Welcome to the November 2022 edition of the EUC Research Update - bringing you highlights from research activities at York's Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change. We invite you to view our past updates on our Research News page.
Wiley Sharp on making places, making lives: Queer and trans youth strategies for more-than-survival in suburban Toronto
Valerie Preston on building migrant resilience across the cities of Ontario and Quebec
Chan Arun-Pina on wings of transformation: A post occupancy evaluation (POE) of India’s first gender-neutral (student) hostel
Sophia Ilyniak on de/centering the ‘community benefit’ in Toronto’s inner suburbs
Balikisu Osman on climate risks and household responses to food insecurity in northern Ghana
Accolades and Awards
Congratulations to Kean Birch on his appointment as Director of York University’s recently established Institute for Technoscience and Society (ITS). ITS will serve as a global hub of critical and interdisciplinary research and knowledge mobilization on the relationship between technoscience and society, especially the configuration of social power underpinning scientific claims, medical practices, emerging technologies and sites of innovation.
Birch is co-editor of Science as Culture and Series Editor of Technoscience & Society Book Series published by the University of Toronto Press. His most recent book is a co-edited volume titled Assetization: Turning Things into Assets in Technoscientific Capitalism (MIT Press, 2020).
Congratulations to our graduate students who received Tri-Council awards in 2022:
- Melvin Chan - ES PhD, SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship on Learning with animals: Exploring diverse rabbit-human interactions in the animal shelter
- Zachary Dark - ES PhD, Joseph-Armand Bombardier SSHRC CGS Doctoral Scholarship on Climate Crisis Colonialism: Sustainable Energy, Hydroelectric Dams, and the Canadian State
- Barbara Kerr - Geography MSc, Alexander Graham Bell Graduate Scholarship NSERC CGS-M on Identifying landscape pattern fragmentation with an agent-based process
- Danielle Legault - Geography MA, Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Master's Scholarship on Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth: Investigating Animal Welfare in Canadian International Development Initiatives
- Alyssa Marchese - MES, Joseph-Armand Bombardier SSHRC CGS Master's Scholarships on Factory Farming in Canada: Laws and Human/Animal Injustices
- Maureen Owino - ES PhD, CIHR Travel Award for her research on Black communities and Black people living with HIV
- Frederick Peters - MES, Joseph-Armand Bombardier SSHRC CGS Master's Scholarships on Retrofitting Mass Housing, Planning for Climate Change
- Amanda Rooney - MES, Joseph-Armand Bombardier SSHRC CGS Master's Scholarship on Planning for Resilient Food Systems
- Isaac Thornley - ES PhD, SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship on No Pipeline to Transition: Ideology, Disavowal and the Politics of the Trans Mountain Expansion
- Taliya Seidman-Wright - Geography MA, Joseph-Armand Bombardier SSHRC CGS Master's Scholarship on Indigenous-settler relations in Toronto’s food movement: A study of Indigenous food sovereignty
We are also taking this opportunity to celebrate completed PhDs over the last year in Environmental Studies and Geography.
