Michelle Buckley

Michelle Buckley
Associate Professor
Building HL 520

Teaching Responsibilities

  • GGRA03 Cities and Environments
  • GGRC13 Urban Political Geography
  • GGRD25 Work and Employment in the GTA
  • GR1110 Geographic Thought and Practice

Research Interests

I am an urban and economic geographer whose research lies at the intersections of real estate, work and employment, and labour migration. My research is broadly focused on the ‘before’ and ‘after’ markets of real estate - in particular, the construction, maintenance and renovation of residential property. This research has primarily focused on two strands of inquiry. The first is research that has mapped the longstanding networks and institutional channels governing construction labour migration from India to cities across the Gulf Cooperation Council. The second has examined the circuits of precarious, non-citizen labour and value connected to the home construction and renovation industries in Toronto. Informed by perspectives from postcolonial scholarship, feminist political economy and critical urban theory, this research is informed by feminist framings of the home as a laboured space-economy, and as a site of capital accumulation wrought through, and productive of, hierarchies relating to gender, race, class, caste and citizenship.

Selected Awards and Grants

2021-2023     SSHRC Connections Grant ‘Mapping housing    insecurity: creating public digital mapping tools to preserve affordable rentals in Toronto’ (Co-PI with Drs. Glenn Brauen, Nemoy Lewis, Martine August and Julie Mah)

2019               Teaching Enhancement Grant ‘GIS and the City of Toronto’s Open Data Portal on building permits’ (with Dr. Glenn Brauen)

2018-2022     SSHRC Partnership Development Grant, Tracing the Livelihoods of Urbanization: Household Wealth and Construction Migration from Uttar Pradesh (with co-PI Dr. Paula Chakravartty, NYU)

2015              International Labour Organization Research Grant, ‘Migrant Labour in Construction’

2015-2017     Connaught New Researcher Award

2013-2015     SSHRC Insight Development Grant, ‘Urbanization from Below: Migrant Construction work in Toronto and London’ 


Journal articles

Book chapters

  • Ip, P.T-T.I. and M. Buckley (2020) “‘Instant’ Cities? Rapid Urbanization and Spectacular Urbanisms”., in Bain, A. and L. Peake (eds.) Urbanization in a Global Context: A Canadian Readers’ Guide. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Buckley, M. and Reid-Musson, E (2017) ‘Urbanization as a bordering practice”, in Jonas, A., K. Ward, B. Miller and D. Wilson (eds) Handbook on Spaces of Urban Politics. Routledge.
  • Buckley, M. (2017) “Migrant Labor” in N. Castree, M. Goodchild, W. Liu, A. Kobayashi, R. Marston, and  D. Richardson (eds), The Wiley-AAG International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment, and Technology.
  • Buckley, M. (2015) “Construction Work, ‘Bachelor’ Builders and the Intersectional Politics of Urbanization in Dubai.” In A. Hanieh, A. Khalaf and O. El Shehabi (Eds.) Transit States: Labour, Migration & Citizenship in the Gulf. London: Pluto Press. Pp.132-152.

Commissioned reports