Dr Jen Bagelman
Lecturer in Human Geography


Research interests

My academic and activist work critically examines how displacement is produced through exclusionary citizenship and bordering practices. I am also deeply interested in how people mobilize to enact more loving geopolitics. I explore these questions through two main strands of research.

The first strand of my research explores how sanctuary movements challenge (and sometimes inadvertently reproduce) the hostile treatment of refugees and other displaced peoples. My recently published book, Sanctuary City: A Suspended State, explores this topic. Expanding on this work, I am currently leading a GCRF-supported project entitled 'Birthing at the Borders' which explores how women with precarious status living in Kenya's refugee camp of Hagadera mobilize 'sanctuary' to establish alternative networks of maternal care. 

The second strand of my research explores the impacts of colonial displacement on Indigenous peoples, particularly in the Pacific Northwest of Canada. Specifically, I have worked in solidarity with Indigenous communities examining the impact of displacement on traditional food systems. More recently I have explored the impacts of proposed energy development projects on Indigenous coastal communities and how people are resisting through embodied acts such as paddling. I have published this work in an article entitled ‘Geopolitics of Paddling: ‘Turning the Tide’ on extraction’ in a recent issue of Citizenship Studies. I am also working with a team of researchers (Robina Thomas, Glen Coulthard, Philippe Le Billon, Sarah Wiebe, Charles Menzies and Peter Keller) on a five-year SSHRC grant called ‘SEASCAPE: Indigenous Storytelling Studio’ to explore how storytelling and digital tools can be used to affectively counter-map the impacts of energy developments.

Research Groups & External Responsibilities:

I am a member of the Department’s Space Politics and Society reserach group as well as the Cultural and Historical Geographies research group.

Beyond the university, I am a Board Member of the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration. With my sister, Carly, I also run a non-profit organization called Glean, which seeks to nourish more equitable foodscapes.

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