BA Honours, Geography with Sociology minor, Simon Fraser University (2006)
MA, Geography, University of Toronto (2007)
PhD, Geography, University of Toronto (2014)


Dr. JP Catungal is a queer, first-generation Filipino-Canadian settler living in unceded Coast Salish territories. He joined the GRSJ as Instructor I (Tenure-Track) in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies after two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow with concurrent Killam and SSHRC fellowships. Prior to joining UBC, JP attended the Geography MA and PhD programs at the University of Toronto, where he researched the emergence, evolution and spatial practices of ethno-specific AIDS service organizations and their racial geographies of community organizing, health promotion and social service provision.

As a faculty member in the Educational Leadership stream, JP seeks to develop queer-of-colour and anti-racist feminist approaches to the scholarship on teaching and learning. He is particularly invested in analyzing classroom and campus climate from the perspectives of queer and trans* students, TAs and instructors of colour, with a view towards examining the politics of emotions, positionalities and embodiment in educational spaces and their implications for pedagogy, curriculum and mentorship. To this end, JP is developing partnerships with colleagues in the Classroom Climate Series at UBC’s Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology. With fellow faculty members in and beyond the GRSJ, JP is also involved in the early stages of developing a Minor program in the area of critical race studies.

Along with his teaching and educational leadership work, JP is also continuing research on the racial politics of sexual health, as well as on the relationship between homonationalism and straight allyship and on queer-of-colour interventions in Filipinx-Canadian studies. He co-edited Filipinos in Canada: Disturbing Invisibility, published by the University of Toronto Press in 2012.

JP has received various awards for his scholarly work, among them the Governor-General’s Gold Medal for Academic Excellence, the Canadian Association of Geographers’ Starkey-Robinson Award and the American Association of Geographers’ J. Warren Nystrom Award.

Teaching and Educational Leadership

Courses (2015-2016, Term 2)
GRSJ 328: Feminist Theories of Subjectivity
GRSJ 422: Advanced Research Seminar

Teaching Philosophy:

“The here and now is simply not enough. Queerness should and could be about a desire for another way of being in both the world and time, a desire that resists mandates to accept that which is not enough.” (José Esteban Muñoz, 2009: 365).

My approach to teaching and learning draws from José Esteban Muñoz’s queer of colour utopianism, a philosophy that is best characterized by its insistence on the possibility of different and better ways of sensing, being in and knowing the world. Resisting the inadequacy of ‘the here and now’ as we know it – which, for many of us, is a world of multiple marginalizations – my philosophy of teaching and learning is underpinned by a desire to use education to imagine better futures – a critical pedagogy of hope. This approach emphasizes critical thinking, difference and a commitment to social justice as guiding tools for analysis. As a philosophy of teaching and learning whose goal is a more socially just future, my pedagogical approach centres the belief that teaching is not only about increasing or changing students’ knowledge, but also – crucially – about engaging students in conversations about the social organizations of knowledge and its political implications and embodied material effects. This task necessitates the creation of a pedagogical space for asking: “who produces knowledges about the world, under what social, political and historical contexts, and with what effects?” A social constructionist and materialist approach to knowledge, this understanding demands an appreciation of the ways that power suffuses the world as we know it. It is thus aligned with and extends theorizations of power/knowledge from queer of colour critique, intersectional feminisms and anti-colonial and critical race theories.


My broad research interests are in the areas of queer of colour geographies, critical race and ethnic studies, diaspora and transnationalism, critical pedagogy, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and the lived geographies of sexual and racial minorities in educational spaces. The utility and mobilization of community, intimacy, knowledge and emotion are concerns that cut across my various research interests. I am indebted to anti-racist feminist and queer of colour theorizing in my work.

My research programme includes newer projects that I am developing, first, with colleagues at the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto Mississauga on emotion, positionality and difference in the production of learning relationships and classroom spaces, and second, with a colleague in the Ontario College of Art and Design University on the gender and sexual politics of global cities from the perspective of Filipinx diaspora communities. These projects combine with my continuing research on the racial politics of sexual health promotion, social service provision and community organizing.

