University of Calgary

Joyce Percel

  • Doctoral Student

Education and Background

M.A., Sustainable Urban Development, DePaul University, 2018
GIS Certificate, DePaul University, 2018
B.S., Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2008

I am a doctoral student in the Department of Geography at the University of Calgary. Prior to starting my PhD, I received an MA in Sustainable Urban Development with a focus on GIS and gentrifiication at DePaul University and worked at a Chicago nonprofit, specializing in youth education and community development. I have completed projects ranging from a property sales analysis in partnership with a local social justice organization to a geospatial model used by the City of Chicago’s Department of Housing.


Broadly, my research and teaching interests center on digital geographies, critical data studies, critical race studies, urban planning and governance, and the politics of knowledge production. My work draws from critical theories of race and racism, such as racial capitalism and Black geographies, to analyze how racialized people, places, and communities are encoded as data and represented through software. I’m interested in questions that relate to how data act as both products of their sociopolitical context and knowledge producers that are removed from that context, and further, how the erasure of sociopolitical contexts from these digital technologies affect economic and political geographies in predominantly Black and Brown communities. My current research investigates how residential property data are transformed, interpreted, and represented in analyses that influence urban planning and redevelopment decisions in Chicago.

Currently Teaching

Not currently teaching any courses.

Current Studies

  • Doctoral Student
    Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
    Supervisor: Ryan Burns
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