Dragos Simandan

Professor, Geography and Tourism Studies

Dragos Simandan

PhD Geography (University of Bristol, UK)

Office: MC C327
Phone: 905-688-5550 x5010
Email: simandan@brocku.ca

Biography:

Current SSHRC-Funded Research, 2013-2019
Principal Investigator, Insight Grant “Is cross-cultural experience conducive to wisdom? A study of Romanian immigrants in Toronto”, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

The sharp distinction between a world ‘out there’ (ontology) and our representations of it (epistemology) is misleading and carries a significant, yet insufficiently acknowledged, political load. One fruitful way for moving beyond this habit of thought is to understand the world and our relation with it as recursive cartographies. This metaphor conceives all things as derivative of prior relations, defines scale as contexts collapsed within a unit of analysis, and approaches reality as the interplay of legacies, rhythms, and events.  It also obliges researchers to put themselves in the map of their object of research, thus subverting the fantasy of an independent world ‘out there’, awaiting one’s inspection. This political ontoepistemology claims that any achievement comes with a loss and demonstrates the benefits of this apparently banal contention in an analysis of the discipline of geography built around three questions: ‘What is geography?’, ‘Is geography worth keeping?’, and ‘What can be done to improve geography as a knowledge producer?’ The answer to the first question is that geography is a generic name for a set of various scientific practices, loosely held together, and thus identifiable by a common and long-standing concern for the big themes of ‘space’ and ‘Earth’s complexity’, as well as by the networks generated through its having a distinct position in the academic division of labour. With this definition in mind, I then answer the second question in a positive but cautious manner, by, firstly, explaining the worthiness of traditional scientific disciplines and, secondly, questioning the usually invoked grounds for the existence of geography. The final question receives its answer in a style that unsettles some protocols of enquiry and norms of good research in geography. In the enabling space thus created, I explore a number of alternative disciplinary turns, reflexive practices, and conceptualisations that might rejuvenate geography.

  • Economic Geography
  • Critical Human Geographies and Critical Urban Theory
  • Health, Well-being, and the Politics of Biomedical Research
  • Social Theory and Philosophy of the Social Sciences
  • The Interface between Geography and the Cognitive Sciences
Simandan refereed book
Simandan refereed book
Simandan refereed book
Simandan refereed book
Simandan refereed book

Refereed Books:

  • Simandan D 2006 Marginally Modern. Psychoanalysis and the deconstruction of inadequate communities Arad, ‘Vasile Goldis’ University Press, 264 pp.
  • Simandan D 2005b New Ways in Geography Timisoara, Editura Universitatii de Vest, 230 pp.
  • Simandan D 2005a Pragmatic Skepticism and the Possibilities of KnowledgeTimisoara, Editura Universitatii de Vest, 256 pp.
  • Simandan D *2002 The truth regimes of the past , Arad, ‘Aurel Vlaicu’ University Press, 370 pp. [*in Romanian]
    • Solomon C-tin, Coanda Sv 2003 ‘Book review. Dragos Simandan Regimurile de adevãr ale trecutului. O cercetare în istoriografia si istoria geografiei’  Analele stiintifice ale Universitatea de Stat din Moldova, Sectia Stiinþe socioumanistice, vol III, Chisinãu, pp. 479 – 498. Professor Solomon and Dr. Coanda appreciated that: ‘We have no hesitation in praising this book: on one hand, it is the most original and erudite enquiry in the history and historiography of geography in the Romanian-speaking world, on the other hand, it constitutes an exceptional reference for all those with interests in historiography, discourse analysis, and the social study of science.’
    • Bulzan, C 2004 Book Review Revista Universitara de Stiinte Sociale, I, (2), pp. 178-179. ‘Romanian geography will much benefit from this volume. It brings the promise of rearticulating our parochial practices with the broader conversation taking place among other geographical traditions. Published only two years after his vastly influential book ‘The cultural fundaments of the American model’, ‘The truth regimes of the past’ confirms and reinforces Simandan’s position as leader of the new generation in Romanian geography. This book is definitely a must-have.’
  • Simandan D *2000 The cultural fundaments of the American model. A transdisciplinary approach in human geography , Cluj-Napoca, Dacia Press, 240 pp.  [*in Romanian]
    • Pacurariu Gh 2001 ‘A transdisciplinary approach in human geography. Book Review of ‘The cultural fundaments of the American model’’ Scientific and Technical Bulletin: Series: Economic Sciences & Sociology, VII, (3), pp. 89 – 91. Professor Pacurariu appreciated that: ‘This is undoubtedly the best book published in human geography after the fall of Ceausescu in 1989.’

