Rob Shields, DPhil

Professor, Faculty of Science - Earth & Atmospheric Sciences Admin

Pronouns: he, him


Professor, Faculty of Science - Earth & Atmospheric Sciences Admin
(780) 234-0489
EAS Human Geography Program and Department of Sociology, Tory 4-13 Tory (H.M.) Building
11211 Saskatchewan Drive NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H4


Area of Study / Keywords

geopolitics social space climate change northern development hydroelectric power development


Rob Shields work spans architecture, planning and urban geography.  He is an award-winning author and co-editor of numerous books including  Spatial Questions, The Virtual, Lifestyle Shopping, Cultures of Internet, Lefebvre Love and Struggle, Places on the Margin, and Building Tomorrow: Innovation in Construction and Engineering as well as online projects such as and Before being awarded the University of Alberta's Henry Marshall Tory Endowed Research Chair in Sociology, Dr. Shields was Professor and past Director of the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies at Carleton University, Ottawa. A Commonwealth Scholar at University of Sussex, Robs early career was in passive solar design which he studied at Carleton University's School of Architecture. He founded Space and Culture, an international peer-refereed journal, and Curb Canadian planning magazine. He was 2014 City of Vienna Visiting Professor in Architecture and Planning at TUWien and is currently completing research on nanotechnology as a space of concern.


Please also see my website:


Currently I am teaching courses in the areas of urban and suburban space (SOC455, SOC585), temporal and spatial histories including the patriarchal household and insurgent alternative models , and on the science and communications by the IPCC International Panel on Climate Change (HGEO452, HGEO585).   I also supervise individual studies and reading courses on the politics and impacts of technology and infrastructure development on Indigneous lands.  I have extensive contributions and experience in current social and cultural theory, virtual and material culture studies, soundscapes. I teach on urban culture, social space, situations, places, spatialisation and cultural topology and the history of science

Space and Culture research group meets every two weeks during the academic year. Occasional information is posted at

For upcoming talks by the Tory Chair, see the calendar link on my website


Please see my Teaching link to a calendar of public talks on my website and the facebook page for the Space and Culture Research Group.

McLuhan Conversations 2024, McLuhan House Edmonton Tuesdays Jan-May Information will be updated on the Space and Culture Research Group facebook page.  2023 information

Scholarly Activities

Research - Ongoing Research

Social spatialisation, Cultural Topologies, Innovation & community, visualicity, cities and suburbs as social spaces, urban cultural geography, social aspects of architecture. Settler colonialism, cities and place.  Postcolonial and decolonial theory and geopolitics.  Social aspects of infrastructure   See

Featured Publications