University of Calgary

William Holden

  • Associate Professor
  • +1 (403) 220-4886

Research Interests:

Current research interests include: the Philippines, the meteorological hazards of anthropogenic climate change, the efficacy of mining as a development strategy, insurgency/ counterinsurgency warfare, state terrorism, and the roles played by liberation theology and Maoism as counter hegemonic discourses in the twenty-first century.


Dr. Holden (an inactive member of the Law Society of Alberta) joined the Geography Department on an initial term  cross-appointment as an Assistant Professor with the B.Sc in Environmental Science program on 1 September 2004, was promoted to Associate Professor on 1 April 2010, was granted tenure on 1 July 2010, and was appointed a Research Associate with the Canadian Institute of Resources Law in August 2012. This followed an eight-year stint as an awarding winning Instructor in the Department of Economics, six years teaching law at a private vocational college, time spent as an associate counsel in a law firm, articles as a student at law with the Attorney General of Ontario, and employment as a general duty kitchen worker at Banff National Army Cadet Camp.

Dr. Holden was nominated for the Students' Union Teaching Excellence Award in: 1996-1997, 1997-1998, 1998-1999, 1999-2000, 2000-2001, 2001-2002, 2002-2003, 2003-2004, 2004-2005, 2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2007-2008,  2010-2011, and 2012-2013. Dr. Holden received Students' Union Teaching Excellence Award Honorable Mentions in: 2001-2002, 2003-2004, 2004-2005, and 2005-2006. Dr. Holden received Students' Union Teaching Excellence Awards in 1996-1997 and 2012-2013. Dr. Holden received the Faculty of Social Sciences Distinguished Teacher Award in 1999, received the Students' Union Presidential Citation in 2000, was nominated for the Mount Royal College Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award (while teaching as a sessional instructor at Mount Royal College) in 2000, was nominated for the Faculty of Arts Teaching Award in 2015, and was nominated for the Killam Award in Undergraduate Mentorship in 2016.

 Dr. Holden was listed in Maclean's Magazine's Guide to Canadian Universities profile of the University of Calgary as a "popular professor" in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006.

While a PhD student, Dr. Holden won the award for best presentation by a PhD student at the Geography Department conference in March 2001 and received the Graduate Faculty Council Scholarship in both 2001 and 2002.

During the 2012-2013 academic year Dr. Holden was a finalist for the University of Calgary's Teaching Leadership Sustainability ON Award.

In September 2013 and September 2014, Dr. Holden had the honor of giving the ceremonial "first lecture" to all in-coming students in the Faculty of Arts at new student orientation.

In the Fall of 2015, Dr. Holden was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Geography at San Diego State University in San Diego, California.

Recent Publications

Holden, W.N. and W.O. Mansfield (2018). "Laudato Si: A Scientifically Informed Church of the Poor Confronts Climate Change." Worldviews: Environment, Culture, Religion 22 (1): in press.

Eadon, J.K. and W.N. Holden (2017). "The Philippine American War of 1899-1902: A Case Study in Adherence to the Fundamental Principles of Counterinsurgency Warfare." The Canadian Army Journal 17 (2): 70-92.

Holden, W.N., K. M. Nadeau, and E. Porio (2017). Ecological Liberation Theology: Faith-Based Approaches to Poverty and Climate Change in the Philippines. Springer Briefs in Geography. New York: Springer.

Holden, W.N. (2016). "Alberta's Special Areas: Drought and Adaption on the Canadian Plains." Montana: the Magazine of Western History 66 (4): 46-57.

Holden, W.N. (2015). "Deep Roots of Revolution: The New People's Army in the Bicol Region of the Philippines." Canadian Journal of Tropical Geography 2 (2): 1-15.

Holden, W.N. (2015). "Mining Amid Typhoons: Large-Scale Mining and Typhoon Vulnerability in the Philippines." The Extractive Industries and Society 2 (3): 445-461.

