Timetables & Courses
Course enrollment for geography courses is available online via ACORN starting August 1, 2017.
- Adding Courses: September 25, 2017 (fall-F and year-Y courses) / January 22, 2017 (winter-S courses)
- Dropping Courses: October 30, 2017 (fall-F courses) / February 26 (winter-S and year-Y courses)
- Fall courses start the week of September 11, 2017
- Winter courses start the week of January 8, 2018
Course enrollment is available using the student web service, ACORN.
Please see the Selecting Courses page for info on how to choose courses, number of courses per session, courses outside the department, etc.
There will be additional physical geography courses posted to this timetable in late July or early August. Human geography students are encouraged to view the Planning Timetable to find elective courses (these count as courses from ‘outside’ the geography program).
Course outlines for the current year will be posted within the course descriptions as they become available. Students can review the timetable archive to find outlines from previous years to get a general outline of the course content.
The availability of our courses to different student categories is indicated in the timetable.
- Open = Course enrollment is available to all U of T graduate students via ACORN.
- GGR/PLA priority = Course enrollment will be open to Geography and Planning students only until September 18. After this date, if spaces are available students from outside the department can enroll via ACORN. Students are welcome to attend the first lecture prior to enrolment.
- Instructor approval required = Students can enroll via ACORN, however their enrollment request will be reviewed by the instructor for the course for approval.
- GGR only = Course is not available to any student outside the geography program.
If you have questions about enrollment, please contact the department.
Last updated September 18, 2017.
Fall courses begin the week of September 11, 2017.
|GGR1105H: Human Geography Core Course||S. Wakefield||Tuesdays, 12-3pm||SS5017A||GGR only|
|This course is primarily aimed at MA students, but would be open, with instructor approval, to PhD students as well. The course will feature discussion of a number of issues pertaining to what life is like as an academic and some of the related skills and experiences that go along with it (e.g., the tenure process, journal peer review processes, tips on how to publish journal articles, research collaboration, conference presentations, teaching, the academic job market, relationship between academia and the wider world, public intellectualism, theoretical versus applied work, etc.). In addition, it will include engagement with non-academic career trajectories, including how skills and experiences from graduate school can contribute to (or hinder?) success in policy deliberations, activism, government and non-profit work, etc. It will also encompass an overview of non-profit work, major debates in the field, and of theory and explanation in geography. The course incorporates a workshop on proposal writing or research statement element for MA students.
The main difference between GGR 1105H and GGR 1110H is in the reading load but also the contrast in specific goals. Specifically, GGR 1110H emphasizes critical reading and thinking drawing on contemporary texts by or relevant to geographers, discussion of readings and the role of theory and evidence in explanation, and perhaps also paying explicit attention to different writing styles. GGR 1105H is more of a wide ranging course but with some emphasis on practical survival tips for academic and related spheres of life.
|GGR1110H: Issues in Geographical Thought and Practice (PhD Human Geography Core Course)||A. Walks||Fridays, 1-3pm||SS5017A||GGR only|
|GGR1100H Course Outline Fall 2017
How do geographers go about addressing the challenges and problems of the world? How does the wider context (social, institutional, environmental….geographical!) shape the kinds of issues geographers examine, how these issues are framed, and how they are addressed? How do broad intellectual currents influence the work that is done in geography (and vice versa), and how do we understand the relationships between the broad intellectual currents and the “world out there”? Consistent with current emphasis in critical geography, all geographers, whether explicit or not, are using both theory and so politics in their work, along with some implicit or explicit problem statement in framing what they look at and what are they trying to explain. Even the choice of phenomena to examine is a political choice. Thinking carefully about these issues helps to understand the relationship between scholarship (geographical or otherwise) and the “real world”, while at the same time facilitating reflexive and careful consideration of research topics and approaches. This is, in our view, preferable to relying uncritically on policy or academic discourses and their prevailing theories, debates, questions, and approaches.
|GGR1200H: Physical Geography Core Course||D. Harvey & Y. He||Fridays, 1-4pm||SS562||GGR only|
|GGR1200H Fall 2017 Course Outline
This is a mandatory core course for all first year physical geography (MSc and PhD) graduate students. The main objective is to introduce students to successful approaches in graduate school and for conducting scientific research. Specifically, topics will include: fellowship application, literature review, experimental design, presentation skills, proposal preparation, and disseminating scientific research. It also will provide an overview of physical geography as a discipline and include guest presentations by members of each of the four newly established physical geography research clusters. The course will foster intellectual interactions and build support within student cohorts and include mandatory attendance at departmental and university seminar series. Doctoral students who completed their Master’s in Physical Geography in this department and who took this course as a Master’s student are exempted from taking this course as part of their doctoral course work. Following discussion between student, supervisor, and the Associate Chair, Graduate, exemption from this course may also be granted to certain PhD students who have taken an equivalent course as part of their MSc programme.
