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Margaret Marietta Ramírez

Assistant Professor
Geography

MMR Bio

As a human geographer and interdisciplinary scholar, I study social and environmental justice movements, racial and cultural geographies, inequality, and urban space.

My research program weaves three primary threads. First, my work examines how racial capitalism and settler colonialism manifest spatially in cities across North America. Second, in relation to these broader structures of power, I explore the creative practices that Latinx, Black and Indigenous peoples engage to resist, reimagine and build within their everyday geographies. These creative practices take the form of organized social and environmental justice movements, artistic engagements, and everyday doings and refusals that activate urban space in distinct ways. Third, I engage modalities that call attention to histories and geographies of injustice and build relations between differently minoritized peoples, both methodologically and in practice. Across these threads, I employ urban, cultural and feminist theory, alongside critical spatial literatures, to build a robust analysis of urban space and urban life.

In 2023 I was awarded a SSHRC Insight Development Grant for the research project ‘Gentrification, cultural politics & housing justice in Mexico City’. This research examines the increase of AirBnB units in Mexico City over the past five years, and how the financialization of housing and rapid increase in foreign remote workers in Mexico City have fueled the eviction and displacement of low-income residents in the Colonia Juarez neighborhood. In collaboration with housing justice organizer Sergio González of the organization 06600 Plataforma Vecinal y Observatorio de la Colonia Juarez, we are producing a series of digital maps that visualize the increase in AirBnB units alongside the number of evictions that have taken place in the neighborhood over the past 5 years. This project explores how issues of housing justice, like eviction and displacement, are intimately related to struggles for social and environmental justice, as well as to geographies of colonialism and territoriality in Mexico.

Since 2014, I have been thinking in relation with Michelle Daigle through our collaborative writing around themes of ‘decolonial geographies’ and radical relationality. Asha Best and I have been in dialogue since 2015, thinking on themes of art, haunting and the urban. Since 2017, I have been collaborating with the Anti Eviction Mapping Project, and I am a co-editor of the 'Indigenous Geographies of Resistance' chapter of AEMP's edited volume Counterpoints: A Bay Area Atlas of Displacement & Resistance with Savannah Kilner. I am also a founding member of the Latinx Geographies Specialty Group, and serve on the editorial boards of the Dialogues in Human Geography and cultural geographies journals.

Before joining the faculty at SFU, I served as a Creative Cities Fellow at Stanford University, and as a Lecturer in Urban Studies at San Francisco State University. I earned my PhD and MA in Geography at the University of Washington and my BA in Interdisciplinary Studies at UC Berkeley. My work has been published in AntipodeEnvironment & Planning D, Urban Geography, the Annals of American Geographers, Political Geography, IJURR’s Spotlight On series, and Planning Theory & Practice.

Research Interests:

  • Race and urban space
  • Black and Latinx geographies
  • Social & Environmental justice movements
  • Cultural geographies
  • Decolonial and anti-colonial geographies
  • Feminist methodologies

Graduate Students:

  • Tsatia Adzich, PhD Student
  • Joy Russell, MA Student

Selected Publications:

On race, urban space & liberatory struggles

On cultural geographies, art & the urban

  • Best, A. and Ramírez, M.M. (2021) Urban Specters. Environment and Planning D, 39 (6), 1043-1054.

On Latinx Geographies

  • Ramírez, M.M. (Forthcoming, 2024) ‘Gloria Anzaldúa’. Entry in Key Thinkers on Space & Place [Third Edition]. Eds. Gilmartin, M., Hubbard, P., Kitchin, R., & Roberts, S. Sage Publications.
  • Cahuas, M., Douglass-Jaimes, G., Faiver-Serna, C., Gonzalez Mendoza, Y., Martinez Lugo, D., Ramírez, M.M. (2023) Latinx Geographies: Opening Conversations. ACME 22 (6),1462-1489
  • Zaragocín, S., Ramírez, M.M., García, M., and Gonzalez Mendoza, Y. (2022) Bilingual Intervention: Latinx and Latin American Geographies: A Dialogue. Antipode Online: https://antipodeonline.org/2022/08/08/latinx-and-latin-american-geographies/

On relationality & anticolonial praxis

  • Ramírez, M.M. and Daigle, M. (2023) ‘Storying relations: a method in pursuit of liberation’, in V. Lawson et al. (eds) Abolishing Poverty: Towards Pluriverse Futures and Politics. University of Georgia Press: Athens, GA. p. 162-183
  • Vasudevan, P., Ramírez, M.M., Gonzalez Mendoza, Y., and Daigle, M. (2023) Storytelling Earth & Body. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 113 (7), 1728-1744.
  • Daigle, M. and Ramírez, M.M. (2021) Space. Keywords for Gender and Sexuality Studies, eds. Aren Aizura, Aimee Bahng, Amber Musser, Karma Chavez, Mishuana Goeman, Shona Jackson and Kyla Wazana Tompkins. New York: NYU Press, 217-221.
  • Daigle, M. and Ramírez, M.M. (2019) Decolonial Geographies. Keywords in Radical Geography: Antipode at 50, 78-84. DOI: 10.1111/anti.12455

Courses

Future courses may be subject to change.