Leah Montange, Human Geography PhD Student


Home Campus:
U of T St. George

Other Degrees:
MA Interdisciplinary Studies, 2015, University of Washington - Tacoma
BA Philosophy; Gender & Sexuality Studies, 2004, New York University

Honours & Awards:
2017-2020 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship
2017 Society of Women Geographers Pruitt Dissertation Fellowship
2016 George Tatham/Geography Alumni Graduate Scholarship
2015-2019 University of Toronto Fellowship Award
2014 University of Washington Graduate School Fund for Excellence

Michelle Buckley
Emily Gilbert

Contact Information:


Research Interests:

  • migration
  • detention centers
  • political economy
  • citizenship and non-citizenship
  • urban politics of detention

I study immigration detention in urban contexts in the US and Spain. I am broadly interested in the spatial ramifications of the confluence of the securitization of migration and especially the deployment of migrant detention; precarious and unfree migrant labor; and discourses of nationalism, racial hierarchy, and exclusion.  I am particularly interested in three major tensions within this field:

1) between the freedom to move and state sovereignty and territoriality.

2) between the production/protection of state sovereignty and the production of a pool of cheap migrant labor

3) between liberal socio-legal frameworks and discourses of racial hierarchy and exclusion

My scholarly work explores how these tensions manifest in, shape, and are re-produced spatially in systems of migration detention and incarceration.  This research is under-girded by an interest in how systems of migration enforcement and management are actively contested and re-shaped by an array of non-state actors including migrants and people in detention.

Teaching This Academic Year:

Course Instructor: GGR124 Cities and Urban Life

Teaching Assistant:

  • GGRC56 Spaces of Travel (Fall 2015 and Fall 2016, UTSC)
  • GGRB05 Urban Geography  (Winter and Summer 2016, UTSC)
  • GGRA35  The Great Scarborough Mash-Up (Fall 2016)
  • GGRA03 Cities and Environments (Winter 2017 and Winter 2020, UTSC)
  • GGR112 Geography of Globalization and Development (Summer 2017, UTSG)


Selected Publications:

Peer-reviewed journal articles

Bisaillon, Laura, Leah Montange, Alberto Zambenedetti, Paolo Frascà, Lina El-Shamy, and Tamir Arviv. (2019). “Everyday Geographies, Geographies Everyday: Mundane of Mobilities Made Tangible.” ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, 18 (4): 1025.

Montange, Leah. (2017) “Hunger strikes, detainee protest, and the relationality of political subjectivization.” Citizenship Studies,: 21(5), 509-526.

Book reviews

Montange, Leah (2020). [Review of the book Indian Migration and Empire: A Colonial Genealogy of the Modern State by Radhika Mongia]. The Canadian Geographer

Research Clusters:
Political Spaces