Sandra Lockwood

GLS/SAR PhD Candidate


  • BA UofT 1983; ;
  • MFA Emily Carr 2007
  • MA GLS SFU 2007-2013

Research Description

Starting with the three great quests of the twentieth century – the South Pole, Mount Everest, and the Moon – my PhD inquiry "Thin Places" aims to examine human motivations to venture into sublime yet perilous environments and our impact upon them. I am especially interested in the environmental ethics of journeying to places not meant to accommodate human life, requiring a great outlay of material  resources and technological invention, and where human presence has adverse consequences for the place itself.

My research question is twofold: Firstly, how can we turn Thin Place ambitions from ones that value human supremacy and attainment to ones that advocate for the Thin Place itself? Can we evolve from conquering the mountain to championing its right to exist? Secondly, Thin Places resonate with humanity on a deep primeval level. Can we harness this emotional fascination to engage collectively and compassionately to change destructive human behaviour? We can’t survive in Thin Places but perhaps they can teach us something about the nature of survival.

Conference Papers

  • Lockwood, Sandra. “Dressing for Mars: Survival Through Spacesuit Design and Spaceman Bioengineering.” Paper presented, Graduate Liberal Studies West Coast Symposium. Vancouver, BC.  June 18th, 2016.
  • Lockwood, Sandra. “Thin Places -- Post Conquest”. Paper presented, annual conference of Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs, San Jose, CA, October 17, 2015.