Our team at UIC Barcelona, as in many universities around the world, worked hard to prepare the syllabus for the academic year of 2020/2021 and facilitate a flexible arrangement that would allow all our students to safely attend classes or participate online. Fortunately, almost all of our students have now arrived in Barcelona! As is tradition, the first week of our academic year started with our course “Introduction to Development and Emergency” with Mbongeni Ngulube, an architect, urban designer and alumni of our program, whose research focuses on the impact of diaspora and social movements on development.

Virtual set-up of our classes

The course is a very intensive and deeply theoretical introductory seminar and provides a broad conceptual framework to prepare our students for the upcoming courses, where they will delve into more specific areas of study. According to Mbongeni Ngulube, it is a necessary introduction to the critical thinking that underpins the academic nature of the master’s overall output. As such it covers a broad range of subjects and disciplines with the aim of introducing students to the vocabulary of the master. In this course, our students receive a very brief introduction of the history, nature and process of research to allow them to explore the central subjects Development and Emergency through the lenses of various disciplines including International Relations, Political Economy, Cultural studies and Anthropology. The aim of this course is to give the students a theoretical overview of the main topics of our program: Humanitarianism, Development, Emergency, Sustainability in Post-Disaster and Developmental contexts.

Mbongeni Ngulube is also co-editor of the following books published by our team and UIC Barcelona:

Carmen Mendoza / Mbongeni Ngulube / Raquel Colacios
Architecture UIC 2011

This book discusses and questions very broad contemporary issues of development and its discontents including: Economic, Social and Spatial relationships within the Global North and South. The collection represents multicultural, multi-dimensional and interdisciplinary reflections envisioned as a discussion platform regarding development, cooperation, risk and urban renewal themes, practices and theories.


Carmen Mendoza Arroyo / Mbongeni Ngulube / Ana Cañizares
Architecture UIC 2014

Development in Context features a collection of articles on urban upgrading and other spatial practices in the field of development written by former students and current faculty members of the Master of International Cooperation Sustainable Emergency Architecture at the School of Architecture of Universitat Internacional de Catalunya. The volume takes a broad ethnographic view of the urban poor through discussions on urbanism, and though it explores larger ideas like sustainable development, it does so in reference to specific issues and case studies. In this way, the book moves away from the discourse of development to observe concrete development in the only form it can be acted upon–that is, in context.


Top Image: EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid, Rohingya Refugee Camp in Bangladesh, Photo credit: KM Asad; Creative Commons Licensed




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