CityLAB VIII: Sex, Gender, and the City / Content description

The information below relates to the 2020 summer school and will be updated in October.

CityLAB VIII: Sex, Gender, and the City

How do the various branches of contemporary urban studies engage with theories and cases developed in gender and sexuality studies or queer studies? All of these fields are by definition multidisciplinary and continuously in search of ways to think across boundaries and reconceptualize both individual agency and the social realm.

How might we apply theories of intersectionality to the context of urban identity formations? What happens to the study of urban demographics when identity markers of gender and sexuality interact not only with each other but with a variety of other social markers in a dynamic, open-ended manner? How do such complex and fluid identities interact with or depend upon material spaces?

This summer school is organized by the University of Antwerp’s Urban Studies Institute (USI) in collaboration with the Antwerp Gender and Sexuality Studies Network (A*). It investigates a wide range of critical questions about gendering, sexualizing, and queering urban studies by collecting them around six key terms:

  • History
  • Materiality
  • Migration
  • Sociality
  • Re/presentation
  • Intersectionality

The summer school combines presentations by a range of distinguished external speakers and local staff from USI and A* with discussion seminars and culturally oriented activities.

Have a look at the programme!


Accepted Speakers

Invited Speakers

Scientific and Organizing Committee

For who

Graduate, postgraduate, and PhD students in urban studies, gender and sexuality studies, and queer studies with an interest in interdisciplinary and intersectional thinking.

Target group

The interdisciplinary Urban Studies Institute has the aim to reach all people interested in the city and its many aspects - students, researchers and professionals. This aim is extended to the CityLAB summer schools.

CityLAB's primary target group for 2021 are graduate, postgraduate, and PhD students in urban studies, gender and sexuality studies, and queer studies with an interest in interdisciplinary and intersectional thinking.

CityLAB summer school: cycling in Antwerp
A bicycle trip in Antwerp, CityLAB summer school 2019

Study credits (ECTS)

Successful completion of the summer school can be awarded with 3 credits according the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). Credits will be awarded on the base of:

  • preparatory readings
  • a preparatory reflection paper
  • 100 % (active) participation during the course
  • final presentations


The information below relates to the 2020 summer school and will be updated in December 2020.

Monday 29 June 2020

9.00 a.m.
Registration and welcome with coffee
9.30 a.m.

Introductory session

Nicola Brajato
Alexander Dhoest
Bart Eeckhout
Lara Schrijver
Marion Wasserbauer
(Urban Studies Institute & A*, U of Antwerp)

11.00 a.m.
Coffee break
11.30 a.m.

Focus: History

Danielle van den Heuvel (U of Amsterdam)
& Jonas Roelens (Ghent U)

1.00 p.m.
2.00 p.m.

Focus: Materiality

Gavin Brown (U of Leicester) TBC

3.30 p.m.
Coffee break
4.00 p.m. - 5.30 p.m.

Student flash presentations

(approx. 5 minutes per person)
6.30 p.m.

Opening dinner

Tuesday 30 June 2020

9.30 a.m.

Focus: Re/presentation

Mieke Vandenbroucke (U of Antwerp)

11.00 a.m.
Coffee break
11.30 a.m.

Focus: Materiality

Hannah Rozenberg (architect, London) TBC

1.00 p.m.
2.00 p.m.

Focus: Sociality

Marguerite van den Berg (U of Amsterdam)

4.00 p.m. - 5.30 a.m.

Field trip I 

The sexual history of Antwerp

Guided by Maarten Loopmans (KU Leuven)

8.00 p.m.


(@Cartoon’s) TBC

Wednesday 1 July 2020

9.30 a.m.

Work in progress

Workshop with students and faculty showcasing their work in progress

1.00 p.m.
2.00 p.m.

Field trip II

Gender & sexuality in (Antwerp) fashion

Introduced and guided by Nicola Brajato (U of Antwerp)

5.30 p.m. - 7.00 p.m.


Organized by the City of Antwerp for Summer University participants (@Felix Pakhuis) TBC

Thursday 2 July 2020

9.30 a.m.

