Jackman Humanities Institute Undergraduate Fellows 2016-17

The Urban Studies Program is pleased to offer congratulations to two of our students - and URSSU co-Presidents - on being selected as Jackman Humanities Institute Undergraduate Fellows for 2016-2017. 

Martin Marchiori-Wong

"Time for a Change: Reviewing the Relationships between Time, Rhythm, Pace and Public Policy"

Martin Marchiori-Wong is a fourth year undergraduate student pursuing a double major in Urban Studies and Public Policy with a minor in Geographic Information Systems. This year, Martin is an Undergraduate Fellow at the Jackman Humanities Institute, where he will be completing a research project called "Time for a Change: Reviewing the Relationships between Time, Rhythm, Pace and Public Policy." This project will examine how the unique time experiences of groups including women and lower income individuals are insufficiently recognized by existing public policies. It will also survey policy areas in which time, rhythm, and pace are poorly considered in general.

Martin would like to extend his thanks to the faculty and staff of the Urban Studies Program for their academic support and guidance. The Urban Studies Program has prepared Martin for his fellowship and his other academic and professional work by emphasizing a solutions-based and community-oriented approach to policy areas related to public transit, affordable housing, and income inequality. Martin's experience in the Urban Studies Program has also encouraged him to become more active in his local community and on campus, where he will be the Co-President of the Urban Studies Student Union for the 2016-17 academic year.

Katerina Mizrokhi

"Time’s Imprint: Tracing Socialism in Post-Socialist Urban Landscapes" 

Katerina Mizrokhi was initially inspired to explore this topic due to her own diasporic identity and her international academic experience here at the University of Toronto. Katerina was born in Moscow, Russia during a time when the country, and subsequently the city itself, was in constant flux—continually renegotiating its established and potential identities. As such, the culture, ideology, and geographical imagination that were taken and cultivated by her particular bubble of familial diaspora were not rooted in the contemporary Russian reality. Instead, on the basis of generational memory, this diasporic incubator – seemingly insulated from the erosion of time and progress – preserved an appropriation of Soviet life, culture and nostalgia that has instilled an innate appreciation and fascination with this socialist era. She always sensed a spatial and cultural peculiarity about Moscow in contrast to Western cities of similar grandeur, but lacked the language to articulate and develop observations. It was only after spending time in Berlin as part of a University of Toronto Summer Abroad program with Professor Patricia Petersen – in the city where the division between socialist and non-socialist urbanism is perhaps the most stark—that Katerina began to pursue this field of study. 

Contrary to popular belief, Urban Studies is not limited to pragmatic dogma of land-use zoning plans; it is an inherently interdisciplinary field that examines how various sociological, anthropological, economic, political, environmental, aesthetic and discursive forces interplay in the arena of the city. In a nutshell, socialist and post-socialist urbanism explores the ways in which political transitions, specifically the introduction and abandonment of socialist regimes in “Second World” states, impacts the formation of space and consequently, how the spatial evolution in cities is manifested in the evolution of culture and societal consciousness.

By joining her various areas of study, including Urban Studies, Human Geography and Slavic Studies, Katerina’s research will serve as an additional example of just how interdisciplinary the field of Urban Studies can be.