Winter 2021 Graduate Geography Timetable

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

Delivery method for courses in winter 2021 session is online. Click on the course code for the course description and syllabus. Course syllabi will be added as they become available.

Last updated: Jan 8, 2021

Course CodeCourse TitleInstructorTime
GGR1411HNature and Justice in the AnthropoceneNeera SinghTuesdays, 5-7pm
GGR1422HThe Geography of Urban Air PollutionMatthew AdamsThursdays, 1-4pm
GGR2150HSpecial Topics: Geographies of MarketsJun ZhangThursdays, 1-3:30pm
JPG1120HAdvanced Qualitative Methods: Methodology and Epistemological Foundations for Planning and GeographyKatharine RankinTuesdays, 1pm-3pm
JPG1400HAdvanced Quantitative MethodsChristopher HigginsTuesdays, 9am-12pm
JPG1428HManaging Urban EcosystemsTenley ConwayMondays 1-3pm
JPG1504HInstitutionalism and Cities: Space, Governance, Property & PowerAndre SorensenMondays, 3-5pm
JPG1507HHousing Markets and Housing Policy Analysis TBDWednesdays, 12-3pm
JPG1511HThe Commons: Geography, Planning, PoliticsSue RuddickThursdays, 1-3pm
JPG1825HBlack Geographies of the AtlanticRachel GoffeThursdays, 3-6pm
JPG1909HAdvanced GIS Data ProcessingJue WangWednesdays, 10am-12pm
JPG2151HSpecial Topics: Natural Heritage System PlanningCarolyn DeLoydeWednesdays, 3-6pm
ENV1444HCapitalist Nature (Contact School for the Environment for enrolment)Scott PrudhamThursdays, 11am-2pm
EES1126HHydrology and Watershed Management (Contact Physical & Environmental Science for enrolment)Carl MitchellWednesdays, 2-5pm
JSE1708HSustainability and the Western Mind (Contact Munk School for enrolment)John RobinsonTuesdays and Thursdays, 10am-12pm

Course Descriptions

GGR1411H: Nature and Justice in the Anthropocene

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.

GGR1422H: The Geography of Urban Air Pollution

This course will examine current local to global issues of urban air pollution. Topics covered will include understanding sources of air pollution, human health effects and study designs, stages of urban development and air pollution, mitigation approaches, global challenges and current air pollution issues by region. Measurement technologies and their applications, including low-cost sensors and regulatory grade instrumentation will be explored. Students will apply tools for spatial and temporal modelling of urban air pollution including dispersion modelling, spatial interpolation, remote sensing and land use regression modelling. GGR1422H Syllabus Winter 2021

GGR2150H: Special Topics – Geographies of Markets

GGR2150H Syllabus Winter 2021

JPG1120H: Advanced Qualitative Research: Methodology and Epistemological Foundations for Planning and Geography

This course arises out of the interest of doctoral students in Planning and Geography 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 and geography 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. JPG1120H Syllabus Winter 2021

JPG1400H: Advanced Quantitative Methods

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. JPG1400H Syllabus Winter 2021

JPG1428H: Managing Urban Ecosystems

This reading seminar focuses on the different ways people interact with and manage urban ecosystems. The course begins by exploring the characterization of cities as ecosystems. We will then examine the socio-ecological research and management goals that draw on and build from an urban ecosystem perspective.  Management of urban climates, hydrology, and vegetation will be explored.  The role of municipal policy, built form, residents and other key actors will be examined in-depth.  Throughout the course, issues associated with bridging knowledge gaps between the social and natural sciences, unique characteristics of urban ecosystems, and the role of individual decision-makers will be considered. JPG1428H Syllabus Winter 2021

JPG1504H: Institutionalism and Cities: Space, Governance, Property & Power

This course focuses on the role of institutions in shaping processes of urban change, governance and planning. The premise of the course is that cities are extraordinarily densely institutionalized spaces, and that the formal study of institutions, and processes of institutional continuity and change will be productive for both planners and urban geographers. The course reviews the New Institutionalist literature in Political Science, Sociology, Economic Geography, and Planning Studies, with a focus on Historical Institutionalist concepts, and develops a conceptual framework for the application of institutionalist theory to urban space. The claim is that an understanding of institutions is revealing of power dynamics in urban governance, is valuable for understanding urban governance and planning in international comparative perspective, and provides a valuable perspective on urban property systems. JPG1504H Syllabus Winter 2021