PhD in Environmental Studies:
• Susan Chiblow - Understanding Anishinaabek G’giikendaaswinmin (knowledge) on N’bi (water), Naaknigeiwn (law) and Nokomis Giizis (Grandmother Moon) in the Great Lakes Territory for Water Governance. Supervisor: Deborah McGregor
• Alia Karim - Indigenous Workers and Trade Unions: Settler-Colonial Capitalism, Indigenous Peoples' Labour and Union Engagement. Supervisor: Stefan Kipfer
• Sara Marino - Towards a Becoming Encounter: Arts-Based Inquiry and the Representation of Animal-Human Relations. Supervisor: Deborah Barndt
• Neil Osborne - Communicating Climate Change: An examination of narrative intuition, transmedia acumen, and emotional intelligence in the presentation of the Transmedia Emotional Engagement Storytelling (TREES) Model. Supervisor: Jose Etcheverry
• Camille Turner - Unsilencing The Past: Staging Black Atlantic Memory In Canada and Beyond. Supervisor: Honor Ford-Smith
• Anne Wordsworth - Sacrifice or Salvation: How can Animal Lives be Spared and Human Health Improved by Toxics Reform? Supervisor: Harris Ali
PhD in Geography:
- Julián Gutiérrez Castaño - Forced Displacement and Racialization: The Colombian Experience. Supervisor: Ranu Basu
- Kristi Leora Gansworth - Anguilla Rostrata, Our Teacher: Addressing Anishnabe Epistemicide through Eels. Supervisor: Patricia Burke Wood
- Jarren Richards - Land, Labour, and Under-Industrialization in Post-Reform India: Case Studies from Odisha. Supervisor: Raju Das
- Terence Rudolph - The Geoeconomic and Geopolitical Dimensions of Migrant Rescue. Supervisor: Jennifer Hyndman
- Tewodros Asfaw - The Plight of Mixed Ethnic People in Ethiopia: Exclusion, Fragmentation, and Double Consciousness. Supervisor: Joseph Mensah
The Young Indigenous Women's Utopia (YIWU) has received EUC's artist-in-residence award and will be at York on Thursday, November 24 for a full-day of sharing about their work, their new book “KÎYÂNAW OCÊPIHK” and hands-on interactive workshops on collage making. The event is sponsored by EUC, LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research, Centre for Indigenous Knowledges and Languages, and the More than Words research project with McGill University.
All events are free, open to the community, and will take place in HNES 140 on York University’s Keele Campus! Please register at eventbrite.
This Fall, students in Sarah Flicker’s Arts-Based Research Methods Class (ENVS 3327) came together to collectively participate in a class mural that visually represented their interpretation of the role of the arts in research.
In response to the question, “Why art?” Their collective answer was ‘WHY NOT?’ as you can see in their mural.
Three retired York University geographers - Conrad Heidenreich, John Warkentin, and the late David Wood - are all past winners of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Toronto's Association of Geography Alumni (UTAGA). Along with 22 other recipients of the same award, they have each contributed a chapter to a book titled Our Geographical Worlds: Celebrating Award Winning Geography at the University of Toronto 1995 to 2018, edited by Jane Macijauskas. The book is published by U of T's Department of Geography and Planning and its Association of Geography Alumni (UTAGA).
Heidenreich contributed a chapter titled “On Becoming a Geographer: A Personal Odyssey” (pp. 128-38). Warkentin's chapter is titled “A Country Child’s Inner City and Geographical Change” (pp. 28-36). And Wood's chapter is: “New World Conservation and Old World Preservation” (pp. 93-99).
Warkentin also contributed professional biographies of award recipients who have died or were too ill to write an essay: Richard Baine (University of Toronto), Trudi Bunting (University of Waterloo), Alexander Davidson (Parks Canada), William Dean (University of Toronto), Richard Ruggles (Queen’s University), Marie Sanderson (University of Windsor), and William Wonders (University of Alberta). A fourth retired York geographer, Glen Norcliffe, also received the UTAGA Distinguished Alumni Award in 2021, when the book was already in production.
Publications and Reports
Congratulations to Gail Fraser and Roger Keil on launching their new books!!
Gail Fraser launched her new novel Song for the Widowmaker accompanied by Joel Shore (Faculty of Science) with songs that vividly brought to life the times and places described in the book. The book provides an engaging, deeply moving tale of immigrant struggle, from an arduous life in 19th century Scotland, to the adversities and dangers of mining work in America.
Roger Keil launched his co-edited book After Suburbia: Urbanization in the Twenty-First Century during the Peripheral Centralities seminar held in early November at York University. The book presents a cross-section of state-of-the-art scholarship in critical global suburban research and provides an in-depth study of the planet’s urban peripheries to grasp the forms of urbanization in the twenty-first century.
Bain, A. and Podmore, J. (2022). The Scalar Arrhythmia of the LGBTQS Social Inclusion Policies: An Analysis of the Peripheral Municipalities of a ‘Progressive’ City-region. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. July.
