David Butz

Graduate Program Director and Professor, Geography and Tourism Studies

Professor David Butz profile photo

Office: MC C315
905-688-5550 x3205
dbutz@brocku.ca

Core faculty member in graduate programs in GeographySocial Justice and Equity Studies and Popular Culture, Brock University
Editor-in-Chief: Studies in Social Justice
Editorial Board Member: ERDKUNDE: Archive for Scientific Geography, Journal of Autoethnography, Pakistan Geographical Review

  • Social and cultural geography
  • Qualitative research design
  • Community level social organisation in northern Pakistan
  • Mobility justice
  • Mobilities, road construction and social change in the global south
  • Transport labour in the Karakoram/Hindu-Kush/Himalaya
  • Reggae music and spatiality

Current graduate students:

  •  Lina Adeetuk. “Youth Perspectives on the Significance and Impacts of New Roads: The Case of Kaasa- Zogsa Road, Builsa North District, Ghana,” MA in Geography, Brock University. (Thesis supervisor)
  • Rebekah Casey. “There’s No Place Like (Rural) Home: Why People Choose Rural Despite Decline,” MA in Geography, Brock University. (Thesis committee member)
  • Jennica Giesbrecht. “Rethinking Intimate Geographies of Deathscapes,” MA in Geography, Brock University. (Thesis committee member)
  • Julia Hamill. “‘Molida’, that’s Shimshali Food: Modernization, Mobility, Food Talk, and the Constitution of Identity in Shimshal, Pakistan,” MA in Geography, Brock University. (Thesis supervisor)
  • Alex Perna. “Contested Digital Geographies of Fat Activism,” MA in Geography, Brock University. (Thesis committee member)

Former graduate students:

  • Aaron Nartey. 2020. “Return Migration of Ghanaian Immigrants: Drivers & Reintegration Challenges,” MA in Geography, Brock University. (MRP)
  • Syed Khuram Farrukh. 2019. “Social Media Representations of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan and their Relation to Metropolitan Domination: The Case of Attabad Lake,” MA in Geography, Brock University. (Thesis)
  • Stephanie Murray. 2019. “Defining Freedom: An Ethnographic Study with American Vanlifers,” MA in Geography, Brock University. (Thesis)
  • Katrina Baxter-Moore. 2017. “For the Benefit of Whom? A Critical Analysis of the Claims of Volunteer Tourism,” MA in Popular Culture, Brock University. (MRP)
  • Benjamin Kwao. 2017. “Sustainable Food Systems in Northern Ghana: Assessing the Influence of International Development,” MA in Geography, Brock University. (Thesis)
  • Michael Ayerh. 2016. “Social and Environmental Impact of Large-Scale mining in Ghana: A Case Study of Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipal Assembly,” MA in Geography, Brock University. (MRP)
  • Edna Abanga. 2015. “Access to Health Care Services in Ghana,” MA in Geography, Brock University. (MRP)
  • Warren Jenkinson. 2015. “Geographical Applications for Sound Walks,” MA in Geography, Brock University. (Thesis)
  • Pushpa Hamal. 2014. “Rural Road Construction in the Global South: How Process Shapes Outcome,” MA in Geography, Brock University. (MRP)
  • Oscar Kuffour. 2014. “Disaster Risk Reduction in the Human Security Perspective: The Case of Urban Ghana,” MA in Geography, Brock University. (MRP)
  • Raphael Atanga. 2011. “Tourism and Sustainable Development in Ghana: A case study of the Paga Crocodile Ponds,” MA in Geography, Brock University(MRP)
  • Katie Hemsworth. 2010. “The use of personal listening devices on public transit to transform soundscape and place,” MA in Geography, Brock University. (Thesis)
  • Aaron Franks. 2008. “A minor theory: Transmigration of ecological practice into transformative political discourse, via Campesina,” MA in social Justice and Equity studies, Brock University(Thesis)
  • Anna Lise Domanski. 2007. “Righteous sounds and reproductive justice: The influence of Ani DiFranco’s music for reproductive rights activists,” MA in Social Justice and Equity Studies, Brock University. (Thesis)
  • Julie Gregory. 2007. “Dancing Politics: Connecting Women’s Experiences of Rave in Toronto to Ageism and Patriarchy,” MA in Social Justice and Equity Studies, Brock University. (Thesis)
  • Lorraine Pannett. 2006. “Found in Translation: Life History and Migration,” MA in Social Justice and Equity Studies, Brock University. (MRP)
  • Samah Sabra. 2005. From 1940s Fez to 1990s Paris: Conceptualising Contact Zones and Understanding Autoethnography in a Global Arena of Representation,” MA in Social Justice and Equity Studies, Brock University(Thesis)
  • Kathryn Zavitz. 2004. “International Volunteers at a Costa Rican Organic Farm: Sheepish Volunteers, Proud Tourists and Unwitting Developers,” MA in Social Justice and Equity Studies, Brock University. (Thesis)
  • Kathryn Besio. 2001. “Spatial Stories of Researchers, Travelers and Tourists in a Balti Village: Jangli Geographies of Transculturation,” PhD in Geography, University of Hawaii. (Dissertation co-supervisor)
  • Tania Dolphin. 2000. “The Discursive Construction of Hunza, Pakistan, in Travel Writing: 1889-1999,” MA in Geography, Carleton University. (Thesis co-supervisor)

