Workshop: Palermo, city at the crossroads

Cultural heritage, migration & sustainable development

Date: 18- 30 June 2018

Deadline for application: 15 April 2018

Palermo is a city at the crossroads. Situated at the heart of the Mediterranean, it has always been a meeting-point of cultures: civilizations from Carthage to Rome, from the Arabs to the Normans and from Catholic Spain to modern Italy have all left their mark on the city, leaving a multi-layered cultural heritage that is unequalled in its diversity. But Palermo also stands at a crossroads because, after decades of social and political degeneration, it now experiences a moment of remarkable urban revival. Supported by the municipal government and local grassroots movements, new cultural initiatives and public-private partnerships have taken root, while migratory developments once again underline the centrality of Palermo as a crossroads of civilization. The question that Palermo now faces is which road to take: the one that leads to sustainable urban development and social inclusion of newcomers, or the one that leads to mass tourism and commodification of cultural heritage.

In this workshop, we will explore this problematic from a multifaceted perspective, integrating heritage and tourism studies with urban planning and architecture, (art) history and archaeology, economics, sociology, law and anthropology. The aim of the workshop is to explore in depth the historical, contemporary and upcoming developments of Palermo and to critically analyse the interaction between urban renewal, public-private partnerships and tourism. What are the specific problems and challenges that Palermo is facing, and what do these cases tell us about the wider relationship between cultural heritage, migration and sustainable development in the modern Mediterranean and beyond?

dr. Arthur Weststeijn (UU)

Target group and admission
The course is open to Italian and non-Italia students in all disciplines at BA2/3 or (R)MA level. It welcomes a limited number of students from KNIR partner universities (Universiteit van Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit, Universiteit Leiden, Universiteit Utrecht, Radboud Universiteit, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen). Students from these universities are eligible for a KNIR bursary that covers the expenses for tuition (€ 320) and lodging in Palermo (€300).

Course format and assignments
The course consists of an intensive seminar period on location in Palermo, with lectures, on-site visits and discussions. During the seminar, participants  deliver a group presentation. Before and after the seminar participating students work independently on two written assignments:
– an exploratory literature survey (1.000 words), deadline 11 June 2018
– a concluding essay (4.000 words), deadline 23 July 2018

Credits and assessment
The study load is the equivalent of 6 ECTS (168 hours). Each student should arrange with his/her home coordinator whether the course can be a part of the existing curriculum. After successful completion of the course the KNIR provides a certificate mentioning study load and evaluation.
The study load is based on:
a) Before the seminar in Palermo, independent study of course material and preparatory assignment: 1 ECTS (28 hours)
b) Intensive seminar in Palermo (12 days): active participation, presentation and essay proposal: 4 ECTS (112 hours)
c) After the seminar: essay of max. 4.000 words: 1 ECTS (28 hours)
Assessment takes place on the basis of preparatory study of course material (20%), active participation and on-site presentation (30%), and the concluding essay (50%).

Tuition and lodging in Palermo is free for selected participants from the above mentioned Dutch universities. Travel costs and all personal expenses, including meals, are not included.

Apply before
15 April 2018 via the link below, submitting a motivation letter, a recent C.V. and an updated overview of study results. Applicants will receive notice on their acceptance and the conferral of a KNIR bursary before the end of April 2018.

More info
Phone: (+39)063269621