Focus: Materiality

Valerie De Craene (KU Leuven)

& Cesare Di Feliciantonio (Manchester Metropolitan U)

11.00 a.m.
Coffee break
11.30 a.m.

Focus: Re/presentation

Frederik Dhaenens (Ghent U)

1.00 p.m.
2.00 p.m.

Focus: Intersectionality

Maria Rodó Zárate (Open U of Catalonia)

4.00 p.m. - 5.30 a.m.

Keynote lecture (open to the general public)


Friday 3 July 2020

9.30 a.m.

Focus: Migration

Lukasz Szulc (U of Sheffield)

11.00 a.m.
Coffee break
11.30 a.m.

Concluding lecture

Talja Blokland (Humboldt U Berlin) TBC

1.00 p.m.
2.00 p.m.

Debating sex, gender, and the city

Concluding roundtable debate

The CityLAB VIII schedule is subject to change.


The information below relates to the 2020 summer school and will be updated in October.

Accepted Speakers

Image of Valerie De Craene, speaker at CityLAB Valerie De Craene (PhD Student in Geography, KU Leuven)

Her doctoral research is situated within geographies of sexualities, and investigates the performances of gender and sexualities in student nightlife in Flanders.


Image of Frederik Dhaenens, speaker at CityLAB Frederik Dhaenens (Assistant Professor in Cinema and Media Studies, Ghent University)

His research is situated within the field of critical media studies and cultural studies, while focusing on queer theory, LGBTQ representation, sex and sexuality, and masculinities in relation to popular culture.


Image of Cesare Di Feliciantonio, speaker at CityLAB Cesare Di Feliciantonio (Lecturer in Geography, Manchester Metropolitan University)

Human geographer working at the intersection of urban geography, political economy, housing, health, and sexualities.


Image of Maarten Loopmans, speaker at CityLAB Maarten Loopmans (Professor of Geography, KU Leuven)

Research topics include: political geography and ecology, urban development and urban policy, social planning, and gentrification.


Image of Maria Rodó Zárate, speaker at CityLAB Maria Rodó Zárate (Postdoctoral Researcher in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Open University of Catalonia)

Main research fields: feminist geographies, geographies of sexualities and of youth, with a special focus on intersectionality theory and the development of new methodologies.

Image of Jonas Roelens, speaker at CityLAB Jonas Roelens (Postdoctoral Researcher in History, Ghent University)

PhD on the persecution and perception of sodomy in the late medieval and early modern Southern Netherlands.



Image of Lukasz Szulc, speaker at CityLAB Lukasz Szulc (Lecturer in Digital Media and Society, University of Sheffield)

Specialised in critical and cultural studies with focus on LGBTQ digital media research at the intersection of identity, nationalism and transnationalism.


Image of Marguerite van den Berg, speaker at CityLAB

Marguerite van den Berg (Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Amsterdam)

She is interested in the urban, gender and work. Her current research focuses on precarization and precarity, especially as seen through the lense of aesthetics.


Image of Danielle van den Heuvel, speaker at CityLAB Danielle van den Heuvel (Associate Professor of History, University of Amsterdam)

Her highly interdisciplinary research centres around the impact of institutions on marginal groups in early modern society, and life in city streets before industrialisation. She explores topics such as the informal economy, women’s work, food markets, and gendered urban spaces.

Image of Mieke Vandenbroucke, speaker at CityLAB ​Mieke Vandenbroucke (Assistant Professor of Linguistics, University of Antwerp)

Her research interests lie at the intersection of sociolinguistics and urban geography with a particular interest in the impact of globalisation and migration on multilingual urban settings in Europe, language policy, nationalist ideologies and histories of conflict, inner-city gentrification and socio-economic stratification.

Invited Speakers

Talja Blokland (Professor of Urban Sociology, Humboldt University Berlin)

Blokland is especially interested in urban inequalities and marginalization processes, place making, neighborhood change and neighborhood cohesion.

Kath Browne (Professor of Geography, University College Dublin)

Her research interests lie in social and cultural geographies, and particular people's spatial experiences of sexualities and genders.

Hannah Rozenberg (architect, London)

Architectural designer who developed a digital tool that calculates the underlying gender bias in English architectural terms, with the goal of creating more gender-neutral environments.