Teaching

“The question of this class is: what do you yourself consider normal, what do you see yourself [as having] a right to do, in terms of your house, yard, city? The important thing is not to change the material environment by large-scale projects – it’s not our way, it’s modernism with a classical version of power. Our way is to change the perspective of people, on how they perceive themselves and their right for the city, on what they consider normal, natural. Consume the city, which was created for you by others – or produce it yourself. These are two very different perceptions. If you see yourself [as having] a right to change the urban environment—if you consider this normal and natural—you will act in a different way in the city. And if many people or everyone will be doing it, the city will be changed “from below,” by a process of everyday life of the citizens who will be doing what they consider natural.”

–Participant summarizing the main point of an urban studies workshop led by Dr. Enigbokan at the Center for Independent Social Research, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

For the past seven years, Adeola has taught theory and methods in urban studies, art and sociology within the university and in non-academic contexts, to students with a variety of disciplinary backgrounds and education levels. Her training in art, anthropology, sociology, socio-spatial sciences and historical studies allows her to engage with students of various disciplinary orientations. Her own experience living in multi-ethnic, multi-cultural neighborhoods in cities as diverse as Lagos, Seattle, New York and Moscow has provided her with the ability to recognize students of various cultural and class backgrounds and attune her teaching methods to their specific needs and concerns. This means that she challenge students to work with her to find connections between the social theory they are learning and the local urban contexts in which they are embedded.

At the core of her pedagogical practice is the belief that the city is for everybody, and so knowledge about the intricacies of urban life should be made accessible to all the city’s inhabitants.

To this end, she develops strong programs in community engagement and public pedagogy, which can address a variety of learners and learning styles. She often consults and collaborates with community organizations, like workers unions, activist and artist groups, museums and galleries, neighborhood associations and independent bookstores, to create interesting programming about relevant urban issues. This programming usually includes exhibitions, workshops, lectures, seminars and podcasts, pamphlets and videos and walks.

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