CITY Graduate Affiliates (Masters and Doctoral)

CITY offers graduate students many opportunities and resources, among them:  seminars, professional training workshops,  conferences, membership status, work space and social activities. To learn more about the Institute, meet graduate students with similar interests, and learn how you can become involved reach us on city@yorku.ca.

Kritee Ahmed-crop
Kritee Ahmed

PhD Candidate, Sociology. Kritee’s interests lie in the study of the dailiness of work in Toronto and London, UK public transport organizations, in which the importance of customer service is increasingly emphasized.  To investigate how this organizational discourse influences the understanding of work that serves the public, he uses a broad theoretical approach that integrates governmentality studies, political economy and cultural studies. Kritee also has an evolving interest in race and racializations in the contemporary Canadian policy-making context.

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Peter Brogan

PhD Candidate, Department of Geography

Peter's research examines the geography of contemporary capitalism, urbanization, and workers' power through an analysis of education restructuring and teacher unionism in Chicago and New York City. His dissertation is entitled, Our Union, Our City: The Geography of a Rank and File Teachers’ Rebellion. Taking a critical ethnographic approach that draws on heterodox approaches in urban political economy, antiracist and feminist scholarship in labour studies, education policy, and human geography, it examines the relationship between global city development in Chicago and New York and the nexus of education policy and teacher unionism. In it he unravels the unique constraints and possibilities that exist in global cities for the revitalization of working class power.

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tdXxZ3EAFrancesca D’Amico

PhD Candidate, Department of History.

Francesca’s research explores the relationship between 20th century Black American liberation movements (Civil Rights and Black Power) and afro-diasporic genres of urban music. With an interest in the genres of Soul, Funk and Hip Hop, she explores the ways in which black urban music functioned in a socio-political capacity to reinscribe public consciousness on the social, political and economic issues confronting the inner city and the black underclass within a larger debate on the parameters of liberalism, democracy and the post-WWII nation state. Francesca is also interested in bridging the gap between community and academia, and has worked extensively with Toronto’s Hip Hop community to curate, archive and render public Canada’s Hip Hop history. An advocate of arts education, she is also the creator of ‘Learning Through Hip Hop’; an arts-based workshop that remixes the Ontario elementary school curriculum subjects of history, math, science and language through the lens and resources of Hip Hop culture for youth between the ages of 12-18 years old.

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Rob Fiedler

PhD Candidate, Department of Geography

Rob's research explores Toronto's evolving 'middle-landscape'. Specifically, he is interested in how current suburban residents are adapting, reordering and reconstituting the physical, social and political spaces of Toronto's suburbs to meet increasingly diverse needs.

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BHalpin photoBryony Halpin

PhD Candidate, Faculty of Environmental Studies

Bryony’s research interests include environmental justice, the racialization of space and settler colonial urban geographies. Her dissertation entitled, “The Toronto Waterfront as Terra Nullius and the New Frontier of Space-Making in Settler Colonies” seeks to reveal the role that revitalization of urban space plays in the ongoing settlement process. With this work, she is particularly interested in questioning how urban development can come to terms with (as an imperative), the past and present social violence of the colonial. Attendant to this her research asks, what part does resistance - in its many forms - play in this unfolding process?

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Darren Patrick

PhD Candidate, Faculty of Environmental Studies

Darren's research brings together queer theory, sociospatial theory, and urban political ecology as the basis for a queer/ed urban ecology. Broadly, his work is concerned with gentrification as an increasingly naturalized urban process. In this vein, queer urban ecology constitutes an attempt to counter capital-driven transformations of urban-natures (e.g. parks and public spaces). Through both critical and reparative gestures, Darren's work seeks to articulate an embodied agency sensitive to sexual difference and driven by desire. His work can be tracked at http://queerurbanecologies.wordpress.com and he's always up for taking a walk through Toronto's shifting urban landscape.

 

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Nathan Prier

PhD Candidate, Department of Geography

Nate’s research looks at undocumented people’s movements in North American and European cities, focusing on their relationship to historical and contemporary notions of imperialism and colonialism, particularly the distinctions between resistance to settler colonialism and global capitalist imperialism. Using migrant justice as a lens, Nate’s research in Frankfurt and Toronto hopes to explore anti-colonial movements as a force in (re)shaping urban politics, spatial justice, citizenship and claims to the city.

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Sara Ross photoSara Ross

PhD Candidate, Osgoode Hall Law School
Her research centers on the intersect of law and culture in the city. Sara's legal education includes a Master of Laws from the University of Ottawa that focused on the repatriation and return of cultural objects and two law degrees from McGill University, where she received a major in Commercial Negotiation and Dispute Resolution. Sara also holds an Honours BA in Anthropology from McGill, and a BA in French and Spanish language, literature, and culture from the University of Alberta. She is licensed to practice law in the the Province of Ontario as a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, having completed her articles as clerk to the Honourable Justice Luc Martineau of the Federal Court of Canada. Between 2014 and 2016, she is serving as the Graduate Student Representative on the Canadian Law and Society Association's Board of Directors.

