Welcome to the September 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.
This month’s Research Spotlights feature EUC undergraduate students who were awarded NSERC & EUC awards to conduct summer research projects with EUC faculty. Congratulations to Trevor, Madison, Ashraf, Claire, and Randelle!
Trevor Doe on understanding the historical, cultural, and political relevance of Indigenous Treaty Rights
Randelle Adano on assessing the Holocene paleoenvironmental history of Lake Scugog
Ashraf Hutchcraft on cormorant sourcing of anthropogenic nest material in Tommy Thompson Park
Accolades and Awards
Congratulations to Linda Peake who has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Fellows of the RSC are nominated and elected by peers “for their outstanding scholarly, scientific and artistic achievement. Recognition by the RSC for career achievement is the highest honour an individual can achieve in the Arts, Social Sciences and Sciences.” Just 102 leading scholars from Canada and around the world were elected to be FRSCs across all fields this year, so it is truly a great honour, and a recognition of Linda’s outstanding contributions to feminist and anti-racist thinking in human geography and urban studies. Her citation reads as follows: “Linda Peake’s award-winning research integrates feminism and anti-racism into theorizations of urban everyday life, inspiring scholarship in human geography and urban studies, as well as promoting equity and diversity in the academy. Her original body of work on women as gendered urban subjects has invigorated critiques of canonical knowledge production, utilizing methodologies that engage with subaltern knowledge production and marginalized communities, and creating the field of comparative feminist urban research.”
Rachel Lobo has been awarded a SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship at the Women & Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. D. Alissa Trotz. Rachel completed her PhD in Environmental Studies in August 2022 under the supervision of Honor Ford-Smith. Her research examines how photographic archives can sustain histories of political struggle and foster the exchange of intergenerational knowledge. Rachel received a master’s degree in Photographic Preservation and Collections Management from Ryerson, now Toronto Metropolitan University, and has held curatorial and archival internships at the Royal Ontario Museum and the Ryerson Image Centre, respectively. She was a recipient of CERLAC's Graduate Level Michael Baptista Essay Prize in 2021 for her research titled "A Willingness to Dig: Autonomous Feminist Struggles and Care Work".
Thomas C. McCarthy (MA, Geography) has won the Canadian Studies Network (CSN)'s Prize for the Best MA Thesis in Canadian Studies for his thesis titled 'Littoral Trouble: Places, Prose, and Possibilities in the Lake Ontario Watershed', supervised by Patricia Wood. The citation reads: "This is a well-written and fascinating study of the ways in which, over time, ordinary people have related to Lake Ontario and imposed a variety of meanings upon it. The thesis involves an extensive examination of writing—of many sorts—about the lake and its people as well as field work. It is a personal geography. Littoral Trouble promises to contribute to the scholarly literature in the human geography of Ontario and Canada, as well as to the field of Canadian Studies and the rich scholarship within it that addresses space, place, and identity construction. It is a pleasure to read McCarthy’s clear and accessible prose. In the spirit of our multi- and interdisciplinary field, it draws extensively from a variety of scholarly “ways of knowing.” Congratulations, Thomas!
Publications and Reports
Adelabu, S., Ramoelo, A., Olusola, A. and Adagbasa, E., Eds. (2022). Remote Sensing of African Mountains: Geospatial Tools Toward Sustainability. Springer.
Avery, L., Maddox, R., Abtan, R., Wong, O., Rotondi, N.K., McConkey, S., Bourgeois, C., McKnight, C., Wolfe, S., Flicker, S. Macpherson, A., Smylie, J. and Rotondi, M. (2022). Modelling prevalent cardiovascular disease in an urban Indigenous population, Canadian Journal of Pubic Health, https://doi.org/10.17269/s41997-022-00669-x
Birch, K. (2022). Reflexive expectations in innovation financing: An analysis of venture capital as a mode of valuation, Social Studies of Science, https://doi.org/10.1177/0306312722111837
Das R. (2022). Marx's Capital, Capitalism and Limits to the State: Theoretical Considerations. London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351168007
Das, R. (2022). Social Oppression, Class Relation, and Capitalist Accumulation, in Marx Matters, Studies in Critical Social Sciences, Vol 215.
