Urban Spaces and Cultures (CULT 355)

2023 Spring
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Cultural Studies(CULT)
Cenk Özbay ozbay@sabanciuniv.edu,
Click here to view.
Click here to view.


How do we begin to understand the differences, commonalities, and interconnections between 'World Cities' - such as Cairo, New York, Istanbul or Singapore? This course will provide a critical guide to the diverse ideas, concepts and frameworks used to study such cities. It will explore how city spaces and cultures are constituted, divided and contested, by focusing such topics as: colonial landscapes of power and exclusion, modernist projects of urban renewal and dislocation, 'post-modern' spaces of spectacle and consumption, ghettoes of affluence and poverty, ethnic divisions of labor and informal economies behind the facades of the global capital.


To introduce students to some of the basic concepts which will enable them to understand Istanbul, the city we live in, in comparative perspective with other metropolises in different parts of the world.


  • * Understanding the historical development of the basic concepts in urban studies * Developing a critical understanding of the recent debates in urban studies * Making critical and thoughtful use of a range of primary and secondary sources on cities * Constructing coherent and independent arguments based on critical evaluation of different sources on cities and urban studies * Developing critical reading and writing skills * Being able to analyze how urban spaces are socially constituted, divided and contested * Acquiring the ability to analyze differences, commonalities, and interconnections between ?World Cities?


1. Understand the world, their country, their society, as well as themselves and have awareness of ethical problems, social rights, values and responsibility to the self and to others. 5

2. Understand different disciplines from natural and social sciences to mathematics and art, and develop interdisciplinary approaches in thinking and practice. 5

3. Think critically, follow innovations and developments in science and technology, demonstrate personal and organizational entrepreneurship and engage in life-long learning in various subjects; have the ability to continue to educate him/herself. 5

4. Communicate effectively in Turkish and English by oral, written, graphical and technological means. 5

5. Take individual and team responsibility, function effectively and respectively as an individual and a member or a leader of a team; and have the skills to work effectively in multi-disciplinary teams. 3

1. Develop knowledge of theories, concepts, and research methods in humanities and social sciences. 5

2. Assess how global, national and regional developments affect society. 5

3. Know how to access and evaluate data from various sources of information. 5

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the multiple methodologies and interpret different approaches, concepts, and theoretical legacies in the interdisciplinary field of Cultural Studies. 5

2. Identify interconnections of knowledge within and across the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, literature, visual studies, philosophy, and geography. 5

3. Cultivate a critical approach to the study of culture, articulating the relations between culture, power, and history; exploring cultural diversity and socio-cultural change at the local, national and global level; and exploring the corresponding demands for rights and social justice. 5

4. With the use of appropriate technologies, be able to present advanced oral and written evaluations of developments in the realm of cultural production, consumption, and representation. 5

1. Demonstrate safe working habits and a general understanding of materials and processes in the visual arts. 1

2. Demonstrate knowledge of representational processes using visual as well as audial material as mediums of representation. 1

3. Show working knowledge of the process of transforming abstract/textual concepts into concrete, audio/visual forms. 1

4. Appreciate and express the cultural significance of art and understand its evolution and purposes. 5

5. Develop an awareness of compositional and organizational strategies for the effective deployment of formal elements of visual art. 1

6. Read visual texts with a deep knowledge of art history and theory and the ability of situating the content and form of the visual representation both in a historical and thematic context. 5

7. Employ necessary background knowledge regarding art administration in the body of museums and galleries. 3

8. Show a practical and technical command of materials and methods in one or more media of the visual arts. 1



Low, Setha M, New Brunswick, New Jersey, Theorizing the City, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, New Jersey
King, A.D, London, Representing the City. Ethnicity, Capital and Culture in the 21st. Century, McMillan, London
Keyder, C, New York, Istanbul: Between the Global and the Local, Rowman Little Publishers, New York
Oncu, A.
Weyland, P, London, Space, Culture and Power: New Identities in Globalizing Cities, Zed Books, London