German Historical Institute London

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Education and Urban Transformations

Marginalities and Intersections


9–11 June 2022

Conveners: Indra Sengupta (GHIL), Nandini Manjrekar (TISS Mumbai), Geetha B.  Nambissan (JNU Delhi, retd.),Shivali Tukdeo (NIAS Bengaluru), Sebastian Schwecke (MWFSAS Delhi)
Venue: German Historical Institute London


In its relatively short span of life as a domain of academic inquiry, the discipline of urban studies has developed a research trajectory that is built on diverse theoretical grounds and multidisciplinary perspectives. From governance to critical geography and from architecture to protest art, the contemporary field of urban studies has expanded considerably. Over the last three decades, as cities have become plugged into the global imperatives of smart cities/ world-class cities, the measures of zonation, regulated access and securitization have significantly altered the spatial, social and cultural landscapes of the urban.

Scholars in educational studies have also begun to engage with changing urban landscapes. An important outcome of this engagement is a research field at the intersection of education and urban studies. A growing body of scholarship, developed across different geographical locations, has drawn attention to the significance of these disciplinary conversations. First, this new research frames the urban- education dynamic in terms of broad, pluralistic considerations that go beyond exclusively city-centric considerations. Second, it places historical, social and political factors as essential anchors around which the changes in urban and educational terrains can be understood. Third, a wide range of actors, institutions and practices occupy important positions in the examination of urban issues. Larger questions of mobility, housing, access and quality of schools have become crucial to understand the conditions of living and learning, especially with regard to social and economic marginalities in the urban context. These issues have been part of our research collaboration that was steered by German Historical Institute London through its India Branch Office (now the Max Weber Forum for South Asian Studies, New Delhi), partnering with three Indian institutions (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai; and National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru). The collaboration sought to foreground a research agenda connecting questions of education, historical development of urban forms, urban/social restructuring and marginalization among others. The development of a series of working papers and organization of panel discussions, workshops and master classes and building a repository of literature are some of the important ways in which we have taken our collaboration forward. The international conference to be held at the GHIL on 9-11 June 2022 marks the completion of the current phase of our research collaboration and is expected to provide frameworks for taking our research concerns forward in the future.

The keynote lecture "Reimagining Education for the Common Good: Interrogating Key Intersectionalities in Pursuit of a Twenty-first Century Praxis" will be given by William T. Pink (Emeritus Professor, Marquette University, USA), on Thursday, 9th June, 5-6.30pm. This lecture is open to a small external audience. If you are interested in taking part, please contact Indra Sengupta ( Places are limited so please let us know if you are unable to attend.

Enquiries on the conference should be address to Indra Sengupta ( at the German Historical Institute London.

Conference poster (PDF file)

Conference programme (PDF file)

Conference report (PDF file)