• 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.

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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.

    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.

    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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  • Geography and Tourism Studies professor comments on the importance of physical spaces in Toronto’s Gay Village

    In this article from the Globe and Mail, Geography and Tourism Studies professor, Dr. Catherine Jean Nash comments on the importance of physical spaces in Toronto’s Gay Village. Read more below.

    Toronto’s Church and Wellesley will always belong to LGBTQ people

    Reposted from The Globe and Mail
    Published Friday, Feb. 02, 2018 8:31PM EST

    The boys get together every Thursday afternoon, for coffee at Glad Day, the iconic gay bookstore that has reinvented itself as a café and unofficial community centre on Church Street in the heart of the Gay Village. There are a dozen of them – this day, most in their 60s and 70s – and, provided no names are used, they let a visitor join them to talk about how their village has changed, almost beyond belief.

    It used to be, they reminisce, that if you wanted to meet a guy, you went to one of the bars. Maybe you ended up at a bathhouse.

    Today, people just go on Grindr or Scruff or one of the other hookup apps, finding the comfort of another from the comfort of their home.

    But now that Bruce McArthur has been charged with the murder of five men, with more charges possibly yet to come, they wonder whether it’s safe.

    Maybe people will start going to the bathhouses again, one of them hopes, and everybody laughs.

    Church Street, one of the most vital gay villages in the world, is being transformed – by gentrification, by technology, by social progress. The discovery that an alleged serial killer targeted gay men, some of whom frequented the village, represents a dark inflection point in that transformation, a moment to pause and look around, to wonder what’s happening and what’s to come.

    “It certainly has become an event,” says Tim McCaskell, a veteran community activist. “People are going to talk about what they did before and what they do after. It will certainly be part of Toronto queer history.” That history is a compelling tale still being told.

    Toronto east of Yonge Street had always been a bit rundown and red-light. In the 1970s, young gay men began coalescing around Church Street, attracted by low-rent apartments and to one another.

    They bonded more tightly in the 1980s, under assault from the AIDS epidemic and people who blamed them for the spread of the disease. The heyday of Church Street might have come in the 1990s, as safe-sex campaigns and anti-retroviral drugs lessened the AIDS threat and society became more accepting of the LGBTQ community.

    The village emerged as an essential element in the personality of downtown Toronto – a hub of nightlife and daylife, the sidewalks crowded in the evening and at brunch, the bars and restaurants and clothing stores and sex shops thriving, straight couples on a Sunday afternoon pushing strollers past the leather men and drag queens recovering from the night before, lesbians and trans people increasingly fixtures as well – although they searched with mixed success for a bar or club they could call their own – and with all the world, it felt like, jammed into a few blocks for the Pride parade.

    The village is all that still. But things have changed. Gentrification pushed the rents past what younger queer people could afford. Cheap flats gave way to high-rise condominiums that encroach by the year. Now, the village is more a place you go to, and less a place you live in.

    Increasing social acceptance of the queer community has, counterintuitively, not been good for Church Street. In the past, gay people hung out together for protection – from homophobic thugs, and from the cops, who too often viewed the LGBTQ community as a perverse and disreputable subculture.

    It used to be “the only part of the city where two men could dare walk down the street holding hands was on Church Street,” Mr. McCaskell recalls. “Everything else was just too dangerous.” In today’s Toronto, anybody can hold hands anywhere.

    Every establishment, by law, is queer-friendly. There is a second village developing on Queen Street West. LGBTQ Torontonians now live wherever they want in a safe, open, welcoming city. This is great, of course, but it weakens the cohesion of Church Street.

    Dating and hookup apps have also not been kind to the village. They’re “a very efficient sexual delivery system,” observes Ed Jackson, a veteran LGBTQ activist and historian.

    “You don’t have to go get drunk in a bar and hope you meet someone,” he says.

    Bars have closed, and bathhouses. Despite, or because of, the high rents, there are more empty storefronts on Church Street than there used to be.

    Mathew Gagne, 35, is working on a PhD at the University of Toronto on how technology interacts with queer culture in the Middle East. He worries about what these changes will mean for the more marginalized members of the community – street people, racial and gender minorities, women, people whose lives are shaped by the intersection of these and other realities.

    When you come to the village, he says, “you see all kinds of different types occupying all kinds of different spaces.” But “places are closing. Queer spaces are closing.” Will diversity survive the relentless march of the condo towers?

    And now comes the trauma of the killings, which has left people in the village angry at Toronto police, who seemed reluctant about fears that a predator was at large within the gay community.

    One of the guys at the coffee klatch wonders whether police are as concerned as they should be about missing people who are dark-skinned, which most of the victims were.

    “It depends on what colour you are, how you are viewed by the police,” Mr. Jackson believes. “If you are black, if you’re brown, you really do have a different experience.”

    If evidence accumulates that Toronto police ignored warnings that might have led to an earlier arrest, and even saved lives, expect calls for a public inquiry.

    But no one believes the killings will keep people away from the village, which has plenty of life in it still, despite gentrification and the apps.

    “Apps don’t relieve us of the need to find physical spaces to meet, to connect,” says Catherine Jean Nash, a professor at Brock University who studies how sexual-minority communities evolve and move about.

    “To sit in a place, have a coffee, read a book and know that the vibe around you is your people … you need those physical spaces.”

    Queerness must manifest itself in a place, Mr. Gagne believes. “Even the younger people, as they’re emerging, will always have a sense of the village as ‘the village.’”

    Church Street will always be changing. But the queer people who love it are certain it will always be theirs.

    Article from the Globe and Mail.

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