Alison Mountz

The Geopolitics of Asylum

Alison Mountz, Balsillie School of International Affairs + Geography and Environmental Studies, Wilfred Laurier University


Friday.  24.Mar.2017. 3:00-5:00pm.

SS2125. 100 St. George Street

Tea. Coffee. Cookies.

ABSTRACT: The geopolitics of asylum operate as a form of the global intimate. This paper calls for greater attention to geopolitics in analyses of political asylum outcomes and lived experiences. While migration scholars have long asserted that borders are more open for some people than for others, less has been written about the role played by geopolitics in shaping human migration in the form of asylum. How do geopolitical relations influence the permeability of borders and chances for human mobility of those seeking asylum? Why do some asylum-seekers cross borders with relative ease, while others in proximate time and place encounter a proliferation of forms of confinement (such as walls, fencing, and detention centers)? Borders are sites where geopolitical order and racialized exclusions are established and consolidated through spatial controls exercised over mobility. This talk juxtaposes different migrations that are proximate in time and space to illuminate the influence of race and geopolitics on legal geographies, technocratic-seeming processes and procedures, and – ultimately – their outcomes.

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


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


Gavin Walker

Capital’s allegories: The transition to capitalism and the national question

Gavin Walker, Department of History, McGill University

Friday.  27.Jan.2016.

3:00-5:00pm.  SS2125.

100 St. George Street

Tea. Coffee. Cookies

ABSTRACT:The transition to capitalism remains one of the most contested issues in historical analysis, in a wide variety of geographical sites and local contexts. Was the transition to capitalist modernity an inevitability of the downfall of feudal property relations in western Europe? Was it rather spurred on by the development of a global mercantilism and expansion of trade? What is the relation between this advent of modernity and the legal personhood of the nation-state as well as economic ‘freedom’ in the form of private property and commodified labour-power? And why, in the end, has the debate on the transition to capitalism always been political in nature? In working through the history of these debates in relation to my recently published book The Sublime Perversion of Capital (Duke, 2016), this paper attempts to think a future for the analysis of the transition in relation to the concept of allegory in the theory of historical time. In so doing, we will also try to see what is at stake in this past for a history of the present.

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


Department of East Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts and Science, University of Toronto

David Harvey

David Harvey – Visualizing Capital

Tuesday, January 17, 3:30-5:30pm – Please register here

George Inatieff Theater – 15 Devonshire Place

This is a free public lecture. Space is limited, and registration for a free ticket is required.

David Harvey is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Geography at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY), Director of Research at the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics, and the author of numerous acclaimed books, articles and essays, including, most recently, The Ways of the World (Oxford, 2016) and Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism (Oxford, 2014). Professor Harvey’s legendary and popular lectures on Marx’s Capital are freely available to everyone from his website (www.davidharvey.org).

Followed by a reception:

5:30-7:30pm – Brewhaha Craft Beer Lounge – 39 Prince Arthur Avenue – below Duke of York

Brought to you by Intersections Lecture Series, Department of Geography & Planning, University of Toronto.


Marion Werner

Food systems and sovereignty: Exploring geographies of uneven development in the Caribbean

Marion Werner, Department of Geography, SUNY-Buffalo

Friday.  13.Jan.2016.

3:00-5:00pm.  SS2125.

100 St. George Street

Tea. Coffee. Cookies

ABSTRACT: This talk considers broader debates on food sovereignty and uneven development in relation to the Dominican Republic’s food system. The Dominican state remains central to the country’s food production relative to many of its neighbours in the Caribbean, a region associated with extreme exposure to international markets in food and agriculture. The form of the state’s involvement was forged through right-wing land reforms of the late 1960s and early 1970s, which incorporated some 30,000 households into domestic rice production. Today, these “reform sector” farmers, together with their private sector counterparts, meet the country’s entire demand for this staple crop. Rice production is characterized by intensive use of imported agro-chemicals, a largely Haitian migrant workforce, state subsidies to irrigation, a government-funded warehousing and insurance scheme, and, crucially, a protected market. Dominican rice production clearly plays a role in materializing state sovereignty in the context of a regulatory patchwork apparently dominated by international markets and the dictates of multinationals. As the country begins the formal process of liberalization for rice and other sensitive food items under the provisions of a free trade agreement (i.e., DR-CAFTA), the talk offers a basis for the consideration of food sovereignty in the context of uneven regulatory development.