Holden, W.N. (2015). The Special Areas Act: Alberta's Dust Bowl in a Changing Climate. Calgary: Canadian Institute of Resources Law.

Holden, W.N. (2015). "From the Church of the Powerful to the Church of the Poor: Liberation Theology and Catholic Praxis in the Philippines." In Brunn, S. (ed.) The Changing World Religion Map: Sacred Places, Identities, Practices and Politics, Volume IV. Berlin: Springer: 3095-3114.

Holden, W.N. (2014). "The New People's Army and Neoliberal Mining in the Philippines: A Struggle against Primitive Accumulation." Capitalism Nature Socialism 25 (3): 61-83.

Holden, W.N. (2014). "The True Believers in the Land of Promise: The New People's Army in Mindanao." Asia Mindanaw 1 (1) 115-154.

Holden, W.N. (2014). "The Samar Counterinsurgency Campaign of 1899-1902: Lessons worth Learning?" Asian Culture and History 6 (1): 15-30.

Holden, W.N. (2013). "The Never Ending War in the Wounded Land: The New People's Army on Samar." Journal of Geography and Geology 5 (4): 29-49.

Holden, W.N. (2013)."The Least of My Brethren: Mining, Indigenous Peoples, and the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines." Worldviews, Environment, Culture, Religion 17 (3): 205-238.

Nadeau, K.M. and W.N. Holden (2013). "The Basic Ecclesial Community Movement in Mindanao: A Case Study." East Asian Pastoral Review 50 (2): 127-146.

Holden, W.N. (2013). "Book Review. Free Burma: Transnational Legal Action and Corporate Accountability. By John G. Dale." Social & Cultural Geography 14 (3): 360-361.

Holden, W.N. (2013). "Neoliberal Mining amid El Nino Induced Drought in the Philippines." Journal of Geography and Geology 5 (1): 58-77.

Holden, W.N. (2012). "Miners in a Dangerous Place: Australian and Canadian Mining Companies in the Philippines." Australasian Canadian Studies 30 (1-2): 35-63.

Holden, W.N. (2012)."Ecclesial Opposition to Large-Scale Mining on Samar: Neoliberalism Meets the Church of the Poor in a Wounded Land." Religions 3 (3): 833-861.

Holden, W.N. (2012). "A Neoliberal Landscape of Terror: Extrajudical Killings in the Philippines." Acme: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, 11 (1): 145-176.

Holden, W.N. and R.D. Jacobson (2012). Mining and Natural Hazard Vulnerability in the Philippines: Digging to Development or Digging to Disaster? London: Anthem Press.

Holden, W.N. (2011). "Neoliberalism and State Terrorism in the Philippines: the Fingerprints of Phoenix." Critical Studies on Terrorism, 4 (3): 331-350.

Holden, W.N., K.M. Nadeau, and R.D. Jacobson (2011). "Exemplifying Accumulation by Dispossession: Mining and Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines." Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography, 93 (2): 141-161.

Holden, W.N. (2011). "A Lack of Faith in Technology? Civil Society Opposition to Large-Scale Mining in the Philippines." The International Journal of Science in Society, 2 (2): 274-299.

Holden, W.N. and R.D. Jacobson (2011). "Ecclesial Opposition to Nonferrous Metals Mining in Guatemala and the Philippines: Neoliberalism Encounters the Church of the Poor." In Brunn, S. (ed.) Engineering the Earth: The Impacts of MegaEngineering Projects. Dordreccht, Netherlands: Kluwer: 383-411.

Holden, W.N. and K.M. Nadeau (2010). "Philippine Liberation Theology and Social Development in Anthropological Perspective." Philippine Quarterly of Culture and Society. 38 (2): 89-129.

Holden, W.N. (2010). "Civil Society." In Warf, B. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Human Geography. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage: 414-416

Jacobson, R.D. and W.N. Holden (2010). "The Roman Catholic Church: Committed to the Poor in Guatemala." The Canadian Geographer. 54 (3): 378-380.