Das, Raju (2022) "Politics of Love, and Love of Politics: Towards a Marxist Theory of Love," Class, Race and Corporate Power: Vol. 10: Iss. 2, Article 2.
Das, Raju J. and Latham, R. E. (2022) "Theory and Class Struggle: Three Interviews," Class, Race and
Corporate Power: Vol. 10: Iss. 2, Article 6.
Gibson, S., Halvorson, K., Myers, L., and Colla, S. (2022). Insect visitation and pollination of a culturally significant plant, Hopi tobacco (Nicotiana rustica). iScience. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2022.105613
Mensah, J. and Owusu Ansah, A. (2022). Reflections on return migration: Understanding how African immigrants in Canada contemplate return. International Migration. Volume 60, Issue 5, pp. 198-216.
Norcliffe G, Buliung, R., Annika Kruse, A. and Radford, J (2022). “Disability and cycling technology: A socio-historical analysis.” Disability Studies Quarterly, Vol. 42(1).
Norcliffe, G. and Decosse, S. (2022). “Global player production networks: gaining value in the National Hockey League.” Geoforum, Vol.136(1), 101-111.
Olusola, A., Adedeji, O., Akpoterai, L., Ogunjo, S., Olusegun, C. and Adelabu, S. (2022). Flood Assessment Along Lower Niger River Using Google Earth Engine. Soil-Water, Agriculture and Climate Change.
November 13-19 is Transgender Awareness Week fostering awareness about the experiences of trans and gender diverse people - an opportunity to learn more about inclusion and to honour lives lost to transphobic violence.
EUC fosters and supports research, engagement and scholarship in queer and transgender studies. Examples include:
- Alison Bain – Queering Canadian suburbs: LGBTQS place-making outside of central cities
- Andil Gosine – Same sex desire in international development in Routledge Handbook of Queer Development Studies
- Jin Haritaworn – Marvellous Grounds with links to faculty and student writings, short films and current project on Transforming Safety. as well as article On These Bones: The Queer Regenerations of the Toronto Gay Village Serial Killings
- Ilan Kapoor - The Queer Third World
- Cate Sandilands – Queer Ecologies: Sex, Nature, Politics, Desire
- Jc Elijah Bawuah - Resisting Erasure: Documenting Spaces for Us, Created by Us!
- Bridget Liang, Aanya Wood, Rosina Kazi, Swathi Sekhar - Abolition has to do with love: A roundtable on queer organizing against the prison industrial complex in Toronto
- Chan Arun-Pina - On the borderlands of university/city: Spatial stories of student housing in India
- Syrus Marcus Ware - Irresistible Revolution: Black, Trans, and Disabled World-Making through Activist Portraiture
- Andrew Zealley - Listening to risk, sexual ecologies, and the beeswax of AIDS industrialization
Media and Events
EUC invites you to the launch of the mural on the series of windows next to the HNES lounge on Tuesday, November 22 at 10 am.
The project is part of an Academic Innovation Fund project with Lisa Myers, Traci Warkentin and Gail Fraser centered around migratory bird mortality from window strikes.
The design of the art occurred in ENVS 2122 Environmental Arts for Social Change. The installation was student driven by the Sky Studio Collective.
Lina Brand Correa will give a talk on Ecological Economics for Public and Planetary Health: Moving Beyond the Neoclassical Paradigm as part of the Dahdaleh Institute Seminar Series on Wednesday, November 23 from 1-2 pm. This seminar presentation aims to highlight the contributions that one such heterodox Economics school of thought (ecological economics) can make to the fields of public and planetary health, making a contrast with what the neoclassical Economics orthodoxy proposes. Everyone welcome! Please feel free to share and register in this event.
Sheila Colla was cited in a CBC Radio article exploring the way bumblebees behave if given an opportunity to interact with a ball. Based on a UK study, it was found that bumblebees, if given tiny wooden balls, will spend time moving them around, seemingly just for fun. And the younger the bee, the more time they spend playing as seen from the video. "I think a main takeaway from this study is that there is still so much to learn about the insect world. Insects are more intelligent than we give them credit for," Colla said. "As a conservation scientist, I hope we keep pollinators around to be able to learn more from them.
