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Norma M. Rantisi, PhD

Professor , Geography, Planning and Environment

Norma M. Rantisi, PhD
Office: S-H 1255-37 
Henry F. Hall Building,
1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 2018

Dr. Rantisi has an M.A. in Political Science (political economy; comparative politics) from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an M.R.P. from the Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University, and a Ph.D. from the Department of Geography (economic and urban geography) at the University of Toronto.  In collaboration with Dr. Deborah Leslie of the University of Toronto, she has started a new project on workforce intermediary social enterprises (entreprises d'insertion) and the opportunities and challenges presented when operating within neoliberal governance and funding regimes. Dr. Rantisi is also starting a project on women's artisanal cooperatives.  She is co-editor of the online magazine Progressive City: Radical Alternatives.

Dr. Rantisi is willing to supervise theses on issues relating to workforce development, labour market restructuring, social economy enterprises, the geography and social organization of cultural industries, and restructuring in traditional manufacturing industries.

Professional associations

Centre de recherche sur les innovations sociales (CRISES)
Karl Polanyi Institute of Political Economy
Co-chair of Planners Network International
Economic Geography Specialty Group (AAG)
Member of editorial board, Progressive City: Radical Alternatives online magazine
Member of editorial board, Black Rose Books
Member of editorial board, Geography Compass: Economic Geography

Canadian Association of Geographers (CAG)
American Association of Geographers (AAG)
Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP)
Regional Science Association International (RSAI)

Interesting Planning and Geography-related links

Planners Network:
Progressive City: Radical Alternatives  @pcityradical
Institut de Politique Alternative de Montreal
Made in Montreal/Fait a Montreal (non-profit to promote local manufacturing)
Canadian Institute of Planners
Poverty & Race Research Action Council
Architects, Designers and Planners for Social Responsibility
Economic Geography Specialty Group
ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies
Antipode Foundation

Selected publications


  1. Berndt, C., Peck, J. and Rantisi, N.M. (eds.) (2020) Market/place: Exploring Space of Exchange. Agenda Publishers.
  2. Edensor, T., Leslie, D. Millington, S. and Rantisi, N.M. (eds.) (2010) Spaces of Vernacular Creativity: Rethinking the Cultural Economy. London: Routledge Press.

Recent publications

  1. Henaway, M. and Rantisi, N.M. (2021) "The Reconstruction of Montreal's Chabanel District" in Montreal: A Citizen's Guide to City Politics eds. by E. Shragge, J. Prince and M. Henaway, Blackrose Books
  2. Rantisi, N.M. and Leslie, D. (2020) “In and Against the Neoliberal State:  The Precarious Siting of Work Integration Social Enterprises (WISEs) as Counter-movement in Montreal, Quebec” Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space. DOI: 10.1177/0308518X20948068

  3. Rantisi, N.M. (2020) "Annexation as Present Reality: Taking Stock of the Colonial Planning Regime in Palestine's Jordan Valley" Progressive City: Radical Alternatives. August.

  4. Berndt, C., Rantisi, N.M. and Peck, J. (2020) “M/market frontiers” Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space. 52(1): 14-26.

  5. Guimaraes, L.A., Salume, P. and Rantisi, N.M. (2019) “Governance in Clusters: An Analysis from the Perspective of System Dynamics” Revista de Empreendedorismo e Gestão de Pequenas Empresas (REGEPE) Iberoamerican Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business. 8 (2): 341-364.
  6. Rantisi, N.M. and Boggs, J.S. (2019)“Relational Economic Geography,” entry for the International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, edited by Audrey Kobayashi, pp. 29-34
  7. Sprague, M.S and Rantisi, N.M. (2019) “Productive Gentrification in the Mile-Ex Neigbourhood of Montreal, Canada: Exploring the Role of the State in Remaking Urban Industrial Clusters” Urban Research and  Practice. 12(4): 301-321.

  8. Leslie, D. and Rantisi, N.M. (2017) “Deskilling in Cultural Industries: Corporatization, Standardization and the Erosion of Creativity at the Cirque du Soleil." Geoforum. 99: 257-266.

  9. Rantisi, N.M. et Leslie, D. (2017) “Le Mile-End : un quartier au carrefourde la vie culturelle et économique” Montréal: la cité des cités dirigé par Juan-Luis Klein et Richard Shearmur, Presses de l’Université du Québec.

  10. Leslie, D. and Rantisi, N.M. (2017) "Innovation in Cultural Industries: Pushing the Frontiers of Analysis" in Handbook on Innovation, edited by H. Bathelt, P. Cohendet, L, Simon and S. Henn. Edward Elgar.

  11. Tremblay, D.G., Rantisi, N.M., and Klein, J.L. (2016) “The Revitalization of Montreal: The Significance of Social Innovation as a Pillar of Economic Development” in Growing Urban Economies, edited by D. Wolfe and M. Gertler. University of Toronto Press, pp. 82-108.

  12. Rantisi, N.M. and Leslie, D. (2015) "Circus in Action: Exploring theRole of a Translation Zone in the Cirque du Soleil's Creative Practices" Economic Geography, 91 (2): 147–164.

