Month: August 2015

Equity, Diversity, and Geography: a Panel Discussion

Friday September 25, 2015
3-5 pm
SS 2125


What are some critical issues concerning equity and diversity in the discipline? What is the UofT Department of Geography and Planning doing well? What are some specific things the department as a community could do to improve?

The Diversity Committee and the Intersections Committee invite all faculty, staff, graduate, and undergraduate students in the Department of Geography and Planning to participate in a discussion about equity and diversity in the department, in the discipline, and in academia more broadly. We hope to generate productive conversations about department culture, discuss the Graduate Geography and Planning Student Society (GGAPSS) survey findings, address concerns and clarify policy, and brainstorm for concrete ideas for change whether in curriculum, admissions policy, or faculty recruitment strategy. The discussion will then shape the priorities for the Diversity Committee’s work in the year ahead.

Panelists (more TBD):
Tamir Arviv, PhD Candidate
Madelaine Cahuas, GGAPSS
Kanishka Goonewardena, Associate Professor
Ju Hui Judy Han, Assistant Professor
Symon James-Wilson, undergraduate student

Residential Schools and Cultural Genocide:

The Truth and Reconciliation Report and the Academy

Professor Suzanne Stewart (OISE) and Elder Jacqui Lavalley

Friday, 2 October
12 – 2 pm
SS 2127

Lunch provided, please register here:

The release in June of the Truth and Reconciliation’s report on residential schools is one of the most important events in Canada’s history—but one quick to fade from mainstream news. Among the findings was that that the practice of residential schools amounted to “cultural genocide” against Indigenous people, and that Canada needed to move from “apology to action.” What does this mean for the U of T community and beyond? How can Canadian educational institutions move from complicity to action? How can the TRC report be used to confront colonialism in Canada—and build momentum for a more just society?

Suzanne Stewart is Associate Professor of Indigenous healing in Counseling Psychology at OISE/University of Toronto, where she is also Special Advisor to the Dean on Aboriginal Education and Coordinator of the Indigenous Education Initiative. Elder Jacqui Lavalley is a residential school survivor.

Co-sponsored by the Development Seminar and Geography Intersections, with support from the Faculty of Arts and Science, Departments of Anthropology, Geography, Political Science, and Sociology.

Gwen MacGregor

Productive Failure

Friday October 2
3-5 pmGwenMacGregorIntersections
SS 2125

In 2013, I was invited by the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria to create a new visual art installation that reflected on the work and life of Canadian painter Jock MacDonald. He was a member of the Painters Elevent, a group of groundbreaking Canadian abstract painters who exhibited together in the 1950s. Part of the core research for my exhibition came from content in a diary MacDonald kept while living on Nootka Island, BC in 1935 and 1936. In the summer of 2014 I travelled there, where I shot video that was used along with other objects to create an installation in the Mansion Rooms of AGGV. The exhibition, entitled Circumference and currently on view, is a portrait of the island with Jock MacDonald at the centre.

While the gallery was pleased with the exhibition, I was left feeling that I had perpetuated an ongoing erasure of the peoples that live on the island. Nootka has been and remains the home of the Mowachaht/Muchalaht but they were mostly absent from my exhibition. This concern was augmented by geographic and indigenous literatures I was reading for my upcoming geography comprehensive exams. In an unusual turn of events I attained permission from the curator Michelle Jacques, to change my installation in the middle of the exhibition period. I returned to Nootka this summer and shot a new set of videos to replace the originals. I have also invited two Port Alberti artists to stage interventions in the gallery space during the remainder of the exhibition.

For the Intersections talk I will discuss the challenges of representations of land in Canada across indigenous/non-indigenous perspectives using my experiences both as an exhibiting artist and as a PhD student.

Gwen MacGregor is a Toronto based installation artist who has exhibited extensively in Canada and Western Europe. She has artworks in the collections of The Art Gallery of Ontario, Oakville Galleries and Artbank. She received an Honours BA in Art History from York University, an MA in Human Geography from the University of Toronto, and is currently in the second year of the PhD in Human Geography.