Jose Etcheverry recently participated in a Nexans Roundtable on Electrification and Achieving Net-Zero-Carbon Goals as one of the invited climate change experts. The event, held at Evergreen Brickworks, Toronto centered around electrification, clean energy, and achieving net-zero-carbon in Canada by 2030. Etcheverry spoke about the importance of human resources and developing a confident workforce through the Climate Solutions Park project that he is involved in at York while recognizing the various challenges and impediments to the energy transition to highlight the immediate work that needs to be done by the industry.
The Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change and the York University Geography Alumni Network (YUGAN) invite you to the YUGAN Annual Lecture on Tuesday, Nov 29 from 3-6pm ET at the Second Student Centre. Join us for a fun afternoon gathering with friends old and new as we welcome a distinguished researcher to share their research and celebrate 60 years of Geography @ York!
The lecture, “Reimagining Capitalism? or Enacting Post-Capitalist Practices?”, will be presented by Professor Katherine Gibson who is a Professorial Research Fellow in the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University and the 2022 Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser Visiting Professor of Australian Studies, Harvard University. Please register at eventbrite.
Gibson is an economic geographer with an international reputation for innovative research on economic transformation and over 30 years’ experience of working with communities to build resilient economies. As J.K. Gibson-Graham, the collective authorial presence she shares with the late Julie Graham (Professor of Geography, University of Massachusetts Amherst), her books include The End of Capitalism (As We Knew It): A Feminist Critique of Political Economy (Blackwell 1996) and A Postcapitalist Politics (University of Minnesota Press, 2006). Her most recent books are Take Back the Economy: An Ethical Guide for Transforming Our Communities, co-authored with Jenny Cameron and Stephen Healy (University of Minnesota Press, 2013), Making Other Worlds Possible: Performing Diverse Economies, co-edited with Gerda Roelvink and Kevin St Martin (University of Minnesota Press, 2015), Manifesto For Living in the Anthropocene, co-edited with Deborah Bird Rose and Ruth Fincher (Punctum Press, 2015) and The Handbook of Diverse Economies (Edward Elgar, 2020) co-edited with Kelly Dombroski. She is a founding member of the Community Economies Collective.
Join Sheila Htoo, Environmental Studies PhD Candidate, in a talk on ‘Peace’ as ‘peace for business and development’ or ‘peace’ as ‘an end to violence, oppression’ and ‘presence of justice’?: Understanding Karen people’ assertion of ‘genuine’ peace and peacebuilding process through the Salween Peace Park' on Friday, November 25, 10:00 to 12:00 EST in Room 830, Kaneff Tower, York University and via Zoom. Htoo's paper examines and discusses how ceasefire and peace talk since 2015 have become a catalyst for capitalist accumulation by dispossession of ethnic civilians of their land, identity and cultural traditions in Karen State of southeast Burma/Myanmar.
The paper highlights one grassroots peacebuilding process that addresses the fundamental root causes of longstanding conflicts, grievances and political injustices through an establishment of the Salween Peace Park. Htoo's doctoral research focuses on the political ecology of war, resources and armed conflicts, ceasefire capitalism, and peacebuilding efforts by Indigenous Karen people in southeastern Burma/Myanmar through the Salween Peace Park movement.
Htoo serves as a chairperson for the Karen Community of Toronto (KCT) as well as an advocacy leader with the Karen Community of Canada’s (KCC) National Advocacy Team.
CERLAC presents a virtual book launch on Truth be Told: Michael Manley in Conversation by Glynne Manley on Wednesday, November 30 at 7:30pm via zoom.
Manley was Jamaica's Prime Minister between 1972 and 1980 when his government attempted a series of decolonizing reforms. He was defeated in a violent election in 1980 and the Washington consensus was ushered in. He returned to power in 1989 taking a more moderate stance. Manley's leadership style and legacy is heatedly contested, but does it have any relevance for the present moment? Truth be Told comprises three years of candid interviews with Michael Manley conducted by his wife Glynne leading up to his death in 1997.