  13. Rantisi, N.M. and Leslie, D. (2015) “The Significance of Higher Educational Institutions as Cultural Intermediaries: The Case of École Nationale de Cirque in Montreal, Canada” Regional Studies. 49(3): 404-417.

  14. Rantisi, N.M. (2014) "Exploring the Role of Industry Intermediaries in the Construction of ‘Local Pipelines’” Journal of Economic Geography 14 (5): 955-971.
  15. Rantisi, N.M. (2014) "Gendering Fashion, Fashioning Fur: On the (re)production of a gendered labor market within a craft industry in transition" Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 32(2) 223-239.
  16. Rantisi, N.M. and Leslie, D. (2013) "The Significance of Higher Educational Institutions as Cultural Intermediaries: The Case of Ecole Nationale du Cirque in Montreal, Canada" Regional Studies. DOI: 10.1080/00343404.2013.822965
  17. Rantisi, N.M. (2013) Review of Fashioning Globalisation: New Zealand Design, Working Women, and the Cultural Economy. by Maureen Molloy and Wendy Larner. Oxford Press.
  18. Rantisi, N.M. (2013) "Revisiting the Social Basis of Cultural Production: Who is Privileged? Who is Sidelined? What is at Stake?" Editorial for Geoforum, early online view, DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2013.03.007.
  19. Nouri-Nekeoi, M. and Rantisi, N.M. (2012) "The Enduring Significance of Economic Factors for the Attraction of Creative Workers: The Case of Montreal's Video Game Industry" The Northeastern Geographer, 4, 1, pp. 1-16.
  20. Cummins-Russell, T. and Rantisi, N.M. (2012) "Networks and 'Place' in Montreal's Independent Music Industry" The Canadian Geographer. 56, 1, pp. 80-97.
  21. Leslie, D. and Rantisi, N.M. (2012) "The Rise of a New Knowledge/Creative Economy: Prospects and Challenges for Economic Development, Class Inequality and Work" in The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Economic Geography, edited by Trevor Barnes, Jamie Peck and Eric Sheppard. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 158-171.
  22. Rantisi, N.M. (2011) "The Prospects and Perils of Creating a Viable Fashion Identity." Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture, 15 (2), pp. 259-266.
  23. Shearmur, R. and Rantisi, N.M. (2011) "Montreal: Rising Again from the Same Ashes" in Canadian Urban Regions: Trajectories of Growth and Change, edited by Larry S. Bourne, Tom Hutton, Richard Shearmur and Jim Simmons. Oxford University Press.

For more publications...

Teaching activities

Post-doctoral Supervision

Tracy Zhang (Ph.D., Simon Fraser University), Women in Film Education, co-supervisor with Catherine Russell. 

Graduate Student Supervision (PhD)

Mostafa Henaway, The economic geography of Amazon’s distribution centers, Ph.D., In progress.

Hakeem Bishi, Analyzing the collective action of traders in resisting dispossession in Lagos.  Ph.D. In progress.  Academic website:

Graduate Student Supervision (MSc)

Nataliya Kiyan, How are live streams transforming the performance spaces of independent musicians in Vancouver?, M.Sc. In progress

Jake Ryan, Escaping the social economic enclave? Examining the solidarity cooperative model in Quebec, M.Sc. In progress.

Jessie Stein, Democratic dance events and the possibilities of non-hierarchical 
'contact zones', M.Sc. 2020

Jeremy Tessier, Urban Food Systems Planning in Ciudad-Juarez, Mexico, M.Sc. 2020

Nil Alt Kecik, Discourses of Healthy, Sustainable and Ethical University Campus food systems.  M.Sc. Completed 2017.

Lorraine Donald, Temporary Agencies and the Rise of Low-Income Work in Montreal. M.Sc. Completed 2017.

Ethan Ling, An Assessment of Community Benefits Agreements (co-supervised with Ted Rutland). M.Sc. Completed 2014.

Jessie Smith, The Construction of Quebec's Green Economy. M.Sc.Completed 2014.

Yuseph Katiya, Creative Hegemony? Montreal's Cultural Development Policies and the Rise of Cultural Actors as Entrepreneurial Political Elites. M.Sc. Completed 2012.

Ryan Craven, Is Ethical Fashion an Alternative Economic Space? M.Sc. Completed 2009.

Thomas Cummins-Russell, The Networks of Montreal's Independent Musicians. M.Sc. Completed 2009.

Genevieve Aboud, Sustainable Development: Actualized or Abandoned in the Efforts for Rural Economic Development in Huntingdon? M.P.P.P.A. (Geography option). Completed 2008.

Antonino Scozzari, Understanding Gentrification and its Implications for a Revitalised St. Henri. M.P.P.P.A. (Geography option). Completed 2007.

URBS 380 - Urban and Regional Economic Development
URBS 450/GEOG 450 - Economic Restructuring
GEOG 491/URBS 491 - Honours Thesis Seminar
HENV 650 - Political Economy and the City

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