Committee Member:

  • Jackie Gervais. 2020. “Understanding Post-secondary Student Mobility and its Impact on Wellbeing,” MA in Geography, Brock University. (Thesis)
  • Shannon Kitchings. 2018. “Insider Voices: Witnessing Oral Disclosures of Trauma,” MA in Social Justice and Equity Studies, Brock University. (Thesis)
  • Emmanuel Akowuah. 2018. “Farmers’ Access to Agricultural Information and its Impact on Smallholder Agriculture: A Case Study of the Asante Akim North Municipality, Ghana,” MA in Geography, Brock University. (MRP)
  • Connor Dingle. 2017. “Mobile Technology and Place at the Matheson Learning Commons,” MA in Geography, Brock University. (MRP)
  • Diana Owusuaa. 2016 “The Role of TRansnational Funeral Celebrations in Connecting Ghanian (Akan) Women in Toronto to Ghana,” MA in Geography, Brock University(MRP)
  • Maame Achiaa Agyemang. 2016 “Climate Change, Food Security and Vulnerability in Ghana’s Upper West REgion: Challenges and Adaptation Strategies,” MA in Geography, Brock University(MRP)
  • Emmanuel Kyeremeh. 2015 “Exploring the Discourse of Skill/s Mismatch in Ghana,” MA in Geography, Brock University(MRP)
  • Richard Lagani. 2012 “Domestic Door Locks and Space: Unlocking Key Knowledge of the Home,” MA in Geography, Brock University(MRP)
  • Ola Mohammed. 2012 “My Poetry Hails within the Streets, My Poetry Fails to be Discrete: Examining Belonging and Identity in Southern Ontario Diasporic Hip-Hop Music,” MA in Popular Culture, Brock University(MRP)
  • Ian Wood. 2011 “The Neoliberalisation of Street Vending Policy in Lima, Peru: The Contested Politics of Citizenship, Property and Public Space in the Production of a New Urban Marginality,” MA in Geography, Brock University(Thesis)
  • Jumoke Isekeije. 2010. “Peeking Through the Opomulero Lens: Tunde Kelani’s Women on Centre Stage,” MA in Popular Culture, Brock University(MRP) 
  • Joshua Holt. 2008. “Steeltown Scene: Genre, Performance and Identity in the Alternative Independent Music Scene in Hamilton, Ontario,” MA in Popular Culture, Brock University. (Thesis)
  • Maureen Kihika. 2008. “The United Nations Millenium Development Goal to ‘Combat HIV/AIDS in Kenya by 2014’,” MA in Social Justice and Equity Studies, Brock University. (MRP)
  • Heather Maguire. 2007. ““Citizen Jane: Exploring the Relationship Between Gender and Cellular Phones in Societies of Control,” MA in Social Justice and Equity Studies, Brock University. (Thesis)
  • Tomee Sojourner. 2006. “From Periphery to Centre: An Exploratory Study of One Black Lesbian’s Intersections of Identity and Experiences of Discrimination in the Workplace,” MA in Social Justice and Equity Studies, Brock University. (Thesis)
  • Shauna Flanagan. 2003. “Differential Vulnerability to Debris Flow Hazard in High Mountain Communities of the Karakoram Himalaya, Northern Pakistan,” MA in Geography, WLU. (Thesis)
  • Nick Craddock-Henry. 2002. “Risk, Vulnerability and Environmental Hazards in the Village of Darkot, Northern Pakistan,” MA in Geography, WLU. (Thesis)

External Examiner:

  • Ryan Hendricks. 2019. “An Autoethnographic Analysis of Race, Class, Gender, Sexuality, and AbilityIntersecting in the Construction and Categorization of Subject Positions in a Personal Narrative,” PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies, University of British Columbia, Okanagan. (Dissertation)
  • Naila Zafar. 2018. “Monitoring Desertification in Kirthar National Park, Sindh: A Geographical Evaluation,” PhD in Geography, University of Karachi. (Dissertation)
  • Heidi Karst. 2016. “Protected Areas and Ecotourism: Charting a Path Toward Social-Ecological Wellbeing,” PhD in Geography, University of Waterloo. (Dissertation)
  • Abdul Rauf2014. “Immigrants in Bahawalpur City, Their Livelihood and Integration,” PhD in Geography, Islamia University of Bahawalpur. (Dissertation)
  • Ghulam Murtaza Safi2014. “Spatial Dimensions of Agriculture in Sibi District, Balochistan,” PhD in Geography, University of Karachi. (Dissertation)
  • Jeremy Thompson2010. “Climbers’ Perceptions of Sustainable Bouldering Practices in the Niagara Glen,” MA in Applied Health Sciences, Brock University. (Thesis)
  • Jaspreet Bal. 2010. “Children’s Rights in Rural Punjab: The Story of a Border Dweller,” MA in Child and Youth Studies, Brock University. (Thesis)
  • David Tavares. 2010. “Informal Urban Citizenship in the Multicultural City: Literary Representations of Second-Generation Youth in Toronto and London” PhD in Geography, University of Ottawa. (Dissertation)
  • Syed Shahid Ali. 2009.“Structure and Spatial Patterns of Agriculture in Pakistan: A Study in Regionalization” PhD in Geography, University of Karachi. (Dissertation)
  • Shakila A. Rahman. 2009.“Poverty in Karachi: Geographical Perspective and Socio-Economic Profile” PhD in Geography, University of Karachi. (Dissertation)
  • Khalida Zainab. 2003.“Changes in the Spatial Structure of Administrative Areas in Pakistan: A Geographical Evaluation” PhD in Geography, University of Karachi, Pakistan. (Dissertation)
  • Yiping Lee. 2000.“A Phenomenological Study of Tourists’ Travel Experiences,” PhD in Geography, University of Western Ontario. (Dissertation)