Now, in the context of a major shift in the balance of power in the hemisphere, leading scholars of the Caribbean, Canada, the US and Jamaica take up the book in relation to Manley's legacy. They do so through the lens of contemporary issues related to political leadership, the informal economy, gender, mining and extraction, global racism and inequality; and land and labour rights. EUC Professor Anna Zalik is part of the panel of speakers. Webinar registration.
Join us for a screening premiere of the Las Nubes documentary 'We Walk the Earth' (2022) and panel discussion on Indigenous Struggles and their Search for Well-Being on Wednesday, November 23. We Walk the Earth speaks of Indigenous persistence in their homelands after more than 500 years of colonialism. It recounts struggles in Costa Rica for Indigenous rights to land, to self-governance and autonomy. Through the words of Bribri, Cabécar, Brunka and Bröran men and women, stories emerge of the pains suffered in the struggle to rightfully recover Indigenous Territories. The restoration of life and wellbeing through Indigenous Peoples’ stewardship of their land offers alternative ways to understand our relationship with the Earth.
The film was directed by Felipe Montoya, with Gilbert González Maroto as the academic lead. The documentary was made by EUC's Las Nubes Project and the Faculty of Health at York University in collaboration with the Universidad Técnica Nacional de Costa Rica, San Carlos Campus and York Libraries and the financial support of EUC, FoH, York International and York Libraries. Zoom link registration.
Dayna Scott's work documenting Indigenous community’s stand against mining companies was featured in YFile News. For the past seven years, Scott has worked closely with the Neskantaga First Nation as they fight to preserve their homelands in the sensitive peat-lands of northern Ontario. Notably, the Neskantaga First Nation is one of several First Nations profoundly impacted by the Ring of Fire, a gigantic, proposed nickel mining development in the mineral-rich James Bay Lowlands. The area is also believed to hold vast deposits of chromite, copper and platinum. “Various governments have hitched their hopes to the Ring of Fire as a potential driver of Ontario’s economy,” said Scott who holds the York Research Chair in Environmental Law and Justice in the Green Economy. “The struggle for jurisdiction,” she added, “is a high-stakes struggle.” For more info on Scott's work, read the EUC research spotlight on Novel approaches to restoring Indigenous governing authority over lands and waterways. The research – along with a related project “Assembling Infrastructures Of Indigenous Jurisdiction” – will be the focus of a forthcoming book Fire in the Ring: Settler Law and Indigenous Jurisdiction on the Critical Minerals Frontier.
Mark Winfield's expertise was featured in a CBC News on Ford government's proposed changes to the Greenbelt. With the proposal to build thousands of homes in parts of the Greenbelt while adding other protected land elsewhere, the plan will accordingly cause a host of ecological problems. "Taking land out of the system has a cascading set of effects," says Winfield. Accordingly, the "hardening of surfaces," due to the construction of roads and buildings where there were none before, will affect how that land can then interact with water systems, how groundwater is recharged, and how runoff works and the provision of habitats. "The more we fail to protect source waters and recharge areas where drinking water comes from, a core purpose of the Greenbelt, the more pathways are possible for contaminants to get into drinking water. This should be of concern to everyone who drinks Lake Ontario's water at home," he says.
Winfield also wrote an article for The Hamilton Spectator on "Ontario's risky play on nuke power" bringing attention to the new 300MW nuclear power reactor that is at the center of Ontario Power Generation (OPG) initiative paving the path for the future of province's electricity system. Winfield mentions that OPG is following the expanded nuclear-based pathway which also included the last month's extension of the aged Pickering nuclear facility's lifetime. Accordingly, this contributes to increases in electricity-related emissions that are projected to grow to 600% in Ontario by 2040 in comparison to emission values of 2017. "The Ford government’s unwillingness to consider different approaches to meeting the province’s electricity needs is particularly surprising given the range of alternatives available to it," he says.
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Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change (EUC)
4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M3J 1P3