|GGR1215H: Advanced Watershed Hydroecology||J. Chen||Thursdays, 10am-12pm (lecture), labs TBA||SS1072||Open|
|Hydrology and ecology are inter-related disciplines in Earth science. Hydroecology is a branch of ecology with emphasis on the effects of hydrological processes on living and non-living organisms and on their relationships in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. In particular, the redistribution of water over the landscape through surface and subsurface water flows regulates energy, mass and carbon fluxes from the land surface to the atmosphere, affecting the plant distribution and productivity as well as regional and global climate. In this course, a user-friendly, menu-driven hydroecological model will be used in practice to give a hands-on experience for modeling. Methods for handling spatial datasets, including those derived from remote sensing, will also be taught. About 2/3 of course time is devoted to lecturing the basic principles, concepts and related equations, and 1/3 for conducting a research project using the hydroecological model. The list of topics for the project will be suggested, but it can also be self-chosen. Exclusion GGR413H (STG).|
|GGR1216H: Advanced Biogeochemical Processes||I. Lehnherr||Mondays, 12-3pm||DV1158A (UTM)||Open|
|GGR1216H Fall 2017 Course Outline
Biogeochemistry explores the intersection of biological, chemical, and geological processes that shape the environment. In an era of unprecedented human-induced environmental and climate change, research in this field is advancing rapidly. This seminar course explores the biogeochemical cycles of major and trace elements including carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur and mercury, and examines how humans alter these cycles resulting in many of the environmental issues we are faced with today, such as eutrophication, climate change, ocean acidification and pollution by toxic contaminants. Additionally, the course focuses on the mechanisms controlling biogeochemical processes at local to global scales, including interactions between abiotic and biotic factors, such as climate, redox conditions, microbial metabolism and ecology. Topics covered include biogeochemical processes in the atmosphere (e.g., aerosols-ecosystems productivity interactions, black carbon), aquatic ecosystems (e.g., redox controls on sediment P release in eutrophic lakes) and terrestrial environments (e.g., soil respiration of legacy carbon in thawing permafrost), as well as some of the emerging techniques (e.g., stable-isotopes, -omics) used in biogeochemistry.
|JPG1111H: Research Practice in Geography||L. Pitkanen||Mondays, 2-4pm||SS5017A||GGR/PLA priority|
|JPG1111H Fall 2017 Course Outline
This course will introduce students to philosophical and methodological approaches to research in geography. Through seminar and lecture modules, students will acquire an understanding of different research paradigms, quantitative and qualitative methods, and the knowledge necessary for developing sound and reflective geographic research strategies. The goals of the course will be to provide students with the knowledge needed to effectively evaluate research, understand the process of research design, formulate research questions and develop a geographic research proposal.
|JPG1400H: Advanced Quantitative Methods||M. Widener||Thursdays, 12-3pm||RW109||Open|
|JPG1400H Fall 2017 Course Outline
Spatial Analysis consists of set of techniques used for statistical modeling and problem solving in Geography. As such, it plays an integral role in the detection of spatial processes and the identification of their causal factors. It is therefore a key component in one’s preparation for applied or theoretical quantitative work in GIScience, Geography, and other cognate disciplines. Space, of course, is treated explicitly in spatial analytical techniques, and the goal of many methods is to quantify the substantive impact of location and proximity on human and environmental processes in space.
|JPG1426H: Natural Resources, Differences & Conflict||S. Mollett||Thursdays, 10am-12pm||SS562||Open|
|JPG1426H Course Outline Fall 2017
This course is concerned with the ways in which natural resource policies governing use, access, and control of resources are imbued with and reproduce conflict. Through a variety of case studies and theoretical engagements (feminist, postcolonial, anti-racist, Marxist, post-humanist), this course examines how natural resource conflicts are shaped by multiple kinds of power. In this course we discuss how such contests are more than political economic struggles. Through attention to the entanglements of environment, difference and struggle, a core aim of this seminar is to interrogate what is given and taken-for-granted within dominant narratives, instruments and institutions shaping land and territorial demarcation, water access and distribution, livelihood (in)security, oil and mineral extraction, biodiversity conservation, and struggles over urban citizenship. While this course looks to make visible how states and elites shape space through natural resource control, simultaneously, it attends to how people and their communities work to defend and remake their lives and livelihoods in the face of displacement and dispossession.
