Fall 2020 Graduate Geography Timetable

This is a DRAFT timetable. Enrollment in courses will be available on July 30, 2020. Courses marked with an asterisk (*) are restricted – students from outside the department must have instructor approval to enrol.

Delivery method and course caps are subject to change. Click on the course code for the course description and syllabus. Course syllabi will be added as they become available.

Last updated: September 3, 2020

Course CodeCourse TitleInstructorDelivery MethodTimeOnline Cap (Section (9101)In Person Cap (Section 0101)Room
GGR1105HMA Geography Core CourseMark HunterOnlineWednesdays, 1-4pm 1st year MA only
GGR1110HIssues in Geographical Thought and Practice (PhD Human Geography Core Course)Sharlene MollettOnlineThursdays, 10am-12pm1st year PhD Geography only
GGR1200HPhysical Geography Core CourseDanny Harvey, Yuhong HeOnlineFridays, 12-3pm1st year MSc and PhD Physical Geography only
GGR1216HAdvanced Biogeochemical ProcessesIgor LehnherrOnlineThursdays, 1-4pm10
GGR1218HQuantitative, Open-Source Methods in Physical Geography ResearchTrevor PorterOnlineMondays, 2-5pm10
GGR1407HEfficient Use of EnergyDanny HarveyOnlineMondays, 5-8pm10
GGR1822HQueer GeographiesNatalie OswinOnlineMondays, 11am-1pm20
GGR1911HRemote SensingJane LiuOnlineMondays, 10am-12pm (lecture), Tuesdays, 1-3pm (lab)10
JPG1503HSpace, Time, RevolutionKanishka GoonewardenaOnlineWednesdays, 5-8pm20
JPG1512HPlace, Politics and the UrbanAlan WalksOnlineFridays, 12-3pm20
JPG1516HDeclining CitiesJason HackworthOnlineTuesdays, 3-5pm20
JPG1525H*Urban, Regional and Community Economic DevelopmentJason SpicerOnlineMondays, 4-6pm20
JPG1558HHistory & Geography of Cycles and CyclingLea RavensbergenOnlineWednesdays, 10am-12pm20
JPG1616HThe Cultural EconomyDebby LeslieOnlineMondays, 2-4pm20
JPG1621HInnovation and GovernanceHarald BatheltDualTuesdays, 10am-12pm1010SS5017A. Meets weekly starting Sept 8.
JPG1812Y* (Fall/Winter)Planning for ChangeJulie Mah, Tim RossDualFridays, 9am-12pm1010SS5017A. No in person meetings in the fall session.
JPG1814HCities and ImmigrantsVincent KuuireOnlineThursdays, 1-4pm20
JPG1818HThe Geography and Planning of Climate Action and ActivismSue RuddickOnlineThursdays, 4-6pm20
JPG1835HAnti-Colonial PlanningHeather DorriesOnlineTuesdays, 9am-11am20
JPG1906HGeographic Information SystemsKristian LarsenOnlineMondays, 1-3pm (Lecture), 3-5pm (lab)30
JPG2150HSpecial Topics: Production of Space - Aesthetics, Technology, PoliticsKanishka GoonewardenaOnlineWednesdays, 10am-1pm20
ENV1103HThe U of T Campus as a Living Lab of SustainabilityJohn RobinsonTBDTuesdays, 2-4pmContact School for Environment for enrolmentContact School for Environment for enrolmentTBD

Course Descriptions

GGR1105H: Human Geography Core Course
This 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
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. GGR1110H Syllabus Fall 2020 

GGR1200H: Physical Geography Core Course
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 program. GGR1200H Syllabus Fall 2020

GGR1216H: Advanced Biogeochemical Processes
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, paleo-proxies) used in biogeochemistry. Exclusion: GGR406H5 (UTM).

GGR1218H: Quantitative, Open-Source Methods in Physical Geography Research
Quantitative research in physical geography and the earth sciences has increasingly relied on custom, open-source coding solutions in programming languages such as R and MATLAB in order to efficiently mine large datasets and analyze and visualize spatiotemporal phenomena. This course provides hands-on, workshop-based training in two of the most widely used programming languages in the geosciences, R and MATLAB. The workshops will focus on applications of data mining, exploration and management; working with self-describing, multi-dimensional data formats (e.g., NetCDF); publication-quality figures and data visualization; statistical analysis; linear regression modelling; time-series and signal processing; and mapping. Students will complete four assignments to hone their coding and problem-solving skills, and a final project that applies these skills to their research. This course is specifically aimed at students with little to no coding experience. Students interested in taking this course are strongly encouraged to contact the professor before the start of the semester to discuss your motivations in taking the course and research interests so that lessons can be customized to the broad interests of the class as much as possible.

