Spring 2021 - GEOG 365 D100

Race, Resistance and Urban Space (4)

Class Number: 5534

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 20, 2021
    5:00 PM – 5:00 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, 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.


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, exposure to toxics, 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 has the labor of Black and migrant peoples been harnessed to sustain cities?
  • What is environmental injustice and how/where do we observe it in urban space?
  • How is gentrification linked to other forms of urban dispossession such as policing?
  • Is there an aesthetic of gentrification and how are spatial norms policed and/or enforced?
  • How do dispossessed peoples resist racial inequities and use art and sound as mechanisms for social change in cities?
  • What creative urban futures are being imagined by Black, Indigenous, migrant, global south, and queer peoples amidst the climate crisis?


Lectures will be held asynchronously, with an optional discussion/Q&A period during the first hour of the scheduled lecture time. Tutorials will be held synchronously, and materials from the reading presentations will be shared with students who are unable to attend. There will be no synchronous exam components to this course.

There will be no tutorials the first week of class.


  • Weekly Reading Reflections 30%
  • Tutorial Reading Presentation 10%
  • Counter-geographies assignment 10%
  • Midterm Research Paper 25%
  • Final Project 25%


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]




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 spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges 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. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).