JPG1518H: Sustainability and Urban Communities
|J. Curry||10am – 12pm
First class Wed Sept 13, course resumes every Friday starting Sept 29 to Dec 8 and a field trip arranged with students
|JPG1518H Course Ouline Fall 2017
This course will explore innovation and creativity in the planning profession focusing on change processes towards community sustainability. Planners are visionaries and change facilitators. New societal and technological issues in planning will be studied and then process techniques and planning skills needed to move society towards a sustainable future will be discussed.
|JPG1558H: The History and Geography of Cycles & Cycling||R. Buliung||Wednesdays, 10am-1pm||SS5017A||Open|
|JPG1558H Fall 2017 Course Outline
The presence of cycling in cities has, for some, become the hallmark for the progressive city; progressive from a transport perspective. But how did we get to this point in the history of urban transportation and city life? Has it always been like this? Is more cycling a desirable outcome for everyone? Who cycles and who doesn’t, and for what reasons? In one sense, this course addresses these very questions, while exploring several points of complex intersection between cycles and cycling and a range of social, economic, and political constructs/forces/processes that often operate at a range of scales. Adopting an historical and geographical lens, we will also consider the uneven way in which cycling seems to have fallen into and out of favour, locally, nationally, and globally over time.This course will explore cycling’s past and present using a range of resources and experiences (including some actual cycling in the city!) using a mixture of lectures, student lead seminars and presentations, and fieldwork. The course begins in the City of Toronto, with a focus on infrastructure planning and injury. The course will make use of cycle planning documents and reports available through the City of Toronto. Students will use fieldwork to identify and trouble infrastructure implementation and use. The history of cycling technologies, planning and infrastructure then comes into view, followed by an examination of points of intersection between cycles, cycling and identity(s) scaled from the body to the nation. Study of cycling and active transport more broadly then shifts toward the Global South.
|JPG1615H: Planning the Social Economy||K. Rankin||Mondays / Wednesdays, 4-6pm
(does not meet every Mon/Wed, please see syllabus for specific meeting dates)
|JPG1615H Course Outline Fall 2017
What would it take to build a ‘social economy,’ an economy rooted in the principles of social justice, democratic governance and local self-reliance? What are the progressive and regressive implications of such an undertaking? JPG 1615 will explore these questions both theoretically and practically. Theoretically, with recourse to some canonical and more recent writings about the interface between ‘society’ and ‘economy’. Practically, the course will look at what role municipal governments could and do play in building the social economy. The case of social housing in the GTA serves as an example—as well as a context for learning about key tools in local economic development. The course will also consider how communities and neighbourhoods are growing increasingly active in developing alternative economic institutions, such as cooperatives, participatory budgets and community development financial institutions in order to institutionalize the social economy at the local scale.
|JPG1660H: Regional Dynamics||R. DiFrancesco||Wednesdays, 12-2pm||UC261||Open|
|JPG1660H Course Outline Fall 2017
The space-economy has always been characterized by polarization across many dimensions. As a result, regional economic change has proved very difficult to fully explain using conventional theories and methods. This course examines the theoretical linkage between related trends of globalization, vertical disintegration, technological and organizational innovation, regional specialization, and the locational behaviour of firms. We will focus on the seemingly counter-intuitive finding that regional economic change in a time of increasing global interdependence is only becoming more dependent on the local context. Topics will include evolutionary economic geography, path dependence, economic clusters, learning regions, the role of institutions, knowledge spill-overs, and the geography of innovation, among others. We will see why economic activity is becoming ever more concentrated in space even as it globalizes. Exclusion: GGR431.
|JPG1809H: Spaces of Work||M. Buckley||Mondays, 10am-1pm||SS562||Open|
|JPG1809H Course Outline Fall 2017
This course will introduce students to Marxist, feminist, anticolonial and intersectional perspectives on ‘work’ in the twenty-first century. A key intention of this course is to prompt students to examine what forms of work – and also whose work – has been taken into account in geographical scholarship and to explore a number of prominent debates concerning labour, work and employment within geography over the last three decades. In doing so we will engage with foundational political economy texts on the relations of labour under capitalism, and texts within geography and sociology on work, labour, place and space. We will also examine a number of broad economic and cultural shifts in the nature of contemporary work and employment such as de-industrialization, the feminization of labour markets and service sector work, neoliberalization and the rise of the ‘precariat’. At the same time, students will be prompted to consider critiques of some of these ‘transformational’ narratives to probe the colonial, patriarchal, and capitalist continuities shaping the contours of contemporary work. In this sense this is not an exhaustive course on labour and work in geography, but rather a series of discrete introductions to key scholarly arguments about work, often followed by a range of responses to those arguments in the following week. The course will touch on a broad range of topics, including unfree labour, labour organizing, precarious employment and social reproductive work which are tied together by four overarching themes that run through the course – value, identity, agency and justice. Overall this course aims to give students the chance to explore not only how work has been conceptualized and studied in geography, but how it could be.
|JPG1812Y: Planning for Change||A. Kramer & S. Bunce||Fall Session: Mondays, 10am-1pm
Winter Session: Fridays, 9am-12pm
instructor approval is required
|Geography & Planning students can request enrolment on Acorn and should attend the first class. Instructors will approve final registration after the first course meeting. Students from outside the department can attend the first class and if they are approved by the instructor must submit an add/drop form to the department to enrol.
