Accessibility Tools

Skip to main content

Sara Maani

Studente

Embodied Consciousness of the Situated Knowledge – The experience of a PhD in two places

I am a PhD candidate in Urban studies, based in the Urbeur Doctoral School in the Department of Sociology and Social Research at the University of Milano-Bicocca. I’ve been a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago, USA, from 2019 for more than two years.

My name is Sara Maani. I am a PhD candidate in Urban studies, based in the Urbeur Doctoral School in the Department of Sociology and Social Research at the University of Milano-Bicocca. I’ve been a visiting scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago, USA, from 2019 for more than two years.

My main academic studies include a B.A. in Sculpture (Tehran University, Iran); B.A. and M.A. in Architecture (Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy and RWTH university of Aachen, Germany); and post- graduate diploma in Critical theory of society (University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy).  Previously, I’ve been a visiting scholar at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

My PhD dissertation titled “Refugee, agency, city” is a research at the intersection of critical urban theories and migration studies. It grows out of an ethnographic research, motivated by a search for collective practices of refugees and grassroots solidarity groups in making claims to urban space. 

Conducting my PhD dissertation in two different geographical locations and academic settings has contributed to an understanding of the theoretical issues I am dealing with in a way which goes beyond the abstract theoretical level, and brings an embodied consciousness through my lived experience. Particularly, being in the States, with an attention that a part of the canons of urban studies have been produced with an Anglo-American hegemony, I can get a better sense of how and why those theories have been produced the way they are, by observing the life of people and places from within those contexts. Similarly, I can better grasp the significance of the situatedness of the knowledges, as well as how the knowledges and knowledge-building practices transform when they travel from one place to the other.  Furthermore, working on migration, observing the dynamics of migration governance across different locations shed light on patterns of similarities and differences.

The lockdown had been an obstacle for the ethnographic work I was managing to conduct in the new place, especially as I have been in the phase of building relations and trust to enter the field. I had to re-design parts of the research with a strategic plan to simplify the field work and concentrate on deepening the project in its other aspects. At the same time, it was paradoxically offering the possibilities of engagement with some parts of the projects in Italy which I was previously engaged with.  Although not comparable to direct engagement and participation in place, the digital access had surpassed a part of the geographical distance, and led to a continuation of engagement through digital ethnography. 

All in all, conducting one PhD in two different places can be very challenging, especially when the two academic systems are very different. However, I think the exposure to different settings can provide the potential for a situated vision of the knowledges we are dealing with and we produce. 

Sara Maani

Studente

Condividi l’articolo 


Articoli correlati

Il ruolo di UNIMIB nello studio della sindrome di Schinzel-Giedion

La Sindrome di Schinzel-Giedion (SGS; https://sgsfoundation.org/) è una rara patologia caratterizzata da grave ritardo di sviluppo, progressiva atrofia cerebrale, anomalie scheletriche e multiorgano ed epilessia. La maggior parte dei bambini affetti muore nella prima decade Read more

Embodied Consciousness of the Situated Knowledge – The experience of a PhD in two places

My name is Sara Maani. I am a PhD candidate in Urban studies, based in the Urbeur Doctoral School in the Department of Sociology and Social Research at the University of Milano-Bicocca. I’ve been a visiting scholar Read more

Being a member of the DoSSIER ITN Project

My name is Georgios Peikos, and I am from Greece. I studied Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Democritus University of Thrace, where I obtained my Master’s degree. During my studies, I had the opportunity Read more

Sfoglia l'edizione digitale

Sfoglia l'edizione digitale

Ottobre 2023
Giugno 2023
Maggio 2023