Fall 2021 - GEOG 365 D100

Race, Resistance and Urban Space (4)

Class Number: 4307

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    AQ 3149, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    At least 45 units, including GEOG 100.



An exploration of how race informs the aesthetics, politics and development of urban space. Examines racial formation in transnational urban contexts, and how cultural production and social movements are utilized to address racial inequities and envision urban futures.


Course Details

Structural inequalities are embedded into the landscape of cities. Who lives where, what access residents have to resources, and who experiences excessive policing are spatial circumstances that are deeply racialized. In this course we will explore how race informs urban space by thinking through polemic issues such as incarceration and policing, gentrification, and housing access.

Despite these inequalities, Black, Indigenous and people of color actively produce counter-geographies of the city that contest unequal structures and creatively reimagine urban space itself. We will explore how urban space is differentially produced by residents of a city, thinking intersectionally to reveal how cultural production, protest, and social organizing shape the urban. We will look to academic and creative texts, as well as toward moments of political organizing in cities to build an understanding of how urban space is racialized, gendered and contested.

Some questions we will explore throughout the semester are:

  • How does the erasure and dispossession of Indigenous peoples facilitate the development of cities?
  • How have Black and migrant communities been continually devalued across North America, fueling the dispossession of their homes over time?
  • How does gentrification stem from these longer histories of dispossession?
  • How do marginalized peoples resist inequities and use art to create social change in cities?

There will be no tutorials the first week of class.



  • Reading Reflections 15%
  • Discussion Questions 10%
  • Participation 15%
  • Contested Cities Project 60%


Grading Scale

A+      [90% and above]                      A         [85 - 89.99%]                  A-       [80 - 84.99%]
B+       [77- 79.99%]     B         [73 - 76.99%]                  B-        [70 - 72.99%]
C+      [67 - 69.99%]                     C        [63% - 66.99%]                C-       [60 - 62.99%]                  
D         [50 - 59.99%]                     F         [49.99% and below]  



Course Readings

There is no required course textbook. All readings will be available on Canvas via hyperlink or in PDF form.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.