JPG1812Y Fall 2017 Winter 2018 Course Outline
Planning for Change is a year-long course (Y) comprised of seminars, readings, films, discussion, writing, reflection and the completion of a major project designed by and for a community organization. Students will have the opportunity to gain an in-depth, reflective experience in the field of community development. The course is based on successful models of service-learning courses at other institutions. Service learning, as a pedagogical practice, aims to unite what often appear to be divisive realms of theory and practice by providing analytical tools to connect academic and community development work. Service-learning aims to create an educational space where work is done for community organizations with students based on the self-identified needs of the community. Students are challenged to reflect on the work they are doing and the context in which service is provided. Planning/Geography education and service-learning are in many ways an ideal partnership. A service-learning course in the graduate program at the University of Toronto opens a way for students to gain hands-on experience in the field of community development.
|JPG1813H: Planning and Social Policy||S. Ruddick||Thursdays, 2-4pm
First class at alternate time: Tues Sept 12 at 10am in room 5017A
|JPG1813H Fall 2017 Course Outline
Concurrent with the shift from a Keynesian to a neo-liberal welfare state, community groups, ngos and a range of institutions are exploring different mechanisms for collective and collaborative community. New in the “how to” toolkit are discussions around the practice of “commoning.” Once thought to be restricted to forms of common land such as community land trusts, the new commons cover everything from public infrastructures such as libraries and water, to information technologies to community gardens. In this course we will explore the philosophies and practices around the emergence of a new commons as it is distinguished from other forms of collective distribution of goods such as “public goods,” “collective consumption” and “collaborative consumption.” Questions we will explore include the limits and possibilities of a commons for social transformation or cooptation, the challenges of scaling a commons.
|JPG1906H: Geographic Information Systems||D. Boyes||Fridays, 10am-12pm (lectures) & 12-2pm (labs)||SS5017A (lecture)
|JPG1906H Fall 2017 Course Outline
This course provides an intensive introduction to fundamental geographic information system (GIS) theory, as well as practical, hands-on experience with state-of-the-art software. The course is designed to accommodate students from a variety of research backgrounds, and with no previous GIS experience. The goal is to provide students with a theoretical understanding of spatial data and analysis concepts, and to introduce the practical tools needed to create and manage spatial data, perform spatial analysis, and communicate results including (but not limited to) the form of a well-designed map. Assignments require the use of the ArcInfo version of ESRI’s ArcGIS software and extensions, and are designed to encourage proper research design, independent analysis, and problem solving. By the end of the course, successful students should be able to apply what they have learned to their own research, to learn new functions on their own, and have the necessary preparation to continue in more advanced GIS courses should they wish to do so. Classes consist of a two hour lecture each week, which integrate live software demonstrations to illustrate the linkages between theory and practice.
|ENV1103H: The U of T Campus as a Living Lab||J. Robinson||Tuesdays, 2-4pm||OI5250||Contact School for the Environment|
|ENV1103H Fall 2017 Course Outline
Sustainability is a growing priority for universities all over the world. Many are developing strong operational sustainability goals and targets, and are giving increasing emphasis to teaching and research on sustainability issues. Yet few have committed at the executive level to integrating academic and operational sustainability in the context of treating their campus as a living laboratory of sustainable practice, research and teaching. Arguably, it is such living lab approaches that offer the largest potential for universities to play a significant role in the sustainability transition. This course will explore and apply the living lab concept, in the context of operational sustainability at the University of Toronto. We will begin by looking briefly at the literature on university sustainability and the living lab concept. The bulk of the course will involve undertaking an applied research project on some aspect of campus sustainability, working in close partnership with operational staff at the University of Toronto. Students will develop the skills needed to work across disciplines and fields of study, and with non-academic partners.
|EES1120H: Fluid Dynamics of Contaminant Transport||M. Wells||Fridays, 9am-12pm||BV361 (UTSC)||Contact Physical & Environmental Sciences|
|This course will introduce the mechanisms of contaminant transport in lakes and the coastal ocean. The emphasis will be on a practical understanding of different dispersion regimes from point and distributed pollution sources. Students will learn to use the basic equations that model these processes and understand how these equations are used in water quality models. Students will also be introduced to field measurement techniques and learn to compare field data with model data. Among the subjects to be discussed are the dispersion of pollutants in lakes, rivers and the coastal zone, mixing in stratified estuaries and the dynamics of the seasonal thermocline.|
Winter courses begin the week of January 8, 2018.
|GGR1218H: Open Source Methods in Physical Geography||T. Porter||Mondays, 2-5pm||DV2060 (UTM)||Open, instructor permission rqd|
|Students may request enrolment on Acorn as well as contact the instructor who will approve enrolment requests.
