Faculty, geography

New Canada Research Chair Exploring Possibilities to End Racism

May 31, 2022

SFU’s Faculty of Environment welcomes Sharon Luk to the Department of Geography as a new Canada Research Chair in Geographies of Racialization. An emerging global leader in this field, Sharon develops robust analytic tools to understand regional dynamics of racism and how marginalized communities mobilize for its abolition. 

She investigates how to rethink what it means to be human despite or beyond settler colonial scholarship and Eurocentric learning. Luk’s scholarship disrupts narratives that support racism (consciously or unconsciously) by explaining how modern development practices require systematic forms of genocide. On the one hand, she investigates how dehumanization and premature death occur through the operations of dominant intellectual, political-economic, and civic institutions. On the other hand, she examines how disenfranchised groups have struggled to maintain their own practices of world-making: affirming their own humanity and world systems when lived conditions deny them.

Using an interdisciplinary lens, she examines Western civilization in its historical peculiarities and contradictions to develop theories and practices of geographies of racialization that support sustainable ways of world-making.

Luk shares: “Research gives us the powerful opportunity to take ourselves out of isolation, to understand the contours of our daily lives in relation to others and to larger-scale processes of global development and mass killing. My goals in Human Geography revolve around building the social and intellectual resources necessary to move through these challenging problems and generate new possibilities out of planetary crisis”.