Academy of Urban Super-Diversity
Akademie der Wissenschaften Berlin 2015


The Academy of Urban Super-Diversity took place at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences from 8-10 April. Organized by the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity under the combined auspices of the European Research Council and the Max Planck Society, the event brought together more than 100 international academics from around the world. The overarching aim of the Academy was to stimulate senior and junior scholars to challenge and to push the ways social scientists conceive and research changing and emergent configurations of urban social complexity, increasingly called ‘super-diversity‘.


The Academy of Urban Super-Diversity was structured in such a way as to offer multiple formats for intellectual engagement of the issues. These included: ‘masterclasses’ offered by twenty of the world’s leading scholars in the field; symposia in which panels of experts collectively discussed key themes; ‘slams’ in which young scholars presented their work in a succinct and highly energized fashion; and ‘findings’ sessions where members of the ‘GlobaldiverCities’ project presented results of their research. Visualizations of urban super-diversity were exhibited throughout the duration of the event, including ethnographic photography, video installations, interactive graphics, and films.

In the afternoon sessions, findings from ‘GlobaldiverCities’, a major five-year research project on urban super-diversity issues in Singapore, Johannesburg and New York, were presented. Project researchers presented findings on each city respectively on each day: Johannesburg, Singapore and New York. The films produced within the framework of this project: — “Everybody is from Anywhere. Hillbrow, Johannesburg” and “Mix, lah. Jurong West, Singapore” were also shown and followed by discussions with the film-maker Doerte Engelkes. (Text: MPI MMG)