Quantitative datasets in geographical research have grown rapidly in size and complexity, and often demand the implementation of custom open-source programs built in languages such as Matlab to mine, process, analyse and plot spatiotemporal phenomena (e.g., global climate warming). Such datasets may include, for example, self-describing, multi-dimensional gridded climate data organised as a NetCDF file, which cannot be accessed efficiently using standard spreadsheet software. This course will provide students with a hands-on, lab-based introduction to Matlab, a high-level programming language used in the natural and applied geosciences. Applications in data mining, spatial statistics, mapping, and time-series analysis will be demonstrated using examples in physical geography research. Students will complete a series of assignments to develop their coding and problem solving skills, and a final project that applies these skills in a practical way to their thesis research.
|GGR1302H: Advanced Hydrology & Water Quality||T. Duval||Thursdays, 12-2pm
|GGR1302H Winter 2018 Course Outline
This course will take a hydrological perspective in examining the landscape controls on surface water quality. We will consider how the study of surface water and ground water hydrology lead to an understanding of stream water chemistry through the examination of hydrological flowpaths and the chemical interaction of water and the matrix/matrices through which it flows. An advanced understanding of hydrological processes will be emphasized. Pertinent field and laboratory techniques will be introduced. Pre-requisites: GGR 309H/315H, OAC Chemistry or equivalents. Exclusion: GGR407H (UTM).
|GGR1315H: The Cryosphere||L. Brown||Tuesdays, 9-11:30am||TBA (UTM)||Open|
|GGR1315H Course Outline Winter 2018
Snow and ice dominate the Canadian landscape. There is virtually no area in Canada which escapes the influence of snow and ice. We skate on frozen ponds, ski down snow laden mountains, drive through snow blizzards and watch how ice jams in rivers cause rivers to swell and floods to occur. The duration and the thickness of snow and ice increase rapidly northwards, and glaciers are found in mountainous areas and in large parts of the Arctic region. Given that snow and ice impact heavily on the Canadian way of life, this course seeks to understand the dynamics of snow and ice in a hydrological context. This course will examine snow properties, snowcover distribution, glacier hydrology, melt runoff, and ice in its many forms (lake ice, river ice, sea ice, and ground ice). This course will also examine some of the recent observed changes occurring in the cryosphere regions of Canada. This course includes a 2 day field trip (participation can be discussed on an individual basis). Exclusion; GGR317H (UTM).
|GGR1411H: Nature and Justice in the Anthropocene||N. Singh||Tuesdays, 5-7pm||SS5017A||Open|
|The current ecological crisis is calling into question our ways of being human and of relating to the rest of the world. The course addresses the challenge of rethinking nature-society relations and issues of justice in the Anthropocene. It asks whether the concept of the Anthropocene and its variants, helps power (or not) emancipatory politics and visions for future that socially just and ecologically abundant. We will draw from Indigenous ontologies, Environmental Justice movements, transition discourses, and aspirations for “living well” as well as contemporary theories of affect, more-than-human geographies and new materialism to query and reimagine nature-society entanglements. Topics covered include: environmental thought and activism, Environmental and Climate Justice movements, post-capitalist economic imaginaries and transition discourses.|
|GGR1610H: Geography of Finance and Financial Crisis||A. Walks||Fridays, 12-3pm||SS2124A||Open|
|GGR1610H Course Outline Winter 2018
The rupture in the global economy following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in the United States brought to mainstream attention the important role played by finance, as well as the vulnerable ways that the global economy is linked together through financial instruments. This course seeks to understand the world of financial flows, intermediaries, and instruments, and how these may be related to the uneven geography of mortgage foreclosures, real estate inflation and deflation, bank bailouts, and government austerity programs. It explores how this geography of finance might be related to the production of financial crises, and how the global geography of international finance relates to the public finances of nations and municipalities, pension and hedge funds, and individual investors. The course begins by exploring the workings of international finance, and the literature on the geography of financialization and the globalization of finance. It then moves to examine the history and geography of financial crises, including both the current crisis and the great depression, to consider the different theories of financial crisis emanating from disparate political-economic-geographical perspectives, as well as the divergent policy implications that flow from such theories. The course then explores the literature regarding the localized effects of the geography of finance, from the cultural politics of homeownership, to the geography of sub-prime lending and foreclosures, deepening unemployment in European cities, and the geography of credit card debt, bankruptcies and defaults.