Holden, W.N. (2009). "Ashes from the Phoenix: State Terrorism and the Party-List Groups in the Philippines." Contemporary Politics. 15 (4): 377-393.

Holden, W.N. and A.L. Norman (2009). "Public Response to a Student Study of the Feasibility of Nuclear Power: Distrust of Science in a Postmodern World." The International Journal of Science in Society. 1 (1): 79-91.

Bravante, M.A. and W.N. Holden (2009). "Going Through the Motions: The Environmental Impact Assessment of Nonferrous Metals Mining Projects in the Philippines." The Pacific Review. 22 (4): 523-547.

Holden, W.N. (2009). "Post Modern Public Administration in the Land of Promise: the Basic Ecclesial Community Movement of Mindanao." Worldviews: Environment, Culture, Religion. 13 (2): 180-218.

Ingelson, A., W.N. Holden, and M.A. Bravante. (2009). "Philippine Environmental Impact Assessment, Mining, and Genuine Development." Law, Environment, and Development Journal. 5 (1): 1-15.

Holden, W.N. and R.D Jacobson. (2009). "Ecclesial Opposition to Nonferrous Mining in Guatemala: Neoliberalism Meets the Church of the Poor in a Shattered Society." The Canadian Geographer. 53 (2): 145-164.

Holden, W.N. (2009). "Nuclear Energy: the Power of the Promethean Fire." In D. Draper and M. Reed Our Environment: A Canadian Perspective (Fourth Edition). Toronto: Nelson: 463-464.

Holden, W.N. and R.D Jacobson. (2008). "Civil Society Opposition to Nonferrous Metals Mining in Guatemala." Voluntas. 19 (4): 325-350.

Holden, W.N. (2007) "Civil Society Opposition to Nonferrous Metals Mining in the Philippines." In Hussain, A. and S.S. Mishra (eds.) Global Civil Society: Perspectives and Initiatives. Hyderabad, India: The Icfai University Press: 127-160.

Holden, W.N., and A. Ingelson (2007). "Disconnect between Philippine Mining Investment Policy and Indigenous Peoples' Rights." Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law. 25 (4):375-391.

Holden, W.N. and R.D. Jacobson (2007). "Mining Amid Armed Conflict: Nonferrous Metals Mining in the Philippines." The Canadian Geographer. 51 (4):475-500.

Holden, W.N., R.D. Jacobson, and K. Moran (2007). "Civil Society Opposition to Nonferrous Metals Mining in Montana." Voluntas. 18 (3): 266-292.

Holden, W.N. and R.D. Jacobson (2007). "Ecclesial Opposition to Mining on Mindanao: Neoliberalism Encounters The Church of the Poor in the Land of Promise." Worldviews: Environment, Culture, Religion. 11(2): 155-202.

Holden, W.N. and R.D. Jacobson (2007). "Ecclesial Opposition to Nonferrous Metals Mining in the Philippines: Neoliberalism Encounters Liberation Theology." Asian Studies Review. 31(2): 133-154.

Holden, W.N. (2006). "One Concept and Two Countries: Federal Government Jurisdiction to Make Environmental Law in Australia and Canada." Australian Canadian Studies. 24 (1): 51-81.

Holden, W.N. and R.D. Jacobson (2006). "Mining Amid Decentralization: Local Governments and Mining in the Philippines." Natural Resources Forum. 30: 188-198.

Ingelson, A., A. Urzua, and W.N. Holden (2006) "Mine Operator Liability for the Spill of an Independent Contractor in Peru." Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law. 24 (1): 53-65.

Holden, W.N. (2005). "Civil Society Opposition to Nonferrous Metals Mining in the Philippines." Voluntas. 16 (3): 223-249.

Holden, W.N. (2005). "Indigenous Peoples and Nonferrous Metals Mining in the Philippines." The Pacific Review. 18 (3): 417-438.

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