UCL European Institute


Dr Uta Staiger leads SELCS Turing Summer School in Barcelona

3 July 2024

European Institute Executive Director Dr Uta Staiger taught the summer school, offered by SELCS, this June.

Barcelona summer school 2024

This June, the European Institute’s Executive Director Dr Uta Staiger has led a summer school for UCL students exploring the city of Barcelona. Entitled ‘Barcelona: Spectacles and Speculations’, the module constitutes one of three credit-bearing summer schools to and about European cities offered this year to students by UCL’s School of European Languages, Culture and Society (SELCS). 

Funded under the UK's Erasmus successor Turing, the summer school explored constructions and contestations, districts and divisions, spectacle and speculation, which all characterise Barcelona in one way or another. With recourse to the history of urban planning, literary texts, film, non-fiction material, and academic literature from a variety of disciplines, Dr Staiger led students on an exploration of the continual building and rebuilding of the city from the 1880s to today. 

In addition to seminars at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, who hosted the summer school, the group ventured out for site-specific activities to situate and broaden discussions. These included a roundtable with translators, an object-finding mission to the Mercat dels Encants, a visit to a literary agency, guided walks, museum visits, and so on. 

With the taught part of the module completed, the students have now embarked on two weeks of self-guided study in Barcelona, during which they will research and begin writing their coursework. 

La reforma de Barcelona!… Quan un barceloní, quan qualsevulga català, pronuncia o escriu aquestes paraules, posa en elles tot son poder d’ensomni, tota la impaciència de la seva vocació per les creacions enèrgiques. 

The reform of Barcelona!... When a citizen of Barcelona, when any Catalan, pronounces or writes these words, he invests them with the full power of his imagination, with the impatience of his calling for vigorous constructions. 

                (Eugeni d’Ors)