|GGR2150H: Special Topics – Geographies of Postcoloniality and Development, Exploring the ‘Infrastructure Turn’||K. Rankin||Wednesdays, 4-6pm||SS5017A||Open|
|This course reviews recent scholarship in geography and critical development studies that seeks to investigate and theorize the significant role of infrastructure in shaping political, economic and social space, and also its efficacy as a genre of thinking. The course begins by revisiting the now-canonical literature on uneven development to capture some perspectives on what is at stake politically, and how best to conceptualize the development as a contested terrain of practice and representation. The remainder of the course explores insights that can be derived from interrogating development through an engagement with infrastructure—a key concern, and some would even argue even an epistemological ‘turn’—in human geography and planning literatures. Drawing on science and technology studies, mobility studies, critical development studies, and contemporary urban theory (especially as they manifest in scholarship with geography and planning), we will engage infrastructure as materiality, as method, as terrain of expertise, as complex socio-technical system, as powerful political address, and as a critical political field.|
|JPG1429H: The Political Ecology of Food and Agriculture||M. Ekers & R. Isakson||Tuesdays, 10am-12pm||SS2124A||Open|
|JPG1429H Winter 2018 Course Outline
Agrifood systems, connecting production and consumption, markets and various types of agrarian labour, are undergoing profound social and ecological change. Among these developments are large-scale land grabs, the financialization of food and farming, challenges to settler agriculture and the resurgence of indigenous food systems, the emergence of robust ‘urban’ and ‘rural’ alternatives to industrial and colonial agriculture. In trying to make sense of these changes, and the various social movements that have emerged in their wake, this course deploys the related paradigms of agrarian political economy and political ecology to analyze the forces and social relations that define land-based and food-focused transformations, both historically and in the contemporary moment. The course examines the often forgotten roots of contemporary debates in political ecology and food, that is, the enduring agrarian question. The agrarian question examines the extent to which capital has transformed agricultural production and the degrees to which producers have been able to resist dispossession and the industrialization and capitalization of agriculture. The course starts with foundational perspectives on the agrarian question from the early 20th century before discussing the renaissance of these debates in the 1970s and 1980s and the emergence during this time of political ecology as a critical approach to the study of food and land-based practices. Updating these earlier debates the course tackles a number of defining contemporary developments, as noted above, that are reshaping the meaning and character of land and food.
|JPG1502H: Cities of the Global South||R. Narayanareddy||Wednesdays, 10am-12pm||SS2124A||Open|
|In this course we will critically examine “global urbanism” while paying explicit attention to how cities of global South have been studied, understood and depicted in global urban research. In the past two decades, influential policymakers have promulgated the “global cities” paradigm, which frames 21st century urbanism in global terms. According to the “global cities” paradigm “global” cities of the North, such as New York, London and Tokyo are at the pinnacle of globalization. In contrast, cities of the global South are consistently portrayed as “mega” cities that are disorderly, polluted, chaotic, ungovernable, and marked by infrastructure collapse. In short, cities of the global South are mega cities with mega problems. In this course we will begin by examining policy-oriented as well as academic literature in order to understand how the global cities paradigm was given coherence and propagated across the world.|
|JPG1503H: Space, Time, Revolution||K. Goonewardena||Wednesdays, 5-8pm||SS2124A||Open|
|This graduate seminar examines the relations between critical spatio-temporal and socio-spatial thought and new conceptions of radical politics. Its references are twofold: on the one hand, it surveys the recent attempts of such thinkers as Alain Badiou, Slavoj Zizek, Daniel Bensaïd, Jacques Rancière, Giorgio Agamben, Bruno Bosteels and Peter Hallward to re-theorize revolution in the face of global liberaldemocratic hegemony; on the other hand, it interrogates their conceptions of ‘event’, ‘situation’, ‘dissensus’, ‘exception’ and ‘communism’ in the historical court of actual revolutionary experiences produced by anti-colonial and socialist politics, especially at such moments as 1789, 1791-1803, 1848, 1871, 1917, 1949, 1968. The readings for this course will therefore draw on both contemporary theoretical texts and classic accounts of revolutionary subjectivity that highlight its spatio-temporal and socio-spatial dimensions, in the vein of Kristin Ross’s The Emergence of Social Space: Rimbaud and the Paris Commune as much as Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth.|
|JPG1506H: State/Space/Difference||S. Ruddick||Wednesdays, 2-4pm||SS5017A||Open|
