Landing : Athabascau University

Joshua Evans

Joshua Evans

Fantastic paper! I especially like how it disrupts taken-for-granted notions of distance. As a geographer I'm inspired.

(July 15, 2014 - 10:19am)

General info

Brief description: I am assistant professor of Human Geography in the Centre for Social Sciences at Athabasca University.

Contact info

Phone number: 1-877-848-6905


Job Title: Assistant Professor

About me



Ph.D. Human Geography (McMaster University)

M.A. Human Geography (University of Alberta)

B.A. Human Geography (University of Alberta)


Recent Publications:

Collins, D. and Evans, J. (Forthcoming) 'Health Geography.' The International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment and Technology. Wiley-Blackwell.

Evans, J. (Forthcoming) The Paradox of Plenty: Ending Homelessness in Alberta. In Stefanick, L. and Shrivastava, M. (Eds) Beyond the Rhetoric: Democracy and Governance in a Global North Oil Economy. AU Press: Athabasca, Canada.

Wilton, R. and Evans, J. (Forthcoming) ‘Being a Man’ in Treatment: Health, Masculinity and the Drama of Independence. In Gorman-Murray, A. and Hopkins, P. (Eds) Masculinities and Place. Ashgate, Aldershot, U.K.

Evans, J. (2014) Landscapes of Despair. In Cockerham, W.C. Dