Graduate Affiliates

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

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.

Pelin Asci

Pelin Asci is a PhD Candidate in Critical Human Geography (Faculty of Environmental Studies). Her research brings together literatures on production of state-space, citizenship studies and politics of infrastructure. She is interested in how material and immaterial infrastructures shape state-citizenship relations especially in the rising context of speculative urbanism. Her PhD research examines the recent rent-oriented urbathose development projects in Istanbul Turkey which include mega projects such as the new airport, and housing redevelopments in relation to state-citizenship dynamics under the authoritarian populist rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP). She has also taught on Urban Geography and the Introduction to Human Geography at York University. 

Oded Haas

Oded is a Vanier Scholar, whose interdisciplinary research combines critical urban theory, planning, and architecture, in order to examine the potential of public housing policy and design to alleviate ethnically conflicted urban areas. By comparing housing policy and design in Israel and Canada, his research looks at the planning and distribution of housing as fraught practices, with significant social, cultural and political consequences. He looks beyond the residents’ income, at issues such as gender, race, ethnicity and citizenship, in order to examine how cities accommodate different urban identities and cope with pressing conflicts between ethnic heterogeneity and exclusionary planning practices.

Matthew Kellway

Matt is a lifelong labour and community activist.  As Member of Parliament for Beaches - East York (2011-15), Matt served as the Official Opposition’s Urban Affairs (and Infrastructure, Deputy Transport and Military Procurement) Critic and authored the Federal NDP’s policy on cities.  After a lengthy hiatus, Matt has returned to York University to resume doctoral studies in search of an emancipatory politics for urban Canada.

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.

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?

Gökbörü 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."

Murat 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.

Laura 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.

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.