|This course focuses on the new social geography of the state and social policy. A new “geography” of the state is emerging with the downloading of services to sub-national levels of government and the rise in importance of supranational institutions. This has raised questions about the hollowing out of the nation state and the real and imagined impacts of “globalization” on the politics of redistribution. A new “social geography” of the state is emerging as the “rescaling” of social policy brings with it increasing uncertainty about normative basis for policies of redistribution— as institutions contend with economic, cultural and political differences across (and within) national borders. The course focuses on approaches within political economy, with particular emphasis on the regulation school. Examples are primarily Western, with emphasis on Europe, the European Union and North America.|
|JPG1507H: Housing Markets and Housing Policy Analysis||L. Bourne||Wednesdays, 11am-2pm||SS5017A||GGR/PLA priority|
|The objective of this course is to provide an opportunity for in-depth analyses of housing, as both product and process, and to apply these analyses to concrete housing situations and current policy and planning problems. Two principal themes are emphasized: 1) assessments of changes in the structural and spatial dimensions of housing demand and supply, and alternative modes of housing provision; and 2) evaluations of housing policies and programs and their relationships to social and economic policies and urban planning. The latter will be undertaken primarily through the discussion of case studies of specific problems and policy issues, the former through a review of basic concepts on housing in the first few weeks of class.|
|JPG1516H: Declining Cities||J. Hackworth||Thursdays, 2-4pm||SS5017A||Open|
|JPG1516H Winter 2018 Course Outline
Much of planning and urban thought more generally is implicitly or explicitly oriented around the idea of growth—growth allows cities to be managerial, gives them room for error, salves intra-constituency squabbles, etc. In the face of decline, the most common planning or urban theoretical response is to engage in economic development (that is, to reignite growth). But what about those cities (or sections of otherwise growing cities) that have declined in population or resources and remained healthy, pleasant, places to live? Can we learn something from their experience that allows us to rethink the way that cities decline, or what the professional response to it should be? What about those cities, conversely which retain an infrastructure footprint that was intended for a much larger city? Can they be downsized in a planned way? If so, what would such an effort (mobilizing the state to sponsor planned decline) mean for the bulk of urban theory that suggests that it is the state’s role to reignite growth?
|NEW, PLA1516H: Special Topics – Consulting and Social Entrepreneurship for Planners and Geographers||TBA||Tuesdays, 5-7pm||SS2124A||GGR/PLA only|
|Please note: This course will count as a elective in geography (normally PLA courses count as electives from outside geography however an exception is made for this course only).|
|JPG1520H: Contested Geographies of Class Formation||M. Hunter||Mondays, 3-5pm||SS2124A||Open|
|How are spatial and class inequalities produced and contested in mutually constituted ways? Why are class inequalities always spatial inequalities? The course is premised on the belief that class matters analytically and politically. Whatever the era, whatever the prevailing fashions, scholars and activists frequently end up returning at some point to questions of social class if they are to explain—and change—the world around them. We begin with two theorists who have had an enormous influence on writings on class: Karl Marx and Pierre Bourdieu (a third, Antonio Gramsci, will be considered through Stuart Hall). We follow this with key writings in the geographical traditions by Ruthie Gilmore, David Harvey, and Doreen Massey. This year, I am proposing to give priority to the race-class-power nexus, including through using the work of Stuart Hall, Frantz Fanon, C L R James, Cedric Robinson and a number of exciting and relevant monographs.|
|JPG1706H: Violence and Security||D. Cowen||Fridays, 12-3pm||SS5017A||Open|
|This course explores the shifting spatiality of organized violence, as well as changing theories of war and in/security. From the historical nationalization of legitimate war as a project of ‘internal’ and ‘external’ colonialism, to the disciplining of labouring bodies as part of the rise of geo- and bio-political forms, to the contemporary securitization of everyday urban life and the blurring of the borders of military and civilian, war and peace, and ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ state space, this seminar tracks the geographies of the political through the logistics of collective conflict. The course will examine perpetual, urban, and privatized forms of war that trespass modern legal, political, ontological, and geographical borders. Finally, we will explore problems of war ‘at home’. How does the practice of war within the nation and the productive nature of war for domestic politics trouble our assumptions about the nation state, citizenship and ‘normal’ political space and time?|
|JPG1814H: Cities and Immigrants||V. Kuuire||Wednesdays, 1-4pm||SS2124A||Open|
|Globalization processes and changes in immigration laws in recent decades have led to an upsurge in cross-border movement of people and ushered in sequential waves of immigration from various regions of the world to Canada and the U.S. Cities and their adjoining metropolitan areas are the biggest beneficiaries of these changing dynamics where immigrants are important contributors to economic growth and social reinvigoration. This course will examine the dynamics and changing patterns of immigrant integration in cities and urban locations. Topics of focus will include theories of immigrant integration, socio-spatial patterns of immigrant settlements in cities, labour market participation, socio-cultural identity formation and transnational engagements. The course will rely on contemporary examples and case studies to provide a deeper understanding of how immigrants are shaping dynamics within cities.|
