Articles by author: Samantha Morris

  • Students and faculty travel to New Orleans for AAG 2018

    On April 10-14, our graduate students and professors travelled to New Orleans for the 2018 American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting. At this AAG Annual Meeting, Master of Arts in Geography student Jennica Giesbrecht was awarded the Glenda Laws Paper Award for her paper “Posthuman and Material-Discursive Examinations of the Geographies of the Dead Body”. Congratulations Jennica!

    Read more about the papers and sessions by Geography and Tourism Studies professors and students:

    Mobilities Research, Epistemic Justice, and Mobility Justice

    By: Drs. Nancy Cook and David Butz (Geography and Tourism Studies)

    Over the past decade numerous authors have called for the development of “mobile methods” (Büscher, Urry & Witchger, 2011) and the identification of suitable “methods for mobilities research” (Sheller & Urry, 2006), and a number of innovative approaches to studying mobilities have emerged. These often involve some form of embodied or kinaesthetic researcher involvement in the mobile practices and contexts of the social groups or in the spaces under investigation. More recently, mobilities and transport scholars have begun to trouble some of the claims and assumptions underpinning the turn to mobile methods on epistemological (e.g., Merriman, 2014) and ethical (e.g., Warren, 2017) grounds. Our presentation contributes to this methodological discussion by suggesting the notion of epistemic justice as a basis for assessing the adequacy of particular methods for conducting mobilities research. We argue that epistemic justice is a significant aspect of mobility justice itself, and should be an important consideration in the conduct of mobilities research. We develop our argument with reference to a self-directed photography project we conducted with members of a small community in the mountains of northern Pakistan in the wake of a locally-important road construction project.

    The skills-mismatch: the weak evidentiary basis of a fuzzy concept and the implications for public universities.

    By: Drs. Emmanuel Kyeremeh and Jeffrey Boggs (Geography and Tourism Studies)

    The English-language press promotes a thesis of an incompatibility between workers’ ‘skills’ and employers’ needs, a condition variously called skill(s) gap(s), horizontal (and vertical) mismatch, or over- (and under-) education. However, no single unambiguous definition exists which encompasses these terms in a unified framework. Furthermore, these concepts frequently conflate credentials, skill-level, skillset and habit. Given the implications of these claims for labour force policies in English-speaking countries, this ambiguity is problematic. Furthermore, scholarly literature finds claims of skills-mismatch to be inconsistent with existing data in Anglophone countries. With that said, what we collectively term a ‘skills-mismatch’ exemplifies Markusen’s (2003) ‘fuzzy concept.’ While our re-conceptualization of the skills-mismatch as a concept consisting of three analytically-distinct components (credential-mismatch, skill-level-mismatch, and skillset-mismatch, all as distinct from habits) provides a starting-point for investigating the existence and extent of a skills-mismatch in a given context, a larger popular discourse already frames the contemporary discussion about an alleged skills-mismatch. Regardless of its problematic empirical foundations, this larger popular discourse frames universities as the cause of a ‘skills-mismatch.’ Irritatingly, this discourse downplays or ignores the role of employers in training workers, especially given declines in-house training budgets. In term of public wealth, advocates of the skills-mismatch thesis call for the restructuring of public universities to provide “workforce-ready” workers at the expense of turning out well-rounded students, and ignore the repercussions of this putative solution which further externalizes firms’ training costs onto society at large.

    Not Quite A Free Space: The Role of Geography in Critiquing Liberatory Discourse on LGBT Life Online

    By: Dean Mizzi, MA in Geography candidate, Brock University

    LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) enclaves, also known as “gay villages” or “gayborhoods”, have been a subject of study by geographers for decades. Advancements in information and communications technology since the 1990s, particularly access to the Internet and later to mobile telecommunications, have changed the nature of LGBT communities. More interaction is taking place via online services, such as social networks or online discussion boards, in contrast to the traditional physical spaces associated with gay villages. Most current scholarship describes these new interactions in the context of their benefits such as increased accessibility of information, community-building for activism, or as a means of social support. In this study I present a review and analysis of literature both within and outside geography which contests the current liberatory discourse surrounding LGBT life online including reproduction of exclusions from physical spaces in online environments, the creation of “virtual closets” in the constant sharing environment of social media, and increases in mass surveillance and content restrictions. In addition, I examine several current conceptual frameworks used in virtual geographies: hybrid spaces, augmented reality, and mediated spatiality. The remainder of the paper is devoted to examining which conceptual framework(s) is/are most effective for geographers in articulating the critiques to the liberatory discourse of LGBT life online.