Jamie Peck

Economic geography unbound: Polanyian diversions

Monday, 5 October
12.00 – 1.30 pm
SS 1085

The presentation develops the argument that, in both a formal and a temperamental sense, contemporary Anglo-American economic geography is a heterodox enterprise. A methodological intervention is proposed, inspired by the substantivist economics of Karl Polanyi and the unfinished project of ‘comparative economy’. The intention is to open up a different kind of heterodox dialogue between economic geography’s ‘lumpers’, those working on the refinement and reconstruction generalized categories of analysis, and its ‘splitters’, who in contrast are inclined to work against (or outside) such tacitly accepted categories, favoring their deconstruction and displacement. It is suggested that, even if lumpers and splitters are never entirely comfortable in one another’s company, they should not be allowed to live apart.


Jamie Peck is Canada Research Chair in Urban & Regional Political Economy and Professor of Geography at the University of British Columbia. The recipient of Guggenheim and Harkness fellowships, he was previously Professor of Geography & Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Professor of Geography at the University of Manchester. An economic geographer, his research interests include the political economy of neoliberalism, labor studies, the politics of policy formation and mobility, economic governance, and urban restructuring. Jamie Peck’s recent publications include: Fast policy: experimental statecraft at the thresholds of neoliberalism (2015, with Nik Theodore), the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Economic Geography (2012, coedited with Trevor Barnes & Eric Sheppard), and Constructions of neoliberal reason (2010).


Palestine: A Political Travelogue

Visit_Palestine_1Wednesday, 7 October
7.00 – 9.30 pm
Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham Street Toronto

From The International Conference of Critical Geography in Ramallah, Palestine – July 2015

Palestine has long been central to colonial and anti-colonial imaginaries–of the Ottoman and British empires, and Zionist and Arab nationalisms, before becoming a key site of inspiration for left and anti-colonial internationalism and recent scholarship on decolonial resistance. The International Conference of Critical Geography in Ramallah, Palestine, in July 2015, extended this trajectory of anti-colonial internationalism by enriching our historical and political understandings of Palestine–especially by way of tours of the West Bank and conversations with Palestinian academics and activists. The panelists of this event will reflect on their experiences of this international conference and what it suggests for global left solidarity and decolonial activism

Kanishka Goonewardena was trained as an architect in Sri Lanka and now teaches critical theory and urban design at the Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto.

Kevin Gould is a geographer who teaches at Concordia University as well as a member of Independent Jewish Voices.

Punam Khosla is a scholar-activist and member of the organizing team for ICCG 7 in Ramallah

Stefan Kipfer researches and teaches social theory, politics, urbanization and planning in the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University.

Karen Wirsig is a labour organizer and sometime journalist who lives in Toronto.

The panel will be chaired by Norma Rantisi, who teaches urban studies and geography at Concordia University (Montreal) and recently started a project on cooperatives in Palestine.

Need to know:
– Doors open at 6:50
– Free
– Accessible on demand via portable ramp; washrooms not accessible
– Please avoid using strong-scented products due to sensitivities
Tasty refreshments (non-alcoholic) with Zatoun oliveoil+za’atar dipping.


“Our Prison”: Kitchenettes, Carceral Power and Black Masculinity During the Interwar Years

Rashad_2971Thursday October 8, 2015  | Sidney Smith Hall, Room 1083 | 3:30-5pm

This talk examines kitchenettes—small cramped housing Black migrants on Chicago’s South Side were forced to live in. Drawing on the work of writer Richard Wright, this talk delineates the entrance of carceral power into the quotidian spaces of Black Chicago. Wrights’ geography of Black life in the kitchenette not only illustrates the existence of carceral power, but it also demonstrates the impact it had on performances of Black masculinity.

9780252081149Rashad Shabazz is Associate Professor in the School of Social Transformation, Department of Justice and Social Inquiry, at Arizona State University. His academic expertise brings together Black cultural studies, gender studies, and critical prison studies, within a methodological framework that draws on human geography. His research explores the ways in which race, sexuality and gender are shaped through geography.  Dr. Shabazz is the author of Spatializing Blackness (University of Illinois Press, 2015), which examines how the history of carceral power within the geographies of Black Chicagoans shaped masculinity and heath. Dr. Shabazz has published in Souls, Gender place and Culture, The Spatial-Justice Journal, ACME, Occasions. As a long time anti-prison activist, Dr, Shabazz sees activism as a catalyst for his scholarly work.

Laleh Khalili

Spectres of Colonial Pasts Haunting Logistical Landscapes

Friday, October 9, 2015
University College Room 179

%40KhaliliThe sublime aesthetics –the awe and terror– of logistical landscapes often conjure up an irrevocable rupture from the past, heralding something new, as yet unseen, as a kind of threshold of transformation in the character of capitalism. Although, of course, technological innovations and the adaptability of capitalism to its particular contexts have been crucial to the shape of logistics, shipping, and their infrastructures, nevertheless these logistical landscapes, both at land and at sea, are haunted by their, by our, colonial pasts.
In this lecture, I will reflect on these hauntings through a consideration of the emergence and decline of ports and maritime transport infrastructures in the Arabian Peninsula since the end of the Second World War. Although today’s megaships, supply chain logistics, and the electronic and industrial apparatuses and processes that animate them, seem like a far cry from the commodity and slave ships of old, much about that past still shapes, constrains, and influences today’s logistics. Whether it is route-making and enduring trans-oceanic connections of labour and trade and war, or it is the geography of ports and inland transportation crossroads and hubs, today’s transportation sector echoes colonial pasts. Perhaps most significant parallels, however, are the corporate forms that contain logistics in their myriad forms and the violence that lubricates the functioning of these corporate forms. Here, neoliberalism is perhaps most clearly haunted by the ghosts of our colonial pasts.
Laleh Khalili is a professor of Middle East politics at SOAS, University of London, and the author of Heroes and Martyrs of Palestine (2007) and Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies (2013).

Professor Khalili’s visit is co-sponsored by The Centre for the Study of the United States, Women and Gender Studies Institute, Canadian Studies, and Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations.

Paige West

Representational Rhetorics: Understanding dispossession in Papua New Guinea

Friday 16 October
2 – 4 pm 
AP 246, 19 Russell Street

West’s colloquium will be based on her forthcoming book, Representational Rhetorics: Ideology, Accumulation, and Dispossession in the Melanesian Pacific. The talk will examine some of the ways in which inequalities are produced, lived, and reinforced in today’s globalized world, and show how representational strategies with regard to Papua New Guinea are complex acts of dispossession and carefully crafted accumulation strategies as well as ideologically grounded attempts to persuade and motivate. The talk argues that there are racist logics of representation that underlie all uneven development and that Papua New Guinea is one of the places where, if we examine the various representational strategies we see there every day, we can begin to develop a more robust understanding of the ideological work that underpins the differential economic climates that capital needs for its constant regeneration.

This Anthropology Colloquium event is co-sponsored by Intersections.

Please RSVP to the Anthropology Colloquium to ensure sufficient space and refreshments for this event:

Theresa Enright

The Metropolitan Project of Grand ParisParis_enright

Friday 23 October
3 to 5 pm
SS 2125

With the growth of cities beyond their traditional municipal boundaries and the increase in territorial interdependence brought about by globalization, large urban regions around the world are struggling with the question of how to effectively plan in the 21st century. In this talk I offer a critical analysis of the Grand Paris initiative as an in-depth case study of one city’s attempt to confront these dynamics. The Grand Paris project is focused on three main policy sites — architectural reimagining of the regional landscape, improved transportation in the suburbs, and governance streamlining at the metropolitan scale. I argue that the making of Grand Paris as a legible and functional metropolis proceeds through a distinctive mode of global city development, what I call “grand urbanism,” whereby the state invests in infrastructural megaprojects in order to mobilize suburban space in the service of speculative real estate, global finance, and private enterprise. I read Grand Paris as an important episode in the history of Paris and as a key exemplar of a more generic paradigm of governing bigness based on planning and policy-making in pursuit of regional gentrification.


