Geography Special Topics Courses, 2023-24

GGR400H1-S: Special Topics in Geography I 

Horror Noir: Social Planning in Film

Utilizing horror films that center the lives of Black protagonists, this course examines the cultural and historical experiences of the African Diaspora and their relationships to built and natural landscapes -- rural, suburban, and urban. The course also considers how the combination of the social construction of race and the physical construction of environments have shaped notions of social order, resulting in a lingering legacy of discrimination and violence. Employing a lens that is intersectional, interdisciplinary, and transnational, students will draw connections between capitalism, colonialism, and racism and link them to geography and planning topics including gentrification and segregation. 

GGR401H1-F: Special Topics in Geography II 

Geocomputation with Raster Data and Python

GGR401 focuses on working with Raster data in Python using open-sourced GIS packages. The lecture component of the course will emphasize the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of raster-based geocomputation in a Python environment. The Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL) and Rasterio packages will be used for the automatization of Raster data processing and analysis. Students will learn how to write Python scripts to access, process and analyze Landsat 8/9 raster, DEM and LiDAR data. Laboratory-style exercises – such as computing vegetation indices, raster classification, slope/aspect analysis, shortest path, and raster-based modelling – will enable students to obtain practical experience with these packages. 

GGR458H1-S:  Special Topics in Urban Geography

Urban Problems

Cities, or at least parts of cities, have long been framed as a problem, particularly in large sprawling federalist societies like the United States and Canada. Exactly what those problems are, who they affect, and what should be done (or not done) about them vary over time and space. This is a seminar on the social construction of urban problems. We will explore the tension between on-the-ground challenges such as deprivation, crime, and depopulation, on the one hand, and the way that these problems are deployed by political and economic elites to motivate (or in some cases avoid) change, on the other.