    Mobile ‘Homes’: An Ethnographic Study with American Vandwellers

    By: Stephanie Murray, MA in Geography candidate, Brock University

    At present, numerous studies exist which focus on the practices and mobility of “snowbirds” and other RV nomads travelling within North America. And yet, moving alongside these nomads is another group of highly mobile vehicle-dwellers who seem to have gone unnoticed by scholars. United under the “vanlife” hashtag, these individuals refer to themselves as “vanlifers,” “vandwellers,” and “van nomads.” In order to learn about the meanings that these vandwellers assign to their mobility, and the ways in which that mobility might change the way that geographers conceptualize the scale of the home, I moved into my van and attended a number of van gatherings in Colorado and Washington State between July 1st and August 20th, 2017. This paper presents the findings from 9 weeks of participatory ethnographic research, during which 10 face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with 7 couples and 3 single “vanlifers.” By employing a “mobile metaphysics” in my analysis of the resulting participatory and interview data, I hope to contribute to recent efforts to expand geography’s focus beyond an ontology of fixity and place, and draw attention to the practices and meanings embedded in the movements of American vandwellers.

    Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Engagement: Teach-Ins – Panel Discussion

    Chair: Hilda Kurtz
    Discussants: Jenna Loyd (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Punam Khosla (York University), Ebru Ustundag (Geography and Tourism Studies, Brock University), Hilda Kurtz University of Georgia)

    This session is one of several organized for the purpose of providing grounded but critical discussion of public engagement and outreach opportunities, strategies, and challenges. Sessions build upon the experiences of panelists/facilitators and the sharing of perspectives from the audience to create a space where geographers can train each other, trade innovations and ideas, and negotiate practical and even political obstacles to public engagement in geography.
    This panel approaches public engagement in terms of process pragmatism and public pedagogy, and frame our session around both the nitty gritty of teach-ins as a mode of public engagement and thoughts on why this work is important in 21st century higher education. Jenna Loyd (University of Wisconsin) will share her experiences with co-organizing a series of community workshops on policing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, called Transforming Justice. She will focus on creating shared knowledge and working with social movement organizers. Punam Khosla (York University) will speak to her experience doing workshops with women in low-income neighbourhoods in Toronto as well as a number of other public engagement/ outreach/ education workshops over the years in labour unions, anti criminalization gender based violence campaigns, and community radio. Ebru Ustundag (Brock University) will problematize what we understand as ‘public/community engagement’, inviting expanded institutional consideration of what community building and partnership might look like. Hilda Kurtz (University of Georgia) will consider public engagement in relation to public intellectualism as assemblage, and reflect on her work co-organizing a teach-in series on civic engagement called Solidarity Sundays.

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  • Tourism event at Brock brings together students, researchers and industry

    As Niagara prepares to welcome the bulk of its 14 million visitors over the coming months, Brock University’s Department of Geography and Tourism Studies, in collaboration with Co-op, Career and Experiential Education, is preparing to host its first Tourism Networking Event for students and the industry.

    The networking event will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10, when 20 industry sponsors, more than 50 students as well as Brock faculty and staff, will get together to discuss employment and research opportunities within the tourism industry, and identify local experiential education potential.

    The evening will feature roundtable networking, vendor booths and a presentation by Becky White (BA ’15, MSc ’17), a graduate of the Tourism and Environment program at Brock, who now works at Niagara Falls Tourism. Students will also have the opportunity to chat with industry experts and get professional portraits taken for their LinkedIn profiles.

    “The Tourism Networking Event will provide students with an opportunity to learn more about potential careers in the tourism industry and make important contacts that can help them to find internship or co-op placements this summer or sometime later in their studies,” says Christopher Fullerton, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies.

    Fullerton said the event will also help industry partners “learn more about the high-quality education that our students receive, the important tourism research that our faculty members conduct and the many different ways they can work with our Department and Brock in general.”