I am seeking serious students who are interested in completing an MA degree in social or cultural geography to work with me in the following areas.

Mobilities, road construction and social change in rural areas of the global South

Mobilities, road construction and social change in rural areas of the global South

In my own current work this interest involves investigating the implications of a newly constructed road for the daily lives, identities, and spatialities of residents in a small agricultural village in northern Pakistan. Opportunities exist for qualified and interested students to work with interviews, testimonial information, archives and photographic evidence relevant to this particular road-building project. I would also be interested in supervising students who would like to work on this general topic in relation to other geographical contexts.

Qualitative research methods, especially ethnography and autoethnography in their various forms

Qualitative research methods, especially ethnography and autoethnography in their various forms

I am eager to work with students who wish either to use or interrogate the use of these approaches in geographical research. Students entering graduate school seldom realize that methodology itself is a dynamic area of research. Ethnography, and especially the place of the self-reflexive researcher-self in ethnographic research, is an especially dynamic area of research on methodology, that I would be interested to help interested students explore.

Geographies of Music

Geographies of Music

My interests are in (a) sound as a resource for understanding and representing spatiality, (b) music’s role in constituting specific spaces, (c) the concept of acoustic space, and (d) relationships among music, identity and place. I have thought about these issues most carefully in relation to reggae music, but my supervisory interests are not constrained by genre preferences. I recently supervised a student who studied how the use of i-pods is shaping the constitution and experience of public transit environments.

Reggae music

From September to May I host a weekly one-hour radio show called Riddim Come Fawaad: Solid Reggae Vibrations on CFBU 103.7FM. The show live-streams Wednesday nights at 9:00 and Saturday afternoons at 4:00.

Pakistan publications

Publications relating to work in Pakistan:

Reggae research

Publications relating to reggae research:

  • (2010) “Response as autoethnography: 1970s outernational roots reggae” paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Washington DC, 12-18 April 2010.
  • (2009) Review of Bob Marley: Herald of a Postcolonial World? By Jason Toynbee. Popular Music 28(2), 267-9.
  • (2007) “Burnin’ and Lootin’ across the Black Atlantic (Leeds, 1973): Trans-local associations of identity and experience” paper presented at theAnnual Meeting of the Canadian Association of Geographers, Saskatoon, 29 May – 2 June 2007.
  • (2007) Review of Caribbean Popular Music: An Encyclopedia of Reggae, Mento, Ska, Rock Steady and Dancehall by D. Moskowitz, in Popular Music and Society 30(2): 285-287.
  • (2005) (D. Butz and S. Sabra) “Musical and Diasporic Networks: Understanding Space in the Music of the Fugees” paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association of Geographers Annual Meetings, London, June 2005.
  • (2005) (S. Sabra and D. Butz) “Epistemologies of Diaspora: Affiliations of Space and Identity in the Music of the Fugees” paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Denver, CO, 5-9 April 2005.
  • (2004) “Trod On: Spatial Ontology, Diaspora and Reggae Music” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association of Geographers, Moncton, 25-29 May 2004.
  • (2004) “Starting from Scratch: The Evocation of Spatiality in Lee Perry’s Reggae Sounds” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Cultural Studies Association, Boston, 5-9 May 2004.
  • (2004) “Sufferers’ Dub: The Articulation of Spatiality in Lee Perry’s Reggae Music” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Philadelphia, 15-19 March 2004.
  • (2003) “My Roots/Routes I’ll Never Forget: The Constitution of Spatiality in Reggae Music” Invited lecture for the Waikato University Cultural Studies Seminar Series, Hamilton, New Zealand, 4 June 2003.
  • (2003) Review of Sound Tracks: Popular Music, Identity and Place by J. Connell and C. Gibson, in The Canadian Geographer 47(4):  84-86.
  • (2002) “Every Word, Every Second and Every Third: Listening for Geography in the Sounds of Music” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Los Angeles, 19-23 March 2002.
  • (2001) “Preliminary Reflections in Favour of Musical Metaphors of Socio-Spatial Relations” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association of Geographers, Montreal, 29 May – 3 June 2001.
Other publications

Other publications: