PhD position in place/Land-based knowledge

hybridutopia1Place is not just the surface upon which life happens, but an ongoing state created by process and relations (Massey 1994, 2005; Rose 1993); places are practices (Dehyle 2009). In Indigneous studies, Land refers not only to soil, but to water, air, animals, and most importantly, the relations between them, as Land constitutes the life of the collective  (Bang 2014). Land refers not only to the material aspects of Landscape, but also “to its spiritual, emotional, and intellectual aspects” (Cajete 2000; Styres & Zinga 2012; Tuck 2015 and many others). As such, knowledge is situated in place and Land, and extricable from it.

Dr. Max Liboiron (contributing editor of Discard Studies) invites applications to an open PhD position in place-based knowledge. There is no predetermined project for this position other than that it should use a place or Land-based lens to consider knowledge and/or the creation of knowledge. As this is an interdisciplinary project, applicants can be housed in a range of departments: Geography, Environmental Studies, Sociology, or the Interdisciplinary Program (each has a different application deadline and requirements; applicants should familiarize themselves with the application requirements of their target department). While not required, applicants are encouraged to work within the Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research (CLEAR), a feminist marine science and technology lab run by Dr. Liboiron that includes students from both natural and social sciences, and the Waste, Science, Technology & Environment Group, and interdisciplinary science and technology studies (STS) research hub at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Applicants working in waste, pollution, and toxicity are particularly encouraged to apply.

Funding is $19.2k/year (4 years), and additional research or teaching assistant positions may be available in addition to the stipend. Students must pay tuition out of their stipend. Applicants are encouraged to contact Dr. Liboiron (mliboiron [at] before applying to the School of Graduate Studies. Applications should include:

  •  A short research proposal (~1 page). While Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research (CLEAR), has many ongoing projects, students have autonomy over what they work on. Applicants are encouraged to look at current projects at CLEAR as well as those at the Waste, Science, Technology & Environment (WaSTE) group to ensure their research fits with our approach. Proposals may request to expand an existing project or propose a new one. Proposals should address the unique opportunity at CLEAR to work at the intersection of natural and social sciences.
  • A statement of politics (~1 page). CLEAR is a feminist lab with priority for Indigenous students and Aboriginal lenses. Some of our politics are outlined here:
    We are looking for a statement about how your politics align with our framework.
  • A CV/resume, including a list of at least two references
  • Unofficial transcripts

Preference will be given to Indigenous applicants.



Bang, M., Curley, L., Kessel, A., Marin, A., Suzukovich III, E. S., & Strack, G. (2014). Muskrat theories, tobacco in the streets, and living Chicago as Indigenous land.Environmental Education Research, 20(1), 37-55.

Cajete, G. (2000). Native science: Natural laws of interdependence. Clear Light Pub.

Deyhle, D. (2009). Reflections in place: Connected lives of Navajo women. University of Arizona Press.

Massey, D. (1994). Double Articulation A Place in the World. Displacements: Cultural identities in question, 15, 1110.

Massey, D. (2005). Negotiating nonhuman/human place. Antipode, 37(2), 353-357.

Rose, G. (1993). Feminism & geography: The limits of geographical knowledge. U of Minnesota Press.

Styres, S. D., & Zinga, D. M. (2013). The Community-First Land-Centred Theoretical Framework: Bringing a ‘Good Mind’ to Indigenous Education Research?. Canadian Journal of Education/Revue canadienne de l’éducation, 36(2), 284-313.

Tuck, E., & McKenzie, M. (2014). Place in research: Theory, methodology, and methods. Routledge.

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