University campuses as places of potential publicness: Exploring the politicals, socialand cultural practices in Ege University
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This paper explores the spatial potentials of university campuses for supporting and sustaining public practices in their premises. Through a socio-spatial analysis of students’ and academicians’ public practices in campus, this thesis questions how the university campuses could tell us about the production of publicness. This study aims to contribute to this growing literature through a case study conducted in the campus of Ege University, which a public university Izmir, Turkey. This thesis brings together two bodies of literature: public space and production of publicness in university campuses. In recent years, universities have increasingly begun to gain general acceptance in public space literature. The focus of this thesis is exploring different forms of publicness at social, cultural and political practices. While the role of universities for the production of publicness in general has been largely discussed in the literature, discussions leave out the question on the types of publicness that may occur in the universities, as well as how such publicness occurs in the university campus and the role that its spatial organization plays on that life. With an aim of integrating two sides of the literature intersecting public space with publicness of university campuses, I elaborate that universities are appropriate for such a connection since they are the public spaces of the educational life and produce a sense of public realm in general. My research method draws upon three realms of investigations. An exploratory method is developed for analyzing the role of spatial configuration of the university campus for sustaining a vivid public life from the perspective of students and academicians. Through analysis of spatial configuration of campus, observations in public spaces and interviews with students and academicians, this study aims to explore the various forms of publicness in Ege University campus.