JPG1507H: Housing Markets and Housing Policy Analysis

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. JPG1507H Syllabus Winter 2021

JPG1511H: The Commons – Geography, Planning, Politics

Over the past two decades, “the commons” has increasingly become the subject of contestation in planning practices and conceptual framings. Approaches have alternately emphasized the need to privatization; regulation and collective management of public goods; to the commons as a co-production. Once thought to pertain exclusively to the purview of environmental planning and management of resources through common property regimes, discussions about the commons now inform a wide range of planning practices.

Taken up equally by organizations such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund as a supplement to structural adjustment policies on the one hand, and the World Social Forum as a challenge to accumulation by dispossession, privatization and deregulation on the other, the idea of “commons”, “commoning” and the “commonwealth” frame discussions over the organization and control of collective resources now expanding well beyond historical origins in rural areas and their enclosure to a wide range of diverse practices in urban regions. Debates about the regulation – or destruction — of the commons extend from management of farmland, conservation of wilderness and water to planning of libraries, public urban spaces and intellectual property.

JPG1825H: Black Geographies of the Atlantic

Beyond a physical region, the Atlantic can be understood as a site through which techniques for the exploitation of land, people and the environment emerged, with enduring implications for world trajectories. This course traces a genealogy of contested spacetimes spanning the colonial state, the plantation, and urban neighborhoods and streets. We learn about representations of Blackness as they are made and remade through time such as: the “dangerous Blacks” of the Haitian revolution; the British West Indian ex-slave “unwilling”” to work; a sanitized version of the Black small farmer; the anti-colonialist land invader; and the “illegal squatter” who is no longer recognized as a descendant of Black refusal. Among the traditions we explore are rebellion, revolution, and quotidian acts of place-making through farming, fishing, street vending, beauty services, taxi operation, masquerade, and dwelling. Through these representations and practices we explore the epistemologies of this ongoing encounter and also work to uncover the gendering of complex racial formations.
The course is formed through the lens of Black Geographies, an interdisciplinary approach that acknowledges (1) the spatial and cultural productions of Black people as significant and coherent critiques of dominance and injustice; (2) the visions of alternate futures for the world within these critiques; and (3) the centrality of Black geographies to the way the world works—not at the margins, but as co-producers of space.

JPG1909H: Advanced GIS Data Processing

This course will complement the existing data analysis and quantitative methods courses currently being taught in the department. It will strengthen and broaden both the theoretical basis and skillsets available to graduate students in geography and urban planning for advanced data analysis in GIS. By introducing both the theory and application of up-to-date data analysis techniques and the state of art of GIS data processing, this course will fill a significant gap in our curriculum. JPG1909H Syllabus Winter 2021

JPG2151H: Special Topics – Natural Heritage System Planning

Natural Heritage System (NHS) planning is a critical dimension of and tool for environmental planning.  An NHS consists of core natural areas, such as woodlands and wetlands, connected by linkages and corridors, such as watercourses, functioning together as a system. The identification, delineation and protection of a NHS within municipal and provincial planning provides a high degree of confidence that the biological diversity and ecological functions of an area will be preserved and enhanced for future generations.

NHS planning is carried out by environmental planners at a variety of scales ranging from Ontario’s Greenbelt Plan, the Official Plan for Regional municipalities, watershed plans, to local municipal Official Plans. Within the context of anticipated ongoing urban development, NHS planning is necessary to protect the habitat of plants and animals and ensure long-term ecological integrity on the landscape. To this end, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) helps ensure that development will occur within an environmentally responsive context.  This course examines current approaches, practices, guidelines, policies and legislation related to NHS planning in Ontario including the use of EIA, through a detailed case study of a current NHS within a municipal Official Plan in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). JPG2151H Syllabus Winter 2021

EES1126H: Hydrology and Watershed Management

Course description pending

ENV1444H: Capitalist Nature

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? Enrollment in this course is managed by the School for the Environment. ENV1444H Syllabus Winter 2021

JSE1708H: Sustainability and the Western Mind

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. Enrolment in this course is managed by the Master of Global Affairs Program. JSE1708H Syllabus Winter 2021