Das, R. (2022). ‘Capital, Capitalism and Health’. Critical Sociology. March. https://doi.org/10.1177/0896920522108
Das, R. (2022). Theory and class struggle: A dialectical approach. LINKS: International Journal of Social Renewal. September.
Das, R. and Mishra, D., Eds. (2022). Global Poverty: Rethinking Causality. Leiden: Brill.
Hoicka, C., Zhao, Y. McMaster, M.L. and Das, R. (2022). Diffusion of demand-side low-carbon innovations and socio-technical energy system change. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Transition. Volume 2, August, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rset.2022.100034
Hovorka, A. (2022). Chapter 11: Exploring urban foodscapes via feminist political ecology in Routledge Handbook of Urban Food Governance. 1st Edition, October. London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003055907
Keil, R. and Wu, F., Eds. (2022). After Suburbia: Urbanization in the Twenty-First Century. University of Toronto Press.
Mensah, J., Teye, J. K., & Setrana, M. B. (2022). The Janus-face of contemporary migration: Perspectives on West African return migration and transnationalism with a focus on Ghana and Senegal. Migration in West Africa, IMISCOE Research Series, 237–259. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-97322-3_12
Quintero, R.J. and A. Hari (2022) Queering Protracted Displacement: Lessons from Internally Displaced Persons in the Philippines. Anti-Trafficking Review, 19, 125-129.
Eckhouse, G. and A. Zalik (2022) editors Whither hydrocarbons? The rescaling of global oil and gas markets amidst COVID-19 and a contested transition Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space 2022 54:8, 1641-1668. (Open Access)
Eckhouse, G. and A. Zalik (2022) Introduction. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space 54:8, 1641-1647. (Open Access)
Zalik, A. (2022) The perpetual rescaling of oil and gas production and flows in continental North America. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space 54:8, 1661-1664. (Open Access)
EUC Research in the Media
Ranu Basu has launched her SSHRC project's new website on Geopolitics of Education for Peace (GEP) featuring case studies of spaces of struggle and resistance in select cities of the world. GEP is a collective project conducted by a group of international scholars and activists with roots in the Global South and is part of Basu's multi-year Insight Grant on Subalterity, public education, and welfare cities: Comparing the experience of displaced migrants in three cities of Havana, Toronto, Kolkata. The project brings together multiple accounts, stories, and critical spatial insights to highlight some of the ways in which educators and urban communities extending from Cuba, Brazil, Colombia to India, Toronto and beyond, have historically resisted structures of oppression,and continue to politically redefine geographical imaginaries and questions of sustainability, through unique practices of education for peace. The website also features student posters exploring the micro-geographies of schools during COVID-19 as part of the Critical Geographies of Education (EU/GEOG 4700) 2022 course, exemplifying teaching-research linkages and enriching experiential learning for students. GEP conceives of urbanization and education (formal to the informal) as critical pedagogical spaces for social transformation and intervention, historically rooted in anti-racist, anti-imperialist, and anti-colonial collective struggles. These frameworks form the critical foundational basis for GEP.
Bruce Campbell, EUC adjunct professor, penned an article on Why major Canadian railways must no longer be permitted to police themselves in The Conversation. In this article, he noted that railways' own police forces place them in a conflict of interest when they investigate their employers. This was exemplified in the Canadian Pacific freight train crash near Field, B.C. in February 2019. The U.S. railway policing powers, also dating back to the 19th century, are accordingly comparable to that of its Canadian counterpart. He advocates that the federal government must replace this antiquated relic with a railway policing law that helps restore confidence in law enforcement and provides justice to victims’ families.
