Home and Belonging

Urban Studies: Between Creativity and Power 

Summer Symposium: 26 July – 2 August 2020

Oslo, Norway

All the important updates and detailed information about the NSU Summer Session can be found here: 


We invite scholars, emerging researchers, urban practitioners, artists and creative industries specialists, institutional representatives and non-governmental sector activists to take part in a symposium organized by the NSU study circle Urban Studies: Between Creativity and Power. The symposium will offer an opportunity to take part in stimulating presentations and discussions to co-produce knowledge by sharing research and practical experiences and discovering innovative theoretical and methodological approaches to the everyday life in the city. 

Theme of the symposium: 

Home and Belonging

The participants are invited to address the meaning of home, which is complex and multifaceted in the times of extended mobility and nomadic practices (migration, tourism, multiple homes, homelessness etc.). Home as a construct has a deep emotional meaning and often intertwined with nostalgia emerging from childhood memories, feeling of comfort, privacy, attachment, security and belonging. Losing one’s home can feel like losing one’s self. However, home can also have conflicted or variable meanings presenting tensions, alienation and exclusion. Recently, home has also experienced certain transformations with all kinds of integrated media as, for example, can be evidenced in the “smart home/house” and the “home-office”, thus overlapping with other places and spaces. The topics of exploration include, but are not limited to: 

  • what counts as home;
  •  how home is lived and experienced by people as a place
  • the significance of home as a space;
  • the accessibility/inaccessibility of home; 
  • how power dynamics and socio-economic conditions impact the concept of  home;
  • how technology can influence how and where we feel at home; 
  • how home is gendered and contested.

Format of the presentation

We encourage participants to do both traditional and non-traditional presentations. 

1) Presentation of ideas: 

We strongly encourage giving a free oral presentation rather than reading a paper. We wish to facilitate open debates for sharing and ask for presentations creating platforms for debate. A presentation cannot exceed 20 min; however, shorter presentations are also welcome to provide a catalyst for a discussion around an idea. 

2) Performance, object or alternative forms: 

You can present ideas, examples or reflections through other formats including inviting the participants to engage in experiments, situations, or individual and group activities. Please indicate the optimal time for this form of presentation; however the maximum time is 30 min. 

To submit a proposal, please send it via email to the coordinators Laine Kristberga and Anete Ušča (circle1nsu@gmail.comby 1 May 2020:

  1. A written proposal (max. 350 words). This should include a title and a short description of the topic, its format and its duration.
  2. A short bio (max. 200 words).

If you would like to attend the symposium without presenting, please email a short bio. Participants with presentations will be given priority.

The deadline to submit proposals is 1 May 2020. Accepted applicants will be informed by e-mail and a preliminary programme will be announced on, where you can also find more information about NSU and sign up for the newsletter.

In your application, please let us know if you would like to apply for a scholarship of grand to reduce the participation fees. Full information about the eligibility and application process for scholarships and grants can be found here:

The accepted participants will be notified by the 10 May, including all the relevant details regarding the registration. 

The deadline for registration is 1 June 2020. Please be aware that you are registered only when you have paid for the symposium. All registration and payment will be done electronically.  


Rønningen folkehøgskole, Oslo, Norway

Arrival: July 26

Departure:  August 2

Grants and Scholarships

There are grants and scholarships available for the attendees of the NSU Summer Session. All the additional information about the costs will be published here:

The participation fee for the scholarship holders will be 100 Euros and 120 Euros for the grant holders. The rest of the participation fees will vary between 400 and 650 Euros, depending on the chosen accommodation type. Additional costs will apply for children and accompanying family members. The details regarding the registration and payment will be provided in the acceptance letter.

Please note that the participation fee includes accommodation, meals and cultural programme for the week long stay at the Rønningen folkehøgskole.

In addition to the registration fee, participants will need to pay the Nordic Summer University’s annual membership fee. The membership fee facilitates the existence of the Nordic Summer University, which is a volunteer-based organisation. There are two rates: 

Annual membership fee (for those funded by institutions): €25 

Reduced annual membership fee (all others): €10 

We recommend to apply for external funding through local foundations and sponsors.

Confirmed participants should pay the fee ABSOLUTELY NO LATER THAN 1 JUNE. 

Please note that the registration fee or other costs will not be reimbursed if the participant cancels.


PhD and MA students are eligible for up to five ECTS points for participation and presentation of a paper.

Nordic Summer University (NSU) is a Nordic network for research and interdisciplinary studies.

NSU is a nomadic, academic institution, which organises workshop-seminars across disciplinary and national borders. Since it was established in 1950, Nordic Summer University has organised forums for cultural and intellectual debate in the Nordic and Baltic region, involving students, academics, politicians, and intellectuals from this region and beyond.

Decisions about the content and the organisational form of the NSU lay with its participants. The backbone of the activities in the NSU consists of its thematic study circles. In the study circles researchers, students and professionals from different backgrounds collaborate in scholarly investigations distributed regularly in summer and winter symposia during a three-year period.

Circle 1 Urban Studies: Between Creativity and Power is established to address, evaluate and re-evaluate the understanding of the growing complexity of the urban environment, where people cohabit, share and create a culture of politics, communication, and the arts as much as the public space. Consequently, in the study circle questions of co-existence will be addressed in relation to power hierarchies, cultural production, and urban development initiatives. The circle invites to stimulate and strengthen a dialogue among both established and emerging academics and practitioners from interdisciplinary fields covering philosophy, anthropology, sociology, geography, political science, literature and arts to challenge and develop new knowledge, innovative perspectives and experimental approaches. 

For more information