GGR1407H: Efficient Use of Energy
The course examines the options available for dramatically reducing our use of primary energy with no reduction in meaningful energy services, through more efficient use of energy at the scale of energy-using devices and of entire energy systems. Topics covered include energy use in buildings, transportation, industry, and agriculture. Each topic will cover (i) the underlying physical principles that determine the potential of and the limits to energy efficiency improvements, (ii) the difference in potential savings when focusing on individual energy using devices rather than entire energy-using systems, (iii) examples of efficiency improvements that have been achieved in practice in various countries around the world, and (iv) the cost and financing of energy efficiency improvements. As well, the role of the so-called rebound effect in eroding the energy-saving benefit of efficiency improvements will be discussed. Exclusion: GGR347H1 (STG). GGR1407H Syllabus Fall 2020

GGR1822H: Queer Geographies
Queer “is about messing things up, creating disorder and disruptive commotion within the normative arrangements of bodies, things, spaces and institutions” (Manalansan, 2015: 567). In this course, we will explore queer in this manner – as mess maker, disruptive force, and sanctuary for social difference. Though formal legal equality for LGBT people has been achieved in some countries around the world, homophobia and transphobia persist everywhere. So do heteronormativity (the privileging of certain heterosexual or ‘straight’ subjects over others) and homonormativity (the privileging of some homosexual or ‘queer’ subjects over others). We will explore queer thought as spatial thought, especially via its connections to postcolonial, critical race, and feminist theories. We will consider how dynamics of race, gender, class, colonialism, and geopolitics are central to expressions of sexual politics, and how queer theory and social movements build frameworks for social and spatial justice. GGR1822H Syllabus Fall 2020

GGR1911H: Remote Sensing
Advanced image processing, theory and applications of spatial resolution effects on classification, monitoring and interpretation of landscapes. From field spectrometric data to simulated images. Exclusion: GGR337H1 (STG), GGR437H5 (UTM), GGR1912H. GGR1911H Syllabus Fall 2020

JPG1503H: Space, Time, Revolution

This graduate seminar explores historical, geographical and ideological aspects of revolution, with reference to the making and unmaking of capitalism. It does so by investigating the relationship between radical theoretical concepts of space, time, dialectics, ideology and hegemony and the historical experiences of revolutionary politics—with readings on such events as the Haitian Revolution, the Paris Commune, the Russian Revolution, anti-colonial movements and struggles against imperialism. While the specific cases and critics—for example, C. L. R. James, Susan Buck-Morss, Kristin Ross, Priyamvada Gopal, Walter Benjamin, Henri Lefebvre, Antonio Gramsci, Fredric Jameson—surveyed here have varied over the years, the general purpose of this course has been consistent and straightforward: to study subjective and objective conditions of revolutionary praxis—past, present and future. JPG1503H Syllabus Fall 2020

JPG1512H: Place, Politics and the Urban
The course examines the relationship between geography, politics, and governance. In particular, it seeks to interrogate the theoretical importance of place, space and urban form in the production of political and social values, practices, strategies, and discourses, and in turn, analyze the implications of the place-politics nexus for understanding shifts in the direction and form of urban policy, governance and citizenship. The course begins with a broad examination of the theoretical bases for linking place and politics, particularly as this relates to the construction of urban and non-urban places, with literature drawn from a number of sources, including geography, urban studies, political science, and planning theory. The course then examines a number of specific cases, from gentrification as a political practice, to the politics of homelessness and anti-panhandling legislation, and the political geography of regional planning and municipal amalgamation, that inform and challenge our understanding of the relationship between place and political praxis. JPG1512H Syllabus Fall 2020

JPG1516H: Declining Cities
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? JPG1516H Syllabus Fall 2020  

JPG1525H: Urban, Regional and Community Economic Development
This course surveys urban, regional, and community economic development theories and planning practices, with a focus on North America in comparative perspective. Coverage includes orthodox and neoclassical theories from economic geography, urban economics, and political science/sociology, which provide the rationale for people-centric, place-based, and institutionally-oriented economic development plans and policies. Heterodox and community-oriented alternatives are also examined. Using real-life cases, we review cluster strategies, enterprise zones/districts, labour and capital relocation incentives, regional and anchor institution strategies, workforce development systems, community benefit agreements, living wage policies, local hiring/procurement preferences, and community/cooperative ownership models. This course is restricted to students in Geography & Planning Programs. Students from outside the department must contact the instructor for permission to enrol. JPG1525H Syllabus Fall 2020

JPG1558H: History and Geography of Cycles and Cycling
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. JPG1558H Syllabus Fall 2020

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.