Lauren Corman, MES/PhD alumna and now sociology professor at Brock University was in conversation on September 15 with Andil Gosine on his "Nature's Wild" (Duets) exhibit which is now showing at The Niagara Artists Centre. Nature’s Wild takes as its central concern anxieties about the line between human and non-human animals, and their management through the disciplining of sex. In this exhibit, Gosine engages with questions of humanism, queer theory, and animality to examine and revise understandings of queer desire in the Caribbean.
Lina Brand Correa and Laura Taylor participated in a recent symposium on new developments in energy modelling, urban transitions & energy poverty hosted by Women & Inclusivity in Sustainable Energy Research (WISER), Smart Prosperity Institute (SPI) and Women in Renewable Energy (WIRE) that showcased female and nonbinary academics who spoke about their work on energy poverty and equitable decarbonization. Laura Taylor participated in the panel discussion on urban energy transitions while Lina Brand Correa was in the panel on energy poverty: concepts and practice.
Honor Ford-Smith's Oral History, Food Justice and Music Making (OHJAM) project has released its project video! This community-based arts informed research project was originally inspired by EUC York MES graduate Jacqueline Dwyer. With Noel Livingstone, Dwyer founded the Toronto Black Farmers Collective whose work adapts and extends Black and Caribbean cultural practices of food production and distribution into the urban landscape around York. The project contributes to ongoing work on food justice and community education in Jane and Finch in experiential ways. It records local contributor’s oral histories of Black and Caribbean food production and consumption and draws on these to create music and curriculum resources that valorize and advance community-based organization and intergenerational learning on urban food justice. York students, namely: Lord-Emmanuel Archidago, Nasra Mohammed, Krystle Skeete, Marvin Veloso and Ruben Esguerra (latter two are York alumni) are involved in the oral history and music making initiatives. The project is funded by the Helen Carswell Chair in Community Engaged Research in the Arts.
Gail Fraser is part of riverMOUTH that brings spoken word, song, music & soundscape to the lower Cobechenonk / Humber River. It is inspired by water and desire to nurture sustainable, life-giving connection to the planet. Feel free to download the riverMOUTH audio walk at home and explore the park as you listen — from plant medicine, ecology and architecture, to soundscape and song.
Andil Gosine has a new show titled Nature’s Wild (Duets) with several collaborators at The Niagara Arts Centre. Fresh from his acclaimed curatorial project "Everything slackens in a wreck," recently held at The Ford Foundation in New York, Gosine shares the works by an international group of artists engaged with the central themes of his book, Nature’s Wild: Love, Sex and Law in the Caribbean (Duke University Press, 2021). The exhibition opened on September 9 and will run until 5 November 2022. Gosine also has another exhibit at the Medulla Art Gallery in Port of Spain this October.
Roger Keil has written an article on Shape-shifting Toronto: The Planning Region in the Age of Financialization in the ACSP News & Press. In this article, Keil notes the changing shape of urban Toronto into a polycentric postmetropolis, a gentrifying North American city ringed by expansive suburban municipalities with immigrant populations living and working in mixed densities ranging from sprawling 20th century bungalow subdivisions to 21st century high rise condominiums. This is a "result of strict urban planning rules set by the Province of Ontario and the dynamics of a burgeoning global city economy where manufacturing is continuously edged by booming real estate, logistics and services sectors". The shapeshifting has further been accelerated and fuelled by the "financialization of the real estate sector" which is now the driving force of the regional economy and which has created a new growth model aptly named “the suburban-financial nexus” by EUC postdoc Murat Üçoğlu. The COVID-19 pandemic has also "sharpened the development patterns across the region and deepened the social and housing crises," he added.
Calvin Lakhan (lead investigator in EUC's Waste Wiki project) spreads awareness on recycling and limiting or even possibly stopping the use of plastics in a CBC Radio One podcast. In this podcast, Lakhan noted that in his research, he found that only 60% of what Canadians put in the blue bin gets recycled and only 9% of plastic waste in the country gets recycled. He posed a challenge on what we can do such that we do not continue to pollute our planet. Read his earlier article in Advanced Waste Solutions. Read also his article on Why brown people don't recycle...sort of.
