Photo of David Hugill

David Hugill

Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

Phone:613-520-2600 x 8689
Office:B448 Loeb


I’m a broadly trained human geographer with research interests in urban geography, colonial urbanisms, and urban political ecology. If there is a single theoretical commitment that unites my research, it is an interest in understanding how and why certain inequitable social relations persist in North American cities.

In broad terms, my work on colonial urbanisms seeks to understand and theorize the enduring persistence of a politics of colonial inequity in North American cities. My Ph.D. research, for example, drew on extensive field and archival research in Minnesota to demonstrate how the emergence of a zone of concentrated racialized poverty in post-war Minneapolis was explicitly connected to a longstanding politics of social, economic, and territorial inequity that has disproportionately advantaged the interests of “settler” Minnesotans, over and above those of their Indigenous counterparts. In recent years, my research on these questions has appeared in a number of scholarly journals, including Settler Colonial StudiesHuman Geography, the Middle West Review, and Geography Compass.

In a different realm, I’m also interested in a series of ecological, political, and economic questions associated with the rise of the corporate “sharing economy.” My postdoctoral work drew on ethnographic methods to demonstrate how what is often described as “progressive” digital innovation for consumers and communities, often has deleterious effects on the lives of urban workers.

Before joining Carleton in 2018, I spent time in a number of great research environments, including York University (as a PhD student from 2009-2015), the University of Minnesota (as a visiting scholar in 2011-2012), the University of Winnipeg (as a Research Associate in 2015) and Simon Fraser University (as a post-doc from 2015 to 2017).

Courses Taught

  • ENST 1000 Introduction to Environmental Studies
  • GEOG 3026 Topics in the Geography of Canada – The Contested Canadian City
  • GEOG 3030 Revolution and the City: Havana Field Course
  • ENST 4000 Seminar in Environmental Studies – The Politics of the Anthropocene

Selected Publications

2019. “Racial Capitalism and the Production of Settler Colonial Cities”Geoforum (in press) (with Heather Dorries and Julie Tomiak),

2019 (Ed.). Settler City Limits: Indigenous Resurgence and Colonial Violence in the Urban Prairie West. University of Manitoba Press: Winnipeg (Canada) and Lansing: Michigan State University Press (US). Edited by Heather Dorries, Robert Henry, David Hugill, Tyler McCreary and Julie Tomiak.

2019. “Comparative Settler Colonial Urbanisms: Racism and the Making of Inner-City Winnipeg and Minneapolis, 1940-1975” in Settler City Limits: Indigenous Resurgence and Colonial Violence in the Urban Prairie West. University of Manitoba Press: Winnipeg (Canada) and Lansing: State University of Michigan Press (US).

2018. “You Get Exactly What You Fight For and Nothing More: Drug User Organizing in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside,” an interview with Ann Livingston. Upping the Anti 20 (with Michael C.K. Ma).

2017. “What is a Settler-Colonial City?,” Geography Compass, 11(5): 1-11. DOI: 10.1111/gec3.12315 (Published online May 2017). PDF

2016. “Metropolitan Transformation and the Colonial Relation: The Making of an “Indian Neighborhood” in Postwar Minneapolis.” Middle West Review2(2): 169-199. DOI: 10.1353/mwr.2016.0004 PDF

2016. “Settler Colonial Urbanism: Notes from Minneapolis and the Life of Thomas Barlow Walker.”Settler Colonial Studies 6(3): 265-278. DOI: 10.1080/2201473X.2015.1061968 (Published online September 12, 2015). PDF

2014. “Born Again Urbanism: New Missionary Incursions, Aboriginal Resistance and Barriers to Rebuilding Relationships in Winnipeg’s North End.” Human Geography 7(1): 69-84 (with Owen Toews). PDF