|JPG1914H: GIS Research Project||D. Boyes||Tuesdays, 1-3pm||SS1087||Open|
|Students will work in a group setting to explore the application of GIS techniques to a problem that crosses the boundaries of economic geography, physical geography, and planning. Students should discuss their backgrounds with the instructors before registering for the course. Exclusion: GGR462.|
|JPG2150H: Special Topics – Advanced Qualitative Research: Methodology and Epistemological Foundations for Planning and Geography||K. Rankin||Tuesdays, 1-3pm||SS5017A||GGR/PLA priority|
|This courses arises out of the interest of doctoral students in Planning who desire to acquire rigorous qualitative research skills that would complement their research interests, assist in developing their dissertation proposals, and contribute to preparation for a career as educators and scholars in academia and beyond. The primary concern is to develop a deep understanding of a range of qualitative research methods and their epistemological foundations, with an emphasis on ethnographic approaches. Readings and discussions will be oriented to developing a philosophical understanding of the epistemology and ontology of knowledge so that students can develop a critical approach to research design. Readings reflect an understanding that doctoral planning students commonly conduct ethnographic research in international settings, which requires an ability to read and interpret complex meanings, as well as attend to the politics of knowledge production and representation. The course will also address basic qualitative research methods, such as interviews and discourse analysis, and approaches to analysis (including the use of qualitative analysis software) – with a focus on critical approaches to knowledge production and researchers’ positionality. The course is organized as a seminar with a heavy emphasis on collective analysis of course materials, and each student’s involvement in writing reflections and classroom discussions on a weekly basis.|
|ENV1444H: Capitalist Nature||S. Prudham||Thursdays, 11am-2pm||TBA||Contact School for the Environment|
|This course will draw on a range of theoretical and empirical research materials in order to examine the particularities of what might be referred to as “capitalist nature”. Specifically, the course is concerned with three central questions: (i) what are the unique political, ecological, and geographical dynamics of environmental change propelled by capital accumulation and the dynamics of specifically capitalist forms of “commodification”? (ii) how and why is nature commodified in a capitalist political economy, and what are the associated problems and contradictions? (iii) how can we understand the main currents of policy and regulatory responses to these dynamics?|
|EES1126H1: Hydrology and Watershed Management||C. Mitchell||Wednesdays, 2-5pm||AA204 (UTSC)||Contact Physical & Environmental Sciences|
|This course focuses on advanced processes in watershed hydrology for furthering our understanding of complex environmental problems, ranging from the characterization of freshwater resources to contaminant transport in aquatic systems. Course topics will include a quantitative understanding of how water moves on, and below, the earth’s surface, how tracer studies can be coupled with physical measurements to understand complex problems in hydrology and water quality, land use change impacts, and approaches to watershed management. Students will participate in discussions on current and benchmark scientific literature.|
|EES1136H: Climate Change Adaptation||N. Klenk||Thursdays, 9-11am||AA204 (UTSC)||Contact Physical & Environmental Sciences|
|This graduate course will focus on adaptation science and practice at local, provincial, national and international scales. Students will learn about how climate change adaptation is perceived, studied and performed by civil society groups and governments through various theoretical perspectives: resilience theory, neo-liberal theory and critical theory. Students will also learn about different governance approaches that support adaptation: multi-level, poly-centric, experimental and anticipatory governance arrangements. Using case studies ranging from local adaptation planning in Canada to the IPCC’s contributions to knowledge synthesis, students will gain a better understanding of the social, economic, political and ethical dilemmas at the core of adaptation science and practice. Combined lecture-seminar format.|
|JSE1708H: The Development of Sustainability Thought||J. Robinson||Tuesdays 10am-12pm & Thursdays 9-11am||B019, 315 Bloor St. W||Contact Munk School of Global Affairs|
|This course will examine how attitudes towards human nature and non-human nature have changed over the period from Mesolithic times until the present in Western society. By reading and discussing historical arguments and contemporary documents we will attempt to uncover the underlying assumptions about the world that were characteristic of different periods in the history of Western culture. The underlying question is whether contemporary concerns about sustainability require fundamental changes in the way we conceive of ourselves and our environment.|