2007-2008 Seminar Series


Seminars / 2007-2008 VESPA

A program for experimentation, reflection and discussion of the urban scholar…


The laboratory for research on the city and political spaces (Ville et Espaces Politiques), Canada Research Chair in Urbanity, Insecurity, and Political Action, invite you to participate in a reflection program on urban exploration and qualitative research methods. By experimenting with multimedia and multisensory tools, this program attempts to observe ourselves as researchers that observe. TO OBSERVE is to look, note, record, photograph, and film so as to collect qualitative data on the city. TO OBSERVE is not only to look, but it is also to feel, taste, touch, and listen to the city. TO OBSERVE, is to position oneself as a researcher, and it is also to experience the city with all one’s senses so as to better understand it. 


An activity is planned for Wednesday and Friday afternoon at the Urbanization Culture and Society Centre of the INRS, 385, Sherbrook Street East, Montreal. Bring Your Own Sandwich.


March 20 2008 | Afternoon Seminar

“The Skin of the City” by David Howes, Professor at the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Concordia University


Professor Howes’ work deals with the anthropology of the senses, the anthropology of consumption, legal anthropology and Canadian Studies. He is editor of Empire of the Senses, the Sensual Culture Reader published by Berg, and is director of the Concordia Sensoria Research Team (CONSERT). He also headed the Ressentir la ville colloquium, organized by and held at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in 2005. His conference was entitled The Skin of the City. Professor Howes’ presentation will be preceded and followed by two short films, Room 11 : Ethiopia Hotel and Roman Postcards, screened in collaboration with the Ethnographic Film Festival of Quebec.


Room 11 : Ethiopia Hotel, by Itsushi Kawase, 23 min, 2007, Japan. Filmed exclusively from the director’s hotel room, the camera seeks to capture a moment in the life of kids living on the streets of Gondar (Ethiopia) – and in particular the interaction between two kids and the director himself.


Roman Postcards, by Silvia Gigliodoro, 21 min, 2007, Italy. This short film is entirely shot at night at a park in Monte Caprino, situated in the heart of Rome, where the homosexual community meets daily. The woman holding the camera tries to pierce the mystery of this park well-guarded form social codes and taboos.


Listen to the city to better see it


February 1, 2008 | Afternoon Seminar

“The Staging of Urban Spaces : A Photographic Approach to the Subject’s Experience” by Sylvie Miaux, INRS-UCS


January 30, 2008 | Experimentation | Cancelled

A screening of images of the city with various superposed sound tracks.


see the beauty of the city


January 18, 2008 | Afternoon Seminar

“The Situationist Critic of the Modern City : Unitary Urbanism and Psycho-Geography”, by Rémy Barbonne


January 16, 2008 | Experimentation

CinéRobothèque, NFB, 1564 St-Denis Street, 1:30-4:30 PM

Screening of the film “In the City” by Catherine Martin (2006)

This film tells the story of how four people meet, walk around the city, and see different things, according to their life journeys. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the director, who will present her thought process.


Touch the city : a different view oN urbanity


November 23, 2007 | Afternoon Seminar

“Experiencing the City through Multimedia” by Paul Landon, UQÀM


November 21, 2007 | Experimentation

Meet at St Louis Square (St-Denis Street) at 1:30 PM

A journey in the streets of Montreal – Blindfold

Teams made up two – one “walker” and one “reporter” – stroll down St-Denis Street in the Latin Quarter (from Saint-Joseph Boulevard to Roy Street). On the way there, the “walker” utters what she/he perceives of the city and the “reporter” notes and observes the gestures and the hesitations of her/his partner. On the way back, the roles are reversed. Required Material : A piece of cloth to cover the eyes will be made available for the participants on location.


Taste the city


October 19, 2007 | Afternoon Seminar

“Cosmopolitan Tastes : The Contested Status of Inter-ethnic Culinary Exchanges in the City”, by Martha Radice (INRS-UCS)

“Oral History, Urban Exploration and the Aesthetics of De-industrialization”, by Steven High (Canada Research Chair in Public History, Concordia University)


October 17, 2007 | Experimentation

Meet at the corner of St-Laurent and Viger Street at 1:30 PM

"Project 55 : A Historical Audio Tour of Ethnic Communities along Saint-Laurent Boulevard"

Produced by Nancy Rebelo and Jasmine St-Laurent, Concordia University, Public History, under the direction of Professor Steven High

The guided audio tour will begin in Chinatown and finish in Little Italy (corner of Saint-Laurent and Jean-Talon Streets). Material Required : Audio-guide (mp3 folder) and the booklet that describes the project (35 pages). The material is available on the Project 55 website.

VESPA in 360 News

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