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Workshops & seminars, Conferences & lectures

Social Justice Graduate Fellows Seminar

with Thomas MacMillan and Mieko Tarrius

Date & time
Friday, March 22, 2024
1:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Thomas MacMillan Mieko Tarrius


This event is free


Social Justice Centre


J.W. McConnell Building
1400 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.
SHIFT Centre for Social Transformation

Room Conference room

Wheel chair accessible


Join us for the first session of our Social Justice Graduate Fellows Seminars. 

We will hear about the work of two graduate fellows: Mieko Tarrius and Thomas MacMillan.

Session 1 (1:45 to 3:00): Mieko Tarrius

Mieko Tarrius (Ph.D. student, Department of Geography, Planning & Environment) will present the project: “Imagining the tech city: Tech futurity, whiteness, and tech-led gentrification.

Her talk will be followed by a short commentary by Manissa Maharawal (Assistant Professor in Anthropology, American University). Their research focuses on eviction, race, displacement and the spatial and temporal dynamics of contemporary urban social movements from Occupy Wall Street and anti-gentrification activism to Black Lives Matter. Broadly Prof. Mahaawal is interested in historical and contemporary struggles for social justice, the production of urban space, and understanding dynamics of race, class, and gender in formation of political subjectivities.

Session 2 (3:15 - 4:30): Thomas MacMillan

Thomas MacMillan (Ph.D. candidate in History studying labour and working-class history in the United States and Canada) will talk about his research project: “‘We can do it ourselves’: Worker-led organizing and the New Left on the West Coast.

This talk will be followed by a commentary by Steven High (Professor, History, and Founding Member, Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling). Steven High is an interdisciplinary oral and public historian with a strong interest in transnational approaches to working-class studies, forced migration, community-engaged research, as well as oral history methodology and ethics.

Join us

In person: Join us in the conference room at SHIFT Centre for Social Transformation. Register on EventBrite (for in-person).

Everyone is welcome - Snacks and drinks will be served.

Remotely: Register on zoom.


About the fellows

Mieko Tarrius is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Geography, Urban and Environmental Studies from the Department of Geography, Planning & Environment at Concordia University.

She holds a Maîtrise in Political Science from Paris 8 University (in partnership with CUNY City College of New York) and an M.A. in Political Science from UQAM – Université du Québec à Montréal.

Mieko has served as a Public Scholar, Visiting Scholar, Lecturer, and Researcher in various institutions and organizations in Paris, New York, Philadelphia, and Montreal.

Building on the literature on whiteness, futurity, gentrification, and tech urbanism, her dissertation aims to expose the racial dynamics of tech-led gentrification in Montreal’s Park Extension and Philadelphia’s University City. Through critical content analysis and semi-directed interviews with tech workers and entrepreneurs, Mieko explores the ways narratives and discourses around cities’ fantasized, tech-friendly “future” have (re)configured gentrification in the present, ultimately cultivating the futurity of whiteness.

Project: “Imagining the tech city: Tech futurity, whiteness, and tech-led gentrification”


Thomas MacMillan is a doctoral candidate in History at Concordia studying labour and working-class history in the United States and Canada under Dr. Steven High.

He earned a B.A. from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts while studying International Development and Social Change. At Clark, he co-founded an organization which advocated for the human rights of Palestinians. While working in public education for a decade, he was an activist in his hometown and led campaigns for drug reform, public park preservation, and living wages. He also ran for office twice (Maine House of Representatives and Mayor). He then returned to academia, where he earned a M.A. in History from the University of Maine under Dr. Nathan Godfried. His thesis studied the history of urban reform, nativism, and class conflict in Portland, Maine with an emphasis on the Ku Klux Klan. 

His academic emphasis is on transnational labour organizing and his dissertation project examines independent labour organizing on the West Coast of North America with an emphasis on Vancouver and the San Francisco Bay Area during the New Left period and beyond. He hopes to incorporate oral history as well as archival research to capture the experiences of worker-organizers, their nascent organizations, and their impact on the period’s social, economic, and political changes. 

He has published multiple newspaper op-eds about racial justice and labour history. He also co-authored a chapter in “Where Are The Workers?” (University of Illinois Press, 2022) which examines the 2011 Maine Labor Mural crisis.

Project: “‘We can do it ourselves’: Worker-led organizing and the New Left on the West Coast”

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