In the past, I have also published on questions of social inequalities and marginalization in relation to urban public spaces and policymaking.

Selected Publications

Books and edited collections
2013 Nash, C. and Catungal, J.P. (eds.). Special issue: Sexual landscapes, lives and livelihoods in Canada. ACME International Journal of Critical Geography, 12(2). (P)
2012 Coloma, R., McElhinny, B., Tungohan, E., Catungal, J.P., and Davidson, L. (eds.). Filipinos in Canada: disturbing invisibility. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. (S)

Journal articles and editorials

Forthcoming Laliberte, N., Catungal, J.P., Castleden, H., Keeling, A., Momer, B. and Nash, C.J. Teaching the geographies of Canada: reflections on pedagogy, curriculum and the politics of teaching and learning. The Canadian Geographer. DOI: 10.1111/cag.12236 (P)
2013 Catungal, J.P. Ethno-specific safe houses in the liberal contact zone: race politics, place-making and genealogies of the AIDS sector in global-multicultural Toronto. ACME International Journal of Critical Geography, 12(2): 250-278. (P)

Nash, C. and Catungal, J.P. Introduction: Sexual landscapes, lives and livelihoods in Canada. ACME International Journal of Critical Geography, 12(2): 181-192. (P)

2012 Leslie, D. and Catungal, J.P. Social justice and the creative city: class, gender and racial inequalities. Geography Compass, 6(3): 1111-122. (P)
2010 Catungal, J.P. and McCann, E.J. Governing sexuality and park space: acts of regulation in Vancouver, BC. Social and Cultural Geography, 11(1): 75-94. (P)
2009 Catungal, J.P. and Leslie, D. Placing power in the creative city: governmentalities and subjectivities in Liberty Village. Environment & Planning A, 41: 2576-2594. (P)

Catungal, J.P., Leslie, D. and Hii, Y. Geographies of displacement in the creative city: the case of Liberty Village, Toronto. Urban Studies, 46(5&6): 1095-1114. (P)

Catungal, J.P. and Leslie, D. Contesting the creative city: race, nation, multiculturalism. Geoforum, 40: 701-704. (E)

Book chapters

Forthcoming Catungal, J.P. Towards queer(er) futures: Proliferating the ‘sexual’ in Filipinx-Canadian sexuality studies. In Diaz, R., Largo, M. and Pino, P. (eds.), Diasporic intimacies: Queer Filipinos/as and Canadian imaginaries.

Catungal, J.P. Organizing networks: locating queer-of-colour politics in 1980s Toronto. In Haritaworn, J., Kanani, N., Moussa, G., Rodriguez, R., and Ware, S.M. (eds.), Marvellous grounds: Queer of colour spaces in Toronto. (E)

2015 Catungal, J.P. The racial politics of precarity: understanding ethno-specific AIDS service organizations in neoliberal times. In Doan, P. (ed.), Planning and the LGBTQ community: beyond queer spaces. (S)
2012 McElhinny, B., Davidson, L., Catungal, J.P., Tungohan, E., and Coloma, R. Spectres of in/visibility: Filipina/o labour, culture and youth in Canada. In Coloma, (eds.), Filipinos in Canada: disturbing invisibility. (S)

Catungal, J.P. Scales of violence from the body to the globe: slain Filipino youth in Canadian cities. In Coloma, (eds.), Filipinos in Canada: disturbing invisibility. (S)

2011 Catungal, J.P. Circulating Western notions: implicating myself in the transnational traffic of ‘progress’ and commodities. In Wane, N.N., Kempf, A. and Simmons, M. (eds.), The Politics of Cultural Knowledge, pp. 23-46. Rotterdam/Boston: Sense Publishers. (S)
J. Warren Nystrom Award, American Association of Geographers (2015)
Governor General’s Gold Medal for Academic Excellence
Starkey-Robinson Award for Graduate Research on Canada