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Urban Studies

Urban Studies

Urban Studies takes an interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and transnational approach to studying all those social, cultural, economic, and political issues that intersect in urban space.

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Urban Studies is grounded in the politics of space and place-making. Examinations of how meaning is imposed on space—and by whom—are crucial to the study of global and transnational urban contexts.

The Urban Studies minor:

  • explores the histories of social, economic, and political transformations within urban spaces and within the steady flow of people around the world from rural to urban environments
  • examines interpersonal, collective, and structural forms of both peace and conflict that lead to the “urban condition"
  • examines the historical and social dynamics that produce “urban life” through power relationships of race, gender, class, sexuality, nation, religion, and more

Within the Urban Studies minor, we explore:

  • public art and public practice
  • particular manifestations of crime and justice in urban spaces
  • the economics of urban wealth and poverty
  • the effects of the urban space on individual and community health
  • social programs and policies born within and for the urban space
  • industrialization and de-industrialization
  • geographic thought and imagination
  • education
  • transnational justice and the global sustainability of urban environments

Urban Studies examines city space as a product of histories and processes initiated by all sorts of actors and bodies, from official state policies to localized collectives and communities. To this end, we encourage experiential learning at any of these levels, and welcome creative approaches to engagement. We support community-engaged learning locally as well as internationally, and we are happy to talk to with you about how to fit Urban Studies into your current field in the most productive and energizing way possible.

The interdisciplinary minor will complement your other studies. Your knowledge of diverse cultural, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds will be valuable across fields, expanding your career opportunities. Choose from classes covering a wide range of topics including the history of cities, urban politics and economics, and literary representations of cities. 

The Urban Studies minor works well in conversation with many other majors, because it opens up new landscapes marked by growth, industry, wealth and poverty, social innovation, strategic development, balance and imbalance, environmental justice, new visions of spatial justice, and much more. For those hoping to understand, work within, or transform the urban space, the Urban Studies Minor will open up new perspectives, problems, and possible futures.

  • Honors College: take advanced courses, pursue research, and be part of a community of scholars
  • Study Abroad: earn academic credits and gain a global perspective on your field
  • Undergraduate Research: faculty work with students on cutting-edge research projects
  • University Studies: gain the benefit of a broad university education to enhance your knowledge and skills

Contact

Erin Krafft

Assistant Professor
Crime & Justice Studies
Liberal Arts 399B

508-999-8962
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Heather Turcotte

Associate Professor
Crime & Justice Studies
Liberal Arts 399I

508-999-8744
hturcotte@umassd.edu


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