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


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


Don Mitchell

Revolting New York: How Riots, Uprisings, and Revolutions Shape the Urban Landscape

Don Mitchell, Department of Geography, Syracuse University

Friday.  2.Dec.2016.

4:00-6:00pm.  SS2125.

100 St. George Street

Tea. Coffee. Cookies.


Riots, revolts, uprisings, and revolutions have been a near-constant and a decisive force in shaping New York City’s landscape. From the revolt of the Munsee Indians in the 1640s to Black Lives Matters in the present, political and social tumult has – to a far larger degree than is usually appreciated – determined flows of investment, neighborhood restructurings, and everyday life of the metropolis. Drawing on research begun by Neil Smith and his students in a seminar on the Geography of Revolution and now nearing publication, I will show how one of the determinants of the morphology and meaning of the urban landscape is revolt and riot, uprising and revolution – anarchists exploding bombs, gardeners claiming empty lots and holding them militantly, the inchoate rage of looters, the occupation of buildings, massive marches, violence by police and protesters. There is at play in the making of the landscape, I will contend, a constant dialectic of spatial form and social revolt, and it is important to understand this dialectic if we want to understand the making of cities. Or, as the Harlem Renaissance writer Allain Locke suggested, the 1935 Harlem riot – and by extension other moments of upheaval – was “a revealing flash of lightning.” Revolting New York – both the book and my remarks in this talk – tells the story of the city as it has been not only revealed by such lightning flashes, but also and especially how it has been remade by the lightning strikes of revolt. In doing so, I think, it makes palpable just how power is built into the urban landscape – and why. Through both descriptions of revolt large and small as well as historical-geographical analysis (as well as lots of images), this talk will not only show the remaking of New York’s landscape, but also why it is vital to understand such remaking within the totality of long-term historical change. Along the way, it will also describe how a large, unwieldy, multi-authored historical geography has come to be as, we hope, a comprehensive and comprehensible guide to radical New York – a tribute to the incitements and insightfulness of Neil and his band of brilliant students.

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

Zoe Todd

Thinking with the trouble: Human-fish relations, reciprocity and the petro-state in Treaty Six Territory, Alberta

Zoe Todd, Carleton University

Friday.  9.Dec.2016.

4:00-6:00pm.  SS5017.

100 St. George Street

Tea. Coffee. Cookies.

ABSTRACT: Donna Haraway has recently called up us to ‘stay with the trouble’ in these turbulent times of the (so-called) Anthropocene. In this talk, I take up her call to tend to ‘trouble’ in Treaty Six Territory in Alberta, Canada by examining the entanglements of humans, fish, oil, and Indigenous (Métis) legal orders in the 21st century in the Lake Winnipeg watershed. I ask what possibilities and potentials can flow from tending to fish-as-kin in the context of what biologist Lorne Fitch (2015)  has identified as Alberta’s ongoing ‘fish crisis’, which is itself shaped, in part, by the realities of Alberta’s political ecology as a oil and gas producing province.

BIO: Zoe Todd (Métis) is from Amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton) in the Treaty Six Area of Alberta, Canada. She is a tenure-track Assistant Professor in Anthropology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She studied Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen and in June 2016 successfully defended her thesis on human-fish relations in northern Canada .  She researches human-animal and human-environmental relations, Indigenous legal orders and (de)colonial praxis in Canada. Her recent work focuses on fish and Indigenous legal orders. She is also interested in the articulation of Indigenous people’s history and rights in relation to municipal development in Canada — specifically how Indigeneity is expressed through architecture, art, urban planning and story-telling. Her work employs a critical Indigenous feminist lens to examine the shared relationships between people and their environments and legal orders in Canada, with a view to understanding how to bring fish and the more-than-human into conversations about Indigenous self-determination, peoplehood, and governance in Canada today.