    The Department of Geography merged with Tourism and Environment Studies in 2016 and offers programs in Tourism Management, Tourism and Environment, as well as Human Geography and Physical Geography.

    Industry guests at the Tourism Networking Event include representatives from the City of St. Catharines’ Tourism Services, the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, Venture Niagara, Destination Ontario Travel Information Centres and several Niagara-based tourism businesses.

    What: Tourism Networking Event
    Who: Department of Geography and Tourism Studies and Co-op, Career and Experiential Education, along with industry partners
    When: Tuesday, April 10 from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
    Where: Pond Inlet, Mackenzie Chown J-Block, Brock University
    Note: Student and sponsor registration for this event is now closed.

    Reposted from The Brock News

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  • Geography students acknowledged for extensive research work

    The Department of Geography and Tourism Studies would like to congratulate our Geography students Mackenzie Ceci (BSc. Geography candidate), Senanu Kutor (MA in Geography candidate), and Jerin Lubna (MA in Geography candidate) for being acknowledged for their extensive research work by Brock’s Faculty of Social Sciences.

    “These inaugural Student Research Awards recognize the essential role our students play in knowledge generation, dissemination and application,” said Ingrid Makus, Interim Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences. “We are very proud of their ongoing research accomplishments.”


    Award recipients with Geography and Tourism Studies faculty. From left to right: Mackenzie Ceci, Jerin Lubna, Dr. Ebru Ustundag, and Dr. Kevin Turner.

     


    Vice-President, Academic Tom Dunk (left, middle row), Acting Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research Dawn Zinga (far left, front row), Interim Dean Ingrid Makus (right, middle row) and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Students Angela Book (far right, front row) congratulate students from across the Faculty of Social Sciences departments and centres who received awards in recognition of their research contributions. Photo from The Brock News.

    Read more: https://brocku.ca/brock-news/2018/04/social-sciences-researchers-recognized/

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  • New book “Architectures of Hurry—Mobilities, Cities and Modernity” edited by Geography and Tourism Studies professor

    Architectures of Hurry—Mobilities, Cities and Modernity

    By: Phillip Gordon Mackintosh (Brock Geography and Tourism Studies), Richard Dennis, Deryck W. Holdsworth

    Front Cover‘Hurry’ is an intrinsic component of modernity. It exists not only in tandem with modern constructions of mobility, speed, rhythm, and time-space compression, but also with infrastructures, technologies, practices, and emotions associated with the experience of the ‘mobilizing modern’. ‘Hurry’ is not simply speed. It may result in congestion, slowing-down or inaction in the face of over-stimulus. Speeding-up is often competitive: faster traffic on better roads made it harder for pedestrians to cross, or for horse-drawn vehicles and cyclists to share the carriageway with motorised vehicles. Focussing on the cultural and material manifestations of ‘hurry’, the book’s contributors analyse the complexities, tensions and contradictions inherent in the impulse to higher rates of circulation in modernizing cities.

    The collection includes but also goes beyond accounts of new forms of mobility (bicycles, buses, underground trains) and infrastructure (street layouts and surfaces, business exchanges, and hotels) to show how modernity’s ‘architectures of hurry’ have been experienced, represented, and practised since the mid-nineteenth century. Ten case studies explore different expressions of ‘hurry’ across cities and urban regions in Asia, Europe, and North and South America, while substantial introductory and concluding chapters situate ‘hurry’ in the wider context of modernity and mobility studies and reflect on the future of ‘hurry’ in an ever-accelerating world.

    This diverse collection will be relevant to researchers, scholars and practitioners in the fields of planning, cultural and historical geography, urban history and urban sociology.

    Read more.

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  • Students celebrate World Water Day with water-themed research posters

    On March 22, 2018, students in GEOG/TOUR 3P83 (Geography of Water Resources) and GEOG/TOUR 4P83 (Research Themes in Water Resources) celebrated World Water Day by presenting their water research posters in the Maps, Data and GIS Library. A few of the posters are pictured below.

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  • Tourism and Environment alumna wins prestigious Co-op Student of the Year award

    We would like to congratulate our Tourism and Environment alumna, Meghan Birbeck, on receiving Brock’s Co-op Student of the Year award! After finishing her BA in Tourism and Environment, Meghan moved on to the Master of Sustainability program at Brock, where she secured a co-op placement as a Sustainability Intern with the Town of Lincoln. Read more in the article below.

