Published on Brock University (http://brocku.ca)
Associate Professor and Chair
Department of Geography
Phone: 905.688.5550 ext. 5221
E-mail: pmackintosh at brocku.ca
Ph.D, 2001, Urban Historical Geography (Queen's University)
Supervisor: Dr. Peter Goheen
M.Pl., 1995, Urban and Regional Planning (Queen's University)
Supervisors: Dr. Brian Osborne & (the late) Dr. Sue Hendler
B.A.H., 1993, English Literature (Queen's University)
PROSPECTIVE MA STUDENTS
I learned much of my trade from Peter Goheen (Professor Emeritus, Queen's), which means my interest in public space evolves from a broader curiosity in the urban geography of the historical modern city. The confluence of people, streets, built and green space, and geographical imaginations in the Victorian and Edwardian city perennially excites me, if only because we contemporary moderns get the public so wrong most of the time. We’re often not sure what public space is, if indeed it even exists, or if it has existed (in some golden age of democratic publicity in a lowering past), it is surely gasping its consumptive last now.
We chafe at so-called neoconservative and neoliberal imperatives that confuse moral economy for public civility, a sophomoric bungle that demeans, underserves and undervalues the public spatial expression of citizenship. Yet we imply, through the use of those “neo” prefixes, that this new, hyper-liberalized publicity sucks on jammy, laissez-faire fingers poked in the brutal, social Darwinian pie of Victorian North America. This presumably is the same democratically glorious past for whose soul we sing still (after all, didn’t Frederick Law Olmsted build parks for all people? No, or maybe, or if he did it was for uneasy reasons). Were Victorians proto neocons and neolibs? I doubt it, but it's a good question that deserves answering.
We puzzle at the liminality and plurality of the publics. The bastard progeny of Enlightenment rationalism (to steal from Saul), we are defiant scorners of irony and stout defenders of teleology. Surely the public obtains to more than heterogeneous paradox? "Contradiction," for simple public rationalists remains, alas, a juvenile pejorative, not an explanation, and never a condition. In a risk-averse society that fawns elites who legislate avarice, Don Mitchell reads only to the choir when he asks eager liberal democrats to tolerate the risk of disorder, let alone recidivist polity. Richard Sennett didn't really mean there are uses of disorder, did he? How will resort to disorder benefit all the creative cities out there, whose city councils jostle and fuss to squeeze dilute lemonade from ripe, neoliberal lemons? We aren't really boosting City Beautiful again, a century later?
I’m looking for graduate students who have perused the city and its public spaces and are as confounded as I am — by misapprehensions and overstatement; by vulgar policymaking and social—and racializing—unimaginativeness; by government cowardice and leadership fraud, epitomized by the supremacy of CCTV and its scurrilous presumption that if you've got nothing to hide you've got nothing to worry about; and by the bilious confidence of city 'managers' (qua Richard Florida), who employ moral economics and not ethical prudence or social justice to mediate the public city. Won’t you help me figure out the complexities of historical public space through the scratchy, begrimed lens of the contemporary city? We can assist each other. And I think you will find the critical ambience and infectious collegiality of Brock Geography more than surprising — perhaps even life changing.
Cheers to you and thanks for reading!
RESEARCH AND TEACHING INTERESTS
Phillip Gordon Mackintosh and Clyde R. Forsberg, Jr. (published online: Feb. 27 2012) ‘Co-agent of the millennium’: City planning and Christian eschatology in North American City, 1890-1920, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, DOI:10.1080/00045608.2011.652888
Michael Ripmeester, Phillip Gordon Mackintosh, and Christopher Fullerton, eds. (in press) The World of Niagara Wine, Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University Press. <http://www.wlupress.wlu.ca/Catalog/ripmeester.shtml>
Phillip Gordon Mackintosh (in press) The Niagara Wine Festival's Grande Parade: The Public Geography of a 'Grape and Wine' Controversy, in Michael Ripmeester, Phillip Gordon Mackintosh and Christopher Fullerton, eds., The World of Niagara Wine, Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
Phillip Gordon Mackintosh (2011) The “occult relation between man and the vegetable”: Transcendentalism, immigrants, and park planning in Toronto, circa 1900, in Andrew Baldwin, Laura Cameron, and Audrey Kobayashi, (Eds.), Rethinking the Great White North: Race, Nature and the Historical Geographies of Whiteness in Canada, Vancouver, UBC Press, pp. 85-106.
Phillip Gordon Mackintosh and Richard Anderson (2009) The Toronto Star Fresh Air Fund: Transcendental Rescue in a Modern City, 1900-1915, The Geographical Review, 99, 4, pp. 539-562.
Phillip Gordon Mackintosh (2007) A Bourgeois Geography of Domestic Cycling: The Responsible Use of Public Space in Toronto and Niagara-on-the-Lake, 1890-1900, Journal of Historical Sociology, 20, 1/2, pp. 128-157.
The Gourmet Club (2004), Directed by Juha Wuolijoki, screenplay by Raymond Mackintosh and Phillip Mackintosh, Finnish adaptation by Juha Wuolijoki and Pekko Pesonen.
Raymond Mackintosh and Phillip Mackintosh, April Fools, Astral Media/Harold Greenberg Fund, English Language Program: Second Draft Funding, 2001-2002—$12000