Refereed Book Chapters

Refereed Journal Articles

Refereed Papers in Conference Proceedings

  • 2010 ‘Prospects for the economic geographies of renewable energy’ In Matei S. (ed.) Theoretical and Practical Approaches in Economics Arad: “Aurel Vlaicu” University Press, pp. 35-49 [co-authored with Kirby Calvert]
  • 2008 ‘Theoretical note on the explanatory failure of Paul Romer’s (1990) “Endogenous Technological Change“‘Theoretical Developments in Contemporary Economics Timisoara: Mirton Publishing House, pp. 243-259.
  • 2006 ‘The g factor and the geographical law of place-induced cognitive emergence‘ In Economic Science in a Knowledge Society, Proceedings of the International Conference ‘Research and Education in the Innovation Era’ , Timisoara: Mirton Publishing House, pp. 80-90.
  • 2002e ‘The governmentalization of nature: a political ecology of hydropower in Norway and Romania’ Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium of the Multidisciplinary Research Association from Western Romania, pp. 949-956, Timisoara.
  • 2002d ‘Economic and environmental perspectives on the deregulation of the Norwegian energy market’, 1991 – 2002 Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium of the Multidisciplinary Research Association from Western Romania, pp. 957-965, Timisoara.
  • 2002c ‘Framing capitalist dynamics: overdetermination or complexity theory?’ Proceedings of the 10th Scientific Conference with International Participation, ‘Constantin Brancusi’ University, Faculty of Economics, Targu – Jiu, Section 5, pp. 251 – 256.
  • 2002b ‘Rosia Montana: the economic and environmental dilemmas of gold mining’, Proceedings of the 10th Scientific Conference with International Participation, ‘Constantin Brancusi’ University, Faculty of Economics, Targu – Jiu, Section 5, pp. 229 – 234.
  • 2002a ‘Some unwelcome interruptions: on structural adjustment policies, trade unionism, and the working of the state’, Proceedings of the 10th Scientific Conference with International Participation, ‘Constantin Brancusi’ University, Faculty of Economics, Targu – Jiu, Section 5, pp. 211 – 216.
  • 2001d ‘Global environmental change and its local and regional geographies in Romania’ Proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium of the Multidisciplinary Research Association from Western Romania, Timisoara, pp. 565 – 572.
  • 2001c ‘‘Transformed nature’ and the geography of food consumption in Romania’ Proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium of the Multidisciplinary Research Association from Western Romania, Timisoara, pp. 573 – 582.
  • 2001b ‘Governmentality, neoliberal constraints and everyday anxieties: a political ecology of tuberculosis in Orastie and the adjacent rural areas, 1989 – 2001’ Proceedings of Section 7 ‘Social Sciences and the Humanities’ of The National Session of Scientific Papers,Targu-Jiu, 24 -25 November, pp. 259 – 264.
  • 2001a ‘Embedding flexible modes: two case studies in the geography of non-standard forms of employment’ Proceedings of Section 2 ‘Management, marketing, commerce’ of The National Session of Scientific Papers,Targu-Jiu, 24 -25 November, pp. 169 – 174.
  • GEOG 5P01 Theoretical Approaches to the Critical Examination of Geographical Issues (MA in Geography)
  • GEOG 5V10 Advanced Topics in Labour Geographies
  • GEOG 4P95 Directed Readings I
  • GEOG 4P75 Resources and Social Movements (research seminar)
  • GEOG 4P77 Advanced Topics in Labour Geographies (research seminar)
  • ***GEOG 4P50 Critical Analysis of Urban and Economic Geographies (research seminar) (2016-2017, Winter Term)
  • GEOG 3P57 Human Geography Field Trip
  • ***GEOG 3P50 Resource Management: Discourses, Policies, and Ethics (2016-2017, Fall Term)
  • GEOG 3P76 Geographies of Energy
  • GEOG 3P79/INTL 3P79 Nature, Development, and the Politics of Knowledge
  • ***GEOG 2P21 Introduction to Research Design and Methodology (2016-2017, Fall Term)
  • ***GEOG 2P13 Resource and Environmental Geographies (2018-2019, Winter Term)
  • GEOG 2Q96 Environmental Problems and Development

SENANU KWASI KUTOR, 2018 – 2019. Major Research Paper “Wisdom and cross-cultural interaction: a geographical perspective”. Partly funded by SSHRC Insight Grant (PI & supervisor: Simandan)

ALESSANDRA RIZZI, 2016 -ongoing. Major Research Paper “Energy efficient buildings: moving towards a carbon neutral Canada” (supervisor: Simandan)

ALEXANDRU RAILEANU, 2015 – 2017. Major Research Paper “Wisdom and international migration: a case study of the Romanian community in Ontario”. Partly funded by SSHRC Insight Grant (PI & supervisor: Simandan)

SARAH MANN, 2014-2016. MA Thesis “A non-representational conceptualization of troubling student disclosures to online and/or contingent university instructors”. Funded by SSHRC (supervisor: Simandan)

MERT COSKAN, 2010-2013. MA Thesis “Illegal Aliens and The Inconspicuous Geographies of US Immigration and Border Policing within 100 miles of the US-Canada Border” (supervisor: Simandan). Mert began his PhD in Geography at Carleton University in the Fall of 2014.

HEATHER WHIPPLE, 2010 – 2013. (part-time). Major Research Paper “Extraterestrial human geographies” (supervisor: Simandan). Heather now works as Librarian at Brock University.

LISA COMBE, 2008 – 2011 (part-time). Major Research Paper “A gendered economic geography of real estate entrepreneurship in Niagara, Ontario” (supervisor: Simandan). Lisa is the recipient of Brock’s Distinguished Graduate Student Award.

KIRBY CALVERT, 2007 – 2009. MA Thesis “Scale, net-workings and uncertainty: an examination of environmental policy making in Ontario” (supervisor: Simandan). Kirby went on and did his PhD at Queen’s University (2009-2013), then worked as tenure-track assistant professor of energy policy in the Geography Department of Pennsyslvania State University (2013-2015), and, most recently, moved back to Canada, as tenure-track assistant professor in the Geography Department of Guelph University (July 2015-ongoing).