Month: October 2016

Black Geographies Workshop

Wednesday.Nov.2 4:00-6:00pm

Space is limited. RSVP by October 27 – Madelaine Cahaus (

Snacks will be provided

This workshop will think through the connections between Black Geographies and the current global political economic landscape. Participants will be expected to read three pieces provided by the discussants in advance of the workshop. Discussion will revolve around the ways in which shifting political economic practices entail new rounds of oppression and dispossession for Black communities. We will also explore the geographical diversity of this reality, as well as the ways in which Black communities struggle against structural marginalization and in so doing create distinct spatial arrangements.


Presenter biographies:

Priscilla Vaz is a popular educator and Theater of the Oppressed facilitator, who entered graduate school after a decade of community organizing with underserved communities of color. She has long been interested in the intersection of class, race, and gender in Brazilian society and their resulting geographical patterns of segregation and resistance. Teaching has been a passion for fifteen years. She is an ABD doctoral student in the Department of Geography in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Yousuf Al-Bulushi teaches Urban Peace Studies in the Center for Geographies of Justice and Culture at Goucher College in Baltimore.

Adam Bledsoe is a postdoctoral fellow at Indiana University Bloomington. His work examines Black Geographies in the context of the Americas, investigating the various ways in which populations of African descent seek to create autonomous spaces free from the various articulations of anti-Blackness present in society.

Representations of Anishinaabewaki: Art and Anishinaabemowin

(Representations of Anishinaabe Land: Art and the Anishinaabe Language)

Friday 18.Nov.2016 4:00-6:00pm

UC-179. 15 King’s College Circle

Refreshements to follow

This event presents Anishinaabe perspectives on representations of land through visual art and Anishinaabemowin (the Anishinaabe language). Visual artist Bonnie Devine and poet and storyteller Lenore Keeshig will each present examples of their work and its intrinsic connection to land. Community worker and geography student Connor Pion and curator Wanda Nanibush (the first curator of Indigenous Art at the AGO) will then join in as respondents. This event intentionally centres Anishinaabe knowledge and experience while also offering a conversational framework to allow participants and audience members an opportunity for exchange and discussion. Andrew Hunter (Fredrik S. Eaton Curator, Canadian Art, at the Art Gallery of Ontario) will also participate as a presenter.
Intersections: Lectures, etc., Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto
Co-Sponsored with
Political Spaces Cluster, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

Jennifer Blesh

Ecosystem Management for Resilient and Multifunctional Food Systems

Jennifer Blesh, University of Michigan

Friday.  18.Nov.2016. 2:00-3:00pm.

SS2125. 100 St. George Street

Tea. Coffee. Cookies.

ABSTRACT In a context where agriculture is a leading cause of global change, biodiversity loss, and water pollution, developing more resilient food systems is central to addressing concurrent food, energy, and environmental crises. This presentation explores the role of ecological science in building agroecosystem resilience. I will discuss examples from research assessing how different management practices impact carbon and nutrient cycling in the U.S. Corn Belt and the Brazilian Cerrado biome. In particular, synergies with frameworks addressing power dynamics that influence ecological processes provide a means of better incorporating vulnerability and social justice into resilience assessments. Resilience thinking must focus not only on the persistence, but also on the adaptability and transformability of social-ecological systems as a conceptual framework for addressing the multidimensional challenges of food systems. I will describe factors at multiple scales that support or constrain transitions to agroecological management in the interstices of these two highly industrialized agricultural landscapes.

Intersections: Lectures, etc. Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto


Nir Sharav

Does Your City Need a Metro? The Case Study of Tel Aviv

Nir Sharav

, Department of Civil Engineering, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel

Wednesday.  19.Oct.2016.  12:00-1:00pm.

SS5017. 100 St. George Street

Tea. Coffee. Cookies.

The Israeli government prepared a new strategic transport plan for the Tel Aviv metropolitan area that focuses on public transport as the basis for the metropolitan future mobility. Tel Aviv is the largest metropolitan in Israel and is the home of 3.6 million people, accounting for 43% of the population in Israel. The plan aims to attract passengers to public transport by providing supreme, reliable and attractive service. The presentation describes the plan for an extended integrated mass transit in Tel Aviv, the strategic goals set by the government and an interesting comparison of the previous plan, based on light rail technology, to the new strategic plan, based on combined service of metro and LRT technology.

Nir Sharav is a transportation specialist who advises the Israeli Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Finance. He specializes in transport economics modeling and finance, transport policy and strategic transport planning, fare policy, and transport research. Nir directed the Public Transport Strategic Plan project for the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Finance (2012), a major research and policy project. Nir directed several strategic transport plans, including the strategic plan for Israel rail network 2040 (2015-2016), the Jerusalem mass transit network (2014), the Haifa mass transit (2015) and the Tel Aviv public transport strategic plan 2040-2060 (2015-2016). Nir has B.Sc. degree in mathematics and MBA (finance and operations research) from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He currently works on Ph.D. thesis in transport planning and economics in the department of civil engineering in the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa.

