega-events and security; crisis, emergency and conflict; rituals; public space, vernacular landscape, heritage.

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

Participants will become part of an international network, establishing long-lasting connections with both other participants and 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 and seminar discussions will be in English.  The School will include:

  • Teaching Seminars led by senior scholars, who will use a wide range of ethnographic, methodological and theoretical expertise to address topical issues. Participants are expected to complete the selected readings provided before the start of the School and actively engage in discussion.
  • Targeted  Observational Fieldtrips will supplement the in-class work. During structured city walks and observational fieldtrips, participants will be asked to take notes in view of producing brief reports on their observations, to be discussed by the group.
  • Research Seminars. With a view to honing and developing junior scholars’ skills as future professionals, the research seminar will give participants the opportunity to present their work, engage in academic debate and benefit from expert feedback from the teaching staff. Feedback on how to revise oral presentations for publication will be provided to seminar papers at an advanced stage. It is anticipated that expanded and revised versions of select Seminar papers will be published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Urbanities-Journal of Urban Ethnography.


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

In the Application Form please provide:

• A brief description of research interests;
• A 300-word abstract of a proposed paper to be presented during the Research Seminar.


  • The standard fee for the event is €850. This fee will cover single room Hotel Accommodation (B&B) for 8 nights (Arr. 20th July, Dep. 28th July), light lunch, tuition, teaching materials, facilities, internet access, coffee breaks and certificate of attendance.
  • Alternative accommodation: By arrangement with the organizers, participants may be able to share a twin room accommodation. If this option is chosen, the total fee will be €730 per person.

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


We encourage candidates to apply for funding from their university or other funding institutions. Although the organizers have applied for funding, in the present climate of ongoing funding cuts in the social sciences, there is no guarantee. Should funding become available, the organizers will inform accepted candidates. Priority will be given to low-income applicants.


  • Applications will be accepted until 18th March 2024.
  • The The outcome of the selection process will be communicated to all applicants by Friday 5th April 2024.
  • Registration Fee should be paid by Monday 13th May 2024.


  • TRAVEL Information: Montecatini Terme is easily reachable by train and by air. Details on travel information are available here
  • VISA Information: Italy is in the EU Schengen area, so Schengen Visa rules apply to enter for the purpose of IUS events. Further information and relevant links are available here