Enright_photoTheresa Enright is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Senior Fellow at the Global Cities Institute at the University of Toronto. Her primary research interests are in the fields of urban and regional studies, critical theory, and comparative political economy. Recent publications on global cities and transit-oriented urbanism have appeared in Environment and Planning A, Antipode, and the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society. Her book The Making of Grand Paris: Metropolitan Urbanism in the 21st Century is forthcoming from MIT Press.

Marcos Ramirez ERRE

Looking at the global from a borderline


Friday 30 October, 2015
3 to 5 pm
Sid Smith Hall, Room 2125

100 St. George Street

Tijuana-based, internationally renowned artist Marcos Ramirez ERRE, will discuss a range of his sculpture and installation work focussing on questions of the border and the global. Over the last 20 years, his artistic practice has focussed on themes of war, language, nation, city, identities, culture, and borders. His work can be seen here:

Marcos Ramirez ERRE was born in Tijuana, Baja California Mexico. He earned a law degree from the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California. In 1983 he immigrated to the United States where he worked for 17 years in the construction industry. In 1989 (while still working in the construction sector) Marcos became active in the field of visual arts. Since then he has participated in residencies, lectures and different individual and collective exhibitions in countries like Mexico, USA, Canada, Sweden, Poland, Germany, Russia China, France, Spain, Portugal, Cuba, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Chile, Argentina, y Brazil, and. And in mayor exhibitions like InSite94, InSite97, the VI and VII Havana Biennials, the Whitney Biennial 2000, the second Moscow Biennial, the San Juan Poly/Graphic Triennial, the 2007 Sao Paulo /Valencia Biennial, the California Biennial 08, the Zero One Biennial, The Site Santa Fe Biennial ,Made in California, Mexico Illuminated, From Baja to Vancouver, “Politica de la Diferencia, Arte Iberoamericano de fin de siglo”, Human/Nature, and ECO Contemporary Mexican Art, in the Centro Reina Sofia Museum in Spain, among others.

In 2007 Marcos received a United States Artist fellowship, and since 2009 is a fellow member of Mexico’s National System of National System of Art Creators.

Sponsored by Latin American – Canadian Art Projects (LACAP)

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 11.36.06 PMMarcos Ramírez ERRE.

Nacido en Tijuana en 1961, obtiene la Licenciatura en Derecho en la Universidad Autónoma de Baja California en 1982. En 1983 Emigra a los Estados Unidos donde trabaja en la industria de la construcción durante 17 años. En 1989 -aun manteniendo su actividad como constructor- empieza su incursión en el campo de las Artes Visuales.

Desde entonces ha participado en residencias, conferencias y muestras de arte en países como México, Canadá, Estados Unidos, Alemania, Suecia, Polonia, Portugal, Francia, España, Rusia, China, Cuba, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Chile, Brasil y Argentina.

Algunas de estas exhibiciones de carácter internacional como Insite 94, Insite 97, la Sexta y Séptima Bienales de la Habana, la Bienal del Museo Whitney del año 2000, la Trienal Poligráfica de San Juan Puerto Rico y el Caribe, la Segunda Bienal de Moscú, La bienal de Sao Paulo/Valencia 2007, la Bienal de California y La Bienal Zero One de Silicón Valley, La bienal de Site Santa Fe, “Unssetled Landscapes”. Así como “Made in California”, México Iluminado, “Extrange New World”, “From Baja to Vancouver”, Política de la Diferencia / Arte Ibero Americano de fin de siglo, y ECO. Arte Contemporáneo Mexicano en el Centro de Arte Museo Reina Sofía y Crisis Arte y Confrontación en América Latina, en el Palacio de Bellas Artes de México entre otras.

Ha impartido cursos en la Escuela de Arte de la Universidad de California en San Diego y en el California Institute of the Arts, en Valencia California.

En 2003 fundo Estacion Tijuana el cual dirigió hasta 2010, Un espacio alternativo donde desarrollo un programa sobre Arte, Arquitectura, Urbanismo y Cultura Popular .

En el 2011 presento una exhibición retrospectiva de 20 años de trabajo titulada La Reconstrucción de los Hechos, en el Museo Carrillo Gil de la Ciudad de México.

En 2007 recibió la beca United States Artist Fellowship, y actualmente es miembro del Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte en México.