JPG1616H: The Cultural Economy
This course examines the so-called “cultural turn” in economic geography, often referred to as “the new economic geography”. We will begin by considering various ways of theorizing the relationship between culture and economy. After reflecting upon the historical antecedents of contemporary understandings of this relationship, we will explore selected themes in the cultural economy literature such as cultural industries, consumption, economic discourse, work cultures, governmentality and commodity chains/actor networks. JPG1616H Syllabus Fall 2020

JPG1621H: Innovation and Governance
The course discusses a broad range of topics related to innovation and governance including (i) technological change and its social and economic consequences, (ii) the spatial effects, which result from this, and (iii) necessities for innovation policies at different territorial levels. As the international competitiveness of industrial economies cannot be based on cost advantages alone, future growth in the knowledge-based economy will increasingly rely on capabilities related to knowledge generation and innovation. As a consequence, questions of performance in innovation and support policy will become decisive at the firm, regional-state and national-state levels. The seminar is divided into three main parts. The first part deals with conceptual foundations of innovation, and explores the connection between economic learning, knowledge creation and innovation processes. In the second part, innovation and governance are investigated in territorial context, ranging from national and subnational innovation systems to permanent and temporary clusters and varieties of capitalism. The third part of the course discusses aspects of transnational innovation processes and multilevel governance challenges. JPG1621H Syllabus Fall 2020

JPG1812Y: Planning for Change
Planning for Change is a full-year service learning course that facilitates practical experience in community-engaged planning. You will be placed with an organization in the public or nonprofit sector for one day per week, on average, from September to April to work on a project in community development and planning that addresses the needs of your community partner. We meet as a class in a seminar format to support your work and learn from your experience. This is a challenging course that applies theory to practice (praxis). Our community partners value your work, and we maintain ongoing relationships with them. This placement can fulfill the internship requirement for MscPl students. The objectives of the service-learning placement are to allow graduate students to assist community groups or municipal planning departments in real-world community planning projects, to practice diverse planning skills, and begin to build longer-term commitments to communities and neighbourhoods throughout Toronto. This course is restricted to students in Geography & Planning Programs. Students from outside the department must contact the instructor for permission to enrol.

JPG1814H: Cities and Immigrants
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.

JPG1818H: The Geography and Planning of Climate Action and Activism
In the face of growing concerns around the climate crisis and its immediate and long-term impacts on our planet, organizations focused on activism and action have mushroomed locally and globally – from the very local scale to the international scale. This course introduces students to range of tools critical to successful peaceful social mobilization (both within and outside of the state), drawing on scholarly literature from geography, planning, sociology and cognate disciplines — as well as a range resources from social movement organizations. We also explore the ways that climate activism might intersect with concerns over and responses to the global pandemic and anti-racist and anti-oppression movements.  Though the emphasis is on Canadian context, we often incorporate lessons learned from other kinds of social movements in other locales. Each year, students will work in groups developing materials for organizations involved in climate activism, with a particular emphasis on climate justice. This year, depending on class size we will be assisting Climate Justice Montreal, Generation Chosen and Climate Pledge Collective.

JPG1835H: Anti-Colonial Planning
This course examines the relationship between planning and colonialism and considers the theories and practices that might be applied in the development of an anti-colonial approach to planning. This course looks to make visible how settler colonialism, as a mode of racial capitalism, works through planning to produce dispossession and inequality, with a focus on the experience of Indigenous peoples in Canada. A key intention of this course will be to examine planning policies or methods to uncover how planning’s core conceptual tools and methods—including property, growth, participation, sustainability—often hinge on the production of racial statuses and hierarchies. This course will also provide an overview of how planning scholars are grappling with the question of how to decolonize planning theory through a variety of discursive, ethical, and rights-based approaches. Through an engagement with Indigenous and anti-racist scholarship as well as community-led examples of counter-planning, this course will also consider how core planning assumptions, concepts, and practices might be challenged and reformulated. JPG1835H Syllabus Fall 2020

JPG1906H: Geographic Information Systems
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. Students who have previous GIS coursework/training are not eligible for enrolment in this course. 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. JPG1906H Syllabus Fall 2020

JPG2150H: Special Topics – Production of Space – Aesthetics, Technology, Politics
This seminar investigates articulations of aesthetic, technological and political forces in the production of space—the triad of conceived space, perceived space and lived space, as Henri Lefebvre famously suggested. With reference to intellectual resources drawn from several strands of critical theory, space figures here as something radically contested, and dialectically related to social relations. The work of artists, architects, planners, geographers, scientists, technocrats and politicians, along with influential conceptions such as modernism, avant-garde, ‘culture industry’, ‘society of the spectacle’, ‘bureaucratic society of controlled consumption’ and postmodernism, will feature prominently in this course, in order to theorize how space and society are co-produced, and why various social utopias—capitalist, nationalist, fascist, colonial socialist, feminist—are also spatial projects. JPG2150H Syllabus Fall 2020

ENV1103H The U of T Campus as a Living Lab of Sustainability: 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. Such living lab approaches offer a large 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. Enrollment in this course is managed by the School for the Environment. ENV1103H Syllabus Fall 2020