Asia and the Pacific
As might be expected, due to its Pacific coast location, UBC offers a strong programme on Asia and the Pacific. The University has an Asian Research Institute and a special Asian Centre and library, and there are separate research centres for India and South Asia, Japan, China, Southeast Asia and Korea Studies. Within the University as a whole there are over 60 faculty who specialize in Asia and the Pacific Rim.
In the Department of Geography there are opportunities for graduate research programmes on Southeast Asia, China and Japan. Graduates are currently engaged in a wide range of topics - e-waste disposal in China, internal migration in the Philippines, and natural disasters in Japan. Faculty research on Asia and the Pacific concentrates on four main areas: general studies of development in Asia with a particular focus on urbanization; studies in economic geography and planning in China and Japan; the geography of the emerging Pacific Rim economic system, as well as its impact upon Canada; immigration patterns in Asia and the cultural geography of Asia.
Faculty with a Focus on Asia and the Pacific
Simon Donner, Assistant Professor
Fiji and Kiribati
"Why does climate matter? This question is the basis of a broad program of modelling and field research examining how changes in the climate over time affect biogeochemical cycling and the function of marine ecosystems like coral reefs. This research provides insight into the causes and effects of human-induced climate change, the efficacy of policy and mitigation options, and the consequences for human welfare. Current areas of research include the climate change and coral reefs in the central equatorial Pacific; the obstacles to public education about climate change; the effect of climate and agriculture on nutrient loading to large river systems; and trade-offs between food, feed and fuel production."
Email contact: email@example.com
Office Phone: 604-822-6959
Room Number: GEOG 133
David Edgington, Associate Professor
Japan and Asia-Pacific
"My current research focuses on aspects of economic geography in the Pacific Rim, including Japanese trade and investment patterns in East Asia, urban and regional change in Japan, Japanese tourism in Canada, and multicultural planning in cities of Pacific Rim countries. One major project has been examining the rebuilding of Kobe after the 1995 Hanshin Earthquake. This has been carried out with a Japan Foundation Grant and in the context of changing urban governance systems in Japan. Another study looks at Japanese electronics firms and their production networks in the Greater China Circle. This is funded by the SSHRC and is being carried out in conjunction with Dr. Roger Hayter (SFU) and graduate students. Through my PhD student, Tom Woodsworth I am becoming interested in environmental challenges in China and the problems surrounding e-waste. In Vancouver, I have a project studying how local governments in the Vancouver region have taken responsibility for including non-mainstream populations in the preparation and amendment of local plans as well as local social services."
Email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Phone: 604-822-5612
Room Number: GEOG 215C
Jim Glassman, Associate Professor
"I am currently carrying out research, funded by a grant from the Hampton Fund, on the formation of regional business networks in East and Southeast Asia during the Cold War period, focusing especially on firms from the Philippines, South Korea, and Thailand."
Email contact: email@example.com
Office Phone: 604-822-1892
Room Number: GEOG 140
On Leave, September 1, 2009 - August 31, 2010
Alf Siemens, Professor Emeritus
My research interests focus on pre-Hispanic wetland agriculture; cultural-historical geography of Mesoamerican tropical lowlands; and the recent impact of agricultural globalization. I am currently working on an environmental history of the Candelaria River Basin in southwestern Campeche, Mexico, from the recent extraction of the river's age-old transportational function by a road network, back to the Archaic period and very early evidence (ca. 7000 BP) for human intervention in the river system.
Email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Graeme Wynn, Professor
Honours: Fellow of The Royal Society of Canada
Email contact: email@example.com
Office Phone: 604-822-6226
Room Number: GEOG 236
Research focuses on changing cultural, political and military constructions of the “Middle East” and their intersections with cultures of travel and with geopolitics and war. Close attention is paid to the European and American ‘discovery’ of Egypt 1798-1914, and to contemporary conflicts in Israel/Palestine and the US invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Faculty with a Focus on the Middle East
Derek Gregory, Peter Wall Distinguished Professor
War, occupation and human rights in the “Middle East”
"My research has two interconnected themes. Most generally, I am interested in the spatial modalities of late modern war, where military violence, occupation and ‘peace’ bleed into one another. My focus for these investigations is the ‘Middle East’, specifically Iraq and Israel/Palestine, but I also consider Afghanistan/Pakistan, East Africa and the geography of the global war prison. My particular concerns are in the production of spaces that make war possible and permissible – via practices of locating, inverting and excepting – and in the production of imaginative counter-geographies through artwork, drama and literature. I am also interested in cultural and political geographies of bombing, from Europe bombing its colonial populations in the early twentieth century through Spain, the Second World War, the wars in Korea, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, to the Gulf War, Afghanistan / Pakistan and Iraq. In both cases I draw (critically!) on ideas from cultural and political theory/philosophy (including Agamben, Butler and Foucault) and from the visual arts and literary studies (including Said and Sebald)."
Email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Phone: 604-822-4719
Room Number: GEOG 140F
Research focuses on the political, cultural, and economic transformations in contemporary Europe and its neighboring regions. Within this broad theme, questions about the transformations of borders and identity, sovereignty and security, and the institutions of the European Union, especially in the context of EU and NATO enlargement processes, receive particular attention. Research and teaching on Europe is linked to the activities of UBC's Metropolis Project as well as Program in Modern European Studies, Institute for European Studies, and Center for International Relations.
Faculty with a Focus on Europe
Merje Kuus, Associate Professor
"My research focuses on political geography and geopolitics--particularly on security and state power, borders and surveillance, and policy-making processes in complex bureaucratic structures. In broad terms, I investigate how political practices are underpinned by spatially defined categories like center and margin, inside and outside, Self and Other. These categories, I contend, are central to the processes by which complex political issues come to be defined and managed in a particular manner. Within that problematic, my interests converge on the question of how specifically spatial categories function in daily politics at various sites—for example, within foreign policy bureaucracies. I have also worked on, and continue to be interested in, political identity and subjectivity, nationalism and transnationalism, and citizenship and belonging, especially in contemporary Europe. By virtue of my ‘regional’ expertise, I am keenly interested in the ways in which places and regions are ‘written onto’ our mental maps on a daily basis."
Email contact: email@example.com
Office Phone: 604-822-3443
Room Number: GEOG 235
Faculty research focuses on the cultural politics of conservation in Latin America; current projects examine how conservation mandates articulate with border security in the United States-Mexico borderlands. Other research interests include the relations between the United States and Latin America, especially in regards to militarization, resource extraction, as well as solidarity movements; gender, race and citizenship; and the articulation between race and nature. Graduate students are pursuing research on the cultural politics of "helping;" neo-liberalism and the privatization of natural resources; and changing environmental governance regimes.
Faculty with a Focus on Latin America
Juanita Sundberg, Associate Professor
Latin America, United-States-Mexico borderlands
"My current project examines the environmental dimensions of United States' border security policies in the US-Mexico borderlands, with a specific focus on protected areas like national wildlife refuges."
Email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Phone: 604-822-3535
Room Number: GEOG 125
Department of Geography - Faculty of Arts - The University of British Columbia