    Brock announces recipients of Co-op’s highest honour

    Co-op Students of the Year
    Photo from The Brock News.

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  • Policy brief by Geography and Tourism Studies professor explores youth employment in Niagara

    A joint research brief on youth employment in Niagara was launched by Brock University’s Niagara Community Observatory (NCO) and the Niagara Workforce Planning Board (NWPB) on March 20, 2018.

    The brief, “Youth in Niagara: Highly Skilled, Highly Mobile,” examines education and employment data from the 2016 census, as well as local job demand data, to build a snapshot of the work Niagara’s youth are doing.

    This policy brief was authored by Geography and Tourism Studies professor, Jeff Boggs and co-authors Adam Durrant and Thalia Semplonius.

    Read more in the articles below, or download the policy brief.

    Comprehensive youth employment strategy planned for Niagara (Niagara This Week)

    Youth report
    Photo from Niagara This Week.

    Youth employment research brief to launch Tuesday (The Brock News)


    Photo from The Brock News.

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  • New open-access paper by Geography and Tourism Studies professor, Dr. David Butz

    A new open-access paper on “The Epistemological and Ethical Value of Autophotography for Mobilities Research in Transcultural Contexts” is now available online. This paper is co-authored by Geography and Tourism Studies professor, Dr. David Butz.

    Abstract
    This article responds to calls from mobilities scholars for methodological innovation and reflexivity by (a) detailing our use of autophotography in a study of the everyday implications of a newly-constructed road for a small community in mountainous northern Pakistan, and (b) assessing autophotography’s attributes as a visual/narrative method for mobilities research in that setting, on ethical and epistemological grounds. We demonstrate that autophotography’s anti-objectivist epistemology of vision and participant-driven character, the portability and easy user-interface of compact cameras, and the inseparable mix of visual and narrative data the method produces, combined to attenuate epistemic injustice in our research, while also generating productive insights regarding the movements, representations and embodied practices our research subjects associate with the road. These points are developed with reference to literature on visual methods, mobile methods and subaltern autoethnography, as well as to the visual/narrative representations produced by study participants. The article concludes by exemplifying how research subjects used the road and its associated mobilities as discursive resources for the constitution of collective identity: to position their community in relation to modernity and tradition, to distinguish the community from its neighbours, and to articulate worries about the consequences of rapid social change.

    Read the full paper.

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  • New open-access paper by Geography and Tourism Studies professor: “Graphic Narratives, Trauma and Social Justice”

    A new open-access paper on “Graphic Narratives, Trauma and Social Justice” is now available online. This paper is co-authored by Geography and Tourism Studies professor, Dr. Ebru Ustundag.

    Abstract
    In this paper, we explore the relevance of graphic novels to understanding and responding to the complex nature of traumatic experiences. We argue that graphic narratives of trauma, which combine visual images and written text, significantly differ from biomedical and legal accounts by presenting the nuances of traumatic experiences that escape the conventions of written testimony. Building on the literature that integrates social justice concerns with visual methods and graphic medicine, we contend that graphic narratives effectively convey the complexities of traumatic experiences, including embodied experiences that are not always apparent, intelligible, or representable in written form, leading to greater social recognition of the dynamics and consequences of trauma. To illustrate this claim, we analyze Una’s Becoming Unbecoming (2015), a graphic novel that explores themes relating to trauma and social justice. Una relies on the graphic medium to explore the interconnections between personal and collective experiences of gender-based violence, and to show how physical embodied experience is central to her own experience of trauma. Graphic narratives like Becoming Unbecoming also offer a space for addressing the emotional, physical and financial costs of survivorship that usually are not available in legal written testimonies, potentially leading to better justice outcomes for trauma survivors in terms of social intelligibility and recognition, and access to social resources for healing.

    Read the full paper.

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  • Geography and tourism students travel to South Algonquin Township for internship

    On February 9, 2018 three of our internship students, Sam Olson, Taran Lennard and Cam Rolz, travelled to South Algonquin Township with Dr. Chris Fullerton to facilitate a discussion about Economic & Tourism Development in the area. Read more in the article below.

    Neighbours seek economic and tourism development

     

    Neighbours seek economic and tourism development
    Photo from the Madawaska Valley Current

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