Deborah McGregor gave a presentation on integrating Anishinaabe environmental stewardship into Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and environmental science in a STEM and environmental sustainability conference held in Manitoulin Island in August. In news coverage by the Manitoulin Expositor, McGregor addresses the question: What does it mean to “live well” with the Earth in the face of climate/ecological crisis? The article covers McGregor's ideas on integration of Anishinaabe stewardship which carries an environmental focus into STEM and environmental science.
McGregor is also part of SSHRC's digital marketing campaign on Real Insight, Real Impact, Real Purpose featuring social sciences and humanities researchers investigating and shedding light on topics of concern to Canadians -- including economic vulnerability, climate change and environment, pandemic and wellness, reconciliation and cybersecurity, and how their research is leading to solutions and contributing to shaping a positive future for Canadians and the world.
Justin J. Podur's Anti-Empire Project has released a new podcast episode focused on the events of World War I and the tensions between European countries. Podur also explores the failings of democracy as a governmental structure in the first episode released this September. The episode features Vik Sohonie, a former journalist who runs the Grammy-award nominated Ostinato Records.
Sarah Rotz spoke to CBC Radio One on how the use of agricultural technology can really be a useful tool if it allows farmers to make ecologically responsible decisions. "There are technological solutions that are being developed that do support regenerative agricultural methods and farmers that I have spoken to that use those methods do see a role for technology", she says. Recently, her Relational Accountability for Indigenous Rematriation (RAIR) Collective Digital Dialogues featured Stephanie Morningstar who shared her knowledge about land rematriation, reclaiming relationships, responsibilities and reparations.
Luisa Sotomayor was interviewed by CBC's Metro Morning where she discussed the struggles students face in finding affordable housing. She noted that a lot of students have to be employed while pursuing their studies to be able to afford rent in the areas around Toronto and the GTA. This in turn affects their ability to commute to their place of study. Toronto's challenging housing market largely impacts underprivileged communities.
Joshua Thienpont was featured in Episode 39 of Podcast or Perish where he talks about paleolimnology, that is, the science (and art) of reconstructing the past environments of fresh water systems. He explained that we need to be able to infer how ecosystems have changed over time, and paleolimnology, using sediments, helps to reconstruct and infer changes in lakes, rivers or streams over a long period of time Thienpont also has a podcast on Apple called Core Ideas (with Adam Jeziorski) where he discusses a wide variety of environmental topics such as acid rain, eutrophication, and climate change.
Steven Tufts provided insights for a Global News feature on unionized workplaces. He notes that in larger companies like Apple and Starbucks, workers are still figuring out ways to create a successful unionized environment. This process will require large numbers of workers to come together to reproduce the union density levels that were seen historically in periods such as the Great Depression.
Mark Winfield commented in Canada's National Observer on the political conversations around climate policy as they are impacted by cost-of-living concerns. He notes that current circumstances could reduce the funding that governments will allocate to fighting climate change. He also points out that the federal Liberal leadership will pay attention to the effects carbon prices have on low-income households. In Winfield's view, demonstrating continued engagement and commitment on the climate file is key for the Liberals because it “is an important component of retaining its base.” Winfield was also part of a recent webinar on The Review and Reform of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act sponsored by the Canadian Environmental Law Association and Nature Canada.
Anna Zalik recently participated in the Mexican legislature's monthly public affairs program. Zalik was interviewed by Environmental Studies PhD alumna Dr Tania Hernandez Cervantes, who is now Senior Advisor to the General Secretary of the Mexican Parliament. The interview concerned current crises in global energy production and markets arising from the war in Ukraine and COVID-19.
The EUC Research Update is compiled by the Research Office at EUC: Research Officer Rhoda Reyes, Associate Dean Research, Graduate & Global Affairs Philip Kelly, and Research Assistant Igor Lutay. Thanks to Paul Tran for the web design and development.
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