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Sarah Rotz

Sarah Rotz

Assistant Professor


PhD Geography, University of Guelph
MES Environmental Studies, York University
BA (Honours) Environmental Management, University of Toronto

Research Keywords

Political Ecology; Land & Food Justice; Settler Colonial Studies; Critical Data Studies; Critical Theory & Methods.

Graduate Supervision

I supervise students in the graduate programs in Environmental Studies, Geography and Science & Technology Studies

Sarah Rotz

Contact Information

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, ON M3J 1P3

416 736 2100

Google Scholar Profile

Research Interests

My academic and organizing work is grounded in environmental justice, with a focus on land and food systems. Much of my research aims to situate political economic processes – such as agri-food   industrialization, financialization, and policy – within a lens of settler colonial patriarchy and racial capitalism. I also explore the consequences of these processes for sovereignty, justice and resistance movements more broadly. My work has focused on topics ranging from the political economy and ecology of farmland tenure and critical perspectives of big data in agriculture, to the ways that settler colonial logics and gendered narratives uphold extractive practices and relationships on the land.

My research is often collaborative and interdisciplinary in nature, and I have a keen interest in the ethics, politics and process of research itself. In my current work, I draw from decolonial, feminist and community-based methodologies to collaboratively explore and move toward more accountable and reciprocal research relations. I also do ongoing community-based work with various organizations and campaigns including food and farmer’s associations, fossil fuel divestment, as well as climate justice and food sovereignty movements.

Research Projects

2019-2022 Insight Development Grant, SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council). Project: “Relational Accountability for Indigenous Rematriation (RAIR): Creating food sovereignty through rematriation, land sharing, and relationship building”

2018 - Environments and Health Team Grant: Intersectoral Prevention Research, CIHR (Canadian Institutes of Health Research)“A Shared Future: Achieving Strength, Health, and Autonomy through Renewable Energy Developments for the Future” Program of Research, Queens University. Co-Chairs: Heather Castleden & Diana Lewis

Research Output

Mosby, I., Rotz, S., Fraser, E. D. G. (2020) Uncertain Harvest: The Future of Food on a Warming Planet. University of Regina Press; 280 pages.

Bronson, K., Rotz, S., & D'Alessandro, A. (2021) The Human Impact of Data Bias and the Digital Agricultural Revolution. In the Handbook on the Human Impact of Agriculture. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Sanchez-Pimienta C. E., Masuda J. R., Doucette M. B., Lewis D., Rotz S., the Native Women’s Association of Canada, Tait Neufeld H., and Castleden H. (2021). Implementing Indigenous Gender-Based Analysis in Research: Principles, Practices, and Lessons Learned. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Rotz, S., Rose, J., Masuda, J., Lewis, D., Castleden, H. (2021). Toward Intersectional and Culturally Relevant Sex and Gender Analysis in Canadian Health Research. Social Science & Medicine.

Walker, C., Doucette, M.B., Rotz, S., Lewis, D., Tait Neufeld, H., & Castleden, H. (2021) Non-Indigenous Perspectives on Indigenous Peoples’ Involvement in Renewable Energy: Exploring ‘Reconciliation’. Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management.

Rotz, S. et al. (2019) The Politics of Digital Agricultural Technologies: A Preliminary Review. Sociologia Ruralis, 59(2).

Rotz, S. et al. (2019) Automated pastures and the digital divide: How agricultural technologies are shaping labour and rural communities. Journal of Rural Studies, 68.

Rotz, S. & Kepkiewicz, L. (2018) Settler Colonialism and the (Im)possibilities of a national food policy. Canadian Food Studies (CFS).

Kepkiewicz, L. & Rotz, S. (2018) Toward Anti-Colonial Food Policy in Canada? A Reflection on the People’s Food Policy Project. Canadian Food Studies (CFS).

Rotz, S. and Fraser, E. D. G. (2018) The Limits of Sustainability and Resilience Frameworks: Lessons from agri-food system research. In S. Bell, & S. Morse (Eds), The Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Indicators. Routledge. New York; London.

Rotz, S. (2017) ‘They Took Our Beads, It Was a Fair Trade, Get over It’: Settler Colonial Logics, Racial Hierarchies and Material Dominance in Canadian Agriculture. Geoforum, 82: 158–69.

Rotz, S. (2017) Drawing lines in the cornfield: an analysis of discourse and identity relations across agri-food networks. Agriculture and Human Values, 35.

Rotz, S., Fraser, E. D. G., Martin, R. (2017) Situating Tenure, Capital and Finance in Farmland Relations: implications for stewardship and agroecological health in Ontario. Journal of Peasant Studies 46.

Rotz, S., & Fraser, E. D. G. (2015) Resilience and the industrial food system: analyzing the impacts of agricultural industrialization on food system vulnerability. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 5, 459–473.

Recognition & Awards

  • SSHRC Insight Development Grant
  • Richard Barham Graduate Medal
  • SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship


Course CodeTitle
SOSC 4000 6.0Topics in Social Science Research: Land & Food
SOSC 2000 6.0Interdisciplinary Approaches to Social Inquiry
GEOG 2030The End of the Earth as We Know It: Global Environmental Change