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

Co-sponsored with

Political Ecology Cluster, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

Norma Rantisi

Symbolic Capital and the Remaking of the City: Revisiting the Role of Artists in Gentrification

by Norma Rantisi, Professor, Department of Planning, Geography and Environment, Concordia University

Friday.  11.Nov.2016.

3:00-5:00pm.  SS2125.

100 St. George Street

Toronto    ON M5S 3G3

Tea. Coffee. Cookies.

Professor Norma Rantisi, co-chair of Planners Network and an editor of Progressive Planning, is the John Bousfield Distinguished Visitor in Planning of the Program in Planning at the University of Toronto in fall 2016. Her current work focuses on the socio-spatial organization of circus arts and apparel industries in Montreal as well as neoliberal governance and prospects for equitable development in cities and regions. She is also developing a new research project on Palestinian women’s artisanal cooperatives, in relation to her general interests in economy, society, space and planning. Professor Rantisi’s Bousfield Lecture will address–in the context of Mile End in Montreal–the often contradictory role that artists play in ‘creative neighbourhoods’, not only in the process of gentrification but also in struggles against it.    

John Bousfield Distinguished Visitorship in Planning+ Intersections: Lectures, etc., Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

Elizabeth Delmelle

Differentiating pathways of neighborhood change in 50 U.S. Metropolitan Areas

Transportation Cluster’s Invited Speaker:

Elizabeth Delmelle, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of North Carolina – Charlotte

Friday.  10.Mar.2017. 3:00-5:00pm.

SS2125. 100 St. George Street

Tea. Coffee. Cookies.

ABSTRACT: Empirical studies on the pathways of neighborhood change are making great strides with advancements in methodologies and the availability of longitudinal datasets. This body of work holds the potential to test longstanding theories on how the neighborhood change process has unfolded and it offers a new opportunity for developing theories that better represent neighborhood dynamics in the current landscape of rapid suburbanization, back to the city movements, and deindustrialization. I contribute to this line of research by differentiating the longitudinal pathways of change across multiple attribute dimensions for neighborhoods in 50 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), covering a 30 year time span. The distribution of neighborhood trajectories is then examined both within and between MSAs. The trajectory grouping method identifies 34 dominant sequences of change throughout the country featuring two distinct pathways of change: a white-flight type process aligning with life-cycle theories of change predominant in neighborhoods consisting of single family housing, and an alternate path driven by an influx of new, largely foreign born residents where multi-family housing is present. Cities are grouped into classes based on the similarity of their neighborhood composition and the spatial arrangement of neighborhood types is analyzed using a spatial clustering procedure to determine which types of neighborhoods are most concentrated, which are likely to co-exist in space and which are likely to be dispersed from one another.

BIO: Elizabeth Delmelle is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Earth Science at the University of North Carolina – Charlotte, and the Chair of the Transportation Geography Specialty Group of the AAG. Dr. Delmelle’s research interests lie within two general fields of application: urban and neighborhood dynamics and urban transportation. Her work on neighborhood dynamics has sought to understand how and why neighborhoods change according to their multidimensional quality of life or socioeconomic complexion. This research has employed a variety of statistical and computational techniques to understand space-time patterns of change. On the transportation side, Dr. Delmelle has worked in the area of bicycle and pedestrian safety, performing spatial analyses of bicycle crash locations and comparing neighborhood-level risk factors between bicyclists and pedestrians. Finally, she is interested in spatial accessibility and spatial equity as it relates to public transport.


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

Black Geographies Workshop

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

Space is limited. RSVP by October 27 – Madelaine Cahaus (madelaine.cahaus@mail.utoronto.ca)

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