Intersections: Lectures, etc.
Department of Geography and Planning
University of Toronto

Margaret Walton-Roberts

Occupational (im)Mobility in the Global Care Economy

Margaret Walton-Roberts, Professor, Geography and Environmental Studies; Associate Dean, School of International Policy and Governance; Associate Director, International Migration Centre, Wilfrid Laurier University

Friday. 14.Oct.2016. 3:00-5:00pm.

SS2125. 100 St. George Street

Tea. Coffee. Cookies.


I use the case of nursing to highlight four key areas where economic geographers can make important contributions to the debate about the emerging contours of the global care economy. First, the interlocking dimensions of care chain analysis demands a focus on occupationally specific hierarchies, and here labour and economic geographers are well positioned to contribute. Second, migration is central to care chains, but this demands geographical sensitivity to how regional labour markets articulate with the global organisation of specific occupations such as nursing. Third, the interlocking nature of care chains demands an understanding of institutional geographies of education and professional regulation, and approaches economic geographers have developed can be useful in such analysis. Forth, the gendered structures of labour markets marks different modes of engagement with certain types of female migration, and reflect nationally, or regionally differentiated tendencies in gender relations. Overall the paper encourages greater connection between economic geography and critical scholarship on global care chains and feminist readings of the global care economy.

Intersections: Lectures, etc., Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

Development Seminar, Faculty of Arts and Science, University of Toronto


Oane Visser

Farmland Moves: Black Earth Narratives, Geopolitics and the Symbolical Dimensions of Farmland Investment

Oane Visser
Associate Professor, International Institute for Social Studies, The Hague, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Friday.  07.Oct.2016.
3:00-5:00pm.  SS2125. 100 St. George Street
Tea. Coffee. Cookies. 

Oane Visser is Associate Professor at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague, of Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands. His research focuses on land deals, financialisation, rural development, labour and social movements particularly in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet countries. He published in journals like J. of Peasant Studies, J. of Agrarian Change, Agriculture & Human Values, Globalizations, European Journal of Sociology. He is principal investigator of a European Research Council (ERC) project on land acquisitions in Russia and an editor of Focaal- Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology.

Since the mid-2000s there has been a sharp rise in global investment in farmland, alternatively called the global land grab or land rush. Numerous studies have been conducted on the drivers and the implications of global farmland deals, but relatively little attention has been given to mechanisms through which (farm)land is turned into an investable asset. Due to land΄s supposedly fixed nature, its very localized features, and the unpredictable effects of weather, plant diseases and other natural factors, it was long considered as an object not prone to financialisation. This lecture will look into how (farm)land is made into an investable asset, and the contradictions of this process. In particular it will look at how farmland is radically separated from its agro-climatical and social dimensions, in order to represent it as a one-dimensional object that is attractive for investors. It will draw theoretically on literature on financialisation, natural resource making and assemblages.  

While earlier studies on farmland investment have stressed fixity as the central feature of land and natural resource, I will complicate this notion. Drawing on empirical examples from contemporary farmland investment in the fertile black earth region of Eastern Europe (Russia, Ukraine, Romania), and examples from other settings through time and place, I will argue that farmland can be rather elastic, not at all lumpy and fixed, in the narratives - and occasionaly practices - of farmland investors and other actors. Notions of ΄farmland being taken away΄ are expressed in relation to shifting national borders, imaginaries of physically moving the farmland, and references to actual historical practices of physical removal of topsoil away from localities or even across national borders. I contend that the process of making natural resources into financial assets cannot fully be understood without taking into account also the discursive, symbolic dimensions (and their historical antecedents). Only in such a way, we can obtain deeper insight in the interplay of economic, socio-cultural and geopolitical factors in global farmland deals. 

Intersections: Lectures, etc. Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

Development Seminar, Faculty of Arts and Science, University of Toronto

Chuiqing Zeng

The Applications of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (Uav) in Water Quality Study and Precision Farming

Dr. Chuiqing Zeng, Carleton University

Friday. 14.Oct.2016 1:00-2:00pm

SS1085. 100 St. George Street.

Tea. Coffee. Cookies.


The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology was rapidly developed during the last decade, with increasing applications in many industries. There are two driving factors that mainly propel UAV applications in Earth observation and Geoscience: the largely improved performance, stability, and accessibility of the consumer-level UAVs, as well as the miniaturization and enhancement of sensors/instruments to be mounted on such UAVs. UAV applications in Geoscience, however, are still largely limited by immature data acquisition approaches and scarce industry-specific data process flows.

This talk will introduce industry-specific UAV data acquisition and processing techniques. Specifically I will provide examples of how UAV technology is being used to estimate water quality in rivers and lakes, and how UAV platforms are employed to assist farmers’ agricultural practice. Apart from the technical presentation, I will also share interesting stories during UAV flights and beautiful scenes of our nature, and discuss the challenges to UAV applications up in the air.

Intersections: Lectures, etc. Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto