Fall 2023 - GEOG 365 D100

Race, Resistance and Urban Space (4)

Class Number: 3635

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2023: Mon, 2:30–4:20 p.m.

    Oct 10, 2023: Tue, 2:30–4:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 18, 2023
    Mon, 5:00–5:00 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Margaret Ramirez
    Office: RCB 7223
    Office Hours: Office Hours: Mondays 10:30 -11:30am or by appointment
  • Prerequisites:

    At least 45 units.



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 contemporary issues such as gentrification, incarceration and policing, and housing access.

We will think intersectionally to reveal how cultural production, protest, and social organizing shape cities and envision more-just futures. We will look to academic and creative texts, as well as toward moments of political organizing in cities to build an understanding of how cities are racialized, gendered and always being 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 and what forms does gentrification take?
  • How has mass incarceration become normalized over the last 50 years and how is the prison industrial complex used to ‘solve’ urban problems?
  • How do social movements respond to urban problems and what radical futures are being built in cities across the continent?
There will be tutorials the first week of class.


  • Discussion Questions 15%
  • Participation 15%
  • Contested Cities Project 70%


Grading Scale

A+       [95% and above]                     A          [90 - 94.99%] A-        [85 - 89.99%]
B+       [80- 84.99%] B          [75 - 79.99%] B-        [70 - 74.99%]
C+       [65 - 69.99%] C        [60% - 66.99%] C-        [55 - 59.99%]
D          [50 - 54.99%] F          [49.99% and below]  



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


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.