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Michelle Switzer

PhD Candidate, Department of Social Anthropology

Michelle's research interests include political ecology, borders and territoriality, political mobilization, and development. Based in the cities of Montevideo and Mercedes, her current research looks at the growing foreign-owned forestry/pulp mill industry in Uruguay at a time when the left-wing party has come to power. Rejecting the divide between nature and society, she explores how the tension around the forestry/pulp complex is linked to the ways people interpret progressive politics and understand the concepts of "nature" and belonging.

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KutuphanedeGökbörü Sarp Tanyildiz

PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology

Gökbörü Sarp Tanyildiz is a PhD candidate in Sociology at York University. His research interest is mainly in urban social theory -- specifically, 18th- and 19th-century German social and political thought, 20th-century French critical theory, and historical materialism. As an international student coming from Turkey, he also works on social movements and political-economy of the Middle East. Both in English and Turkish, his writings have appeared in edited scholarly books in the academic disciplines of geography, philosophy, and sociology. He is currently co-editing a theme issue for Environment and Planning D: Society and Space on "planetary urbanization."

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Kathryn Travis

PhD Candidate, Department of Gender, Feminist and Women's Studies

Kathryn’s research examines how banlieue/suburb communities around Paris use various forms of cultural artifacts and texts – media clips, film, music, YouTube clips, graffiti and street art, among other in-the-moment, temporary modes of expression (graffiti, sticker-ing, unplanned art, and street musicians) – to counter discourses that work to stigmatize these places. Focusing on two banlieues in the Paris region, Hauts-de-Seine (92) and Seine-Saint-Denis (93), Kathryn’s research anchors a critical feminist framework that not only understands power and representation as overlapping, but also as inseparable, relational concepts and asks: if the ability to ‘represent’ is closely tied to power, then how can ‘opening up’ the kinds of artifacts used to represent banlieues reveal new perspectives on these places?

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photoCityMurat Ucoglu

PhD Candidate, Faculty of Environmental Studies

Murat's academic interests include global urbanization, neoliberal governmentality, studies on heterotopia and social exclusion in Istanbul. His research aims to examine how neoliberalism and neo-Ottomanist conservatism attempt to create a new urban hegemony in Turkey (essentially in Istanbul under the discourse of creating a global city) by excluding many people through the several tactics and strategies of the neoliberal governmentality.

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PhD Candidate, Social Anthropology
Alex’s research interests include the symbolic urban landscape paying particular attention to the practice of place/destination branding. With Toronto as his primary site of analysis, he is interested in the multiple political and economic techniques used at both public and private levels to create a distinct and “competitive” city “brand”. His current research considers the cultural, political and economic implications of the upcoming 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games hosted in the Greater Toronto Area. Theoretical concerns revolve around the perceived necessity of such a branding strategy as urban identities are re-articulated within a global discourse of neoliberalism.  Further, he is interested in the particular aspects of the city that are represented in the branding process and those left out of the picture altogether. His research also re-examines the notion of “city limits” taking into consideration the potential global breadth of the neoliberal city’s symbolic, cultural, political and economic resources.
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Paris_MetroLaura Waddell

PhD Candidate, Social Anthropology
Laura is a PhD student in Social Anthropology, with specializations in European Studies, gender/feminist theory, the anthropology of education and qualitative research methods. Her SSHRC-funded dissertation research is an educational ethnography of a teachers' college in southern France. In it, she considers what role the experiences of current and future teachers have in understanding state secularism and citizenship education, within the context of acute anxieties about the role of religion and diversity in contemporary Europe.

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Thorben Wieditz

PhD Candidate, Faculty of Environmental Studies
Thorben Wieditz studied urban planning at the University of Dortmund, Germany before coming to Toronto in 2002.  He holds a Masters degree in Environmental Studies from York University and is studying for his PhD at the Faculty of Environmental Studies.  Thorben’s research focuses on the myriad ways in which gentrification is being normalized as a natural process of urban change and ever more tightly integrated as a ‘soft’ urban policy in contemporary planning and policy regimes. He is particularly interested in forms of post-recession and new build gentrification that manifests itself in the urban landscape in the form of residential high-rise condominium developments and the conversion of industrially designated spaces to accommodate ‘higher and better’ uses.  He understands gentrification as a window into larger political and economical restructuring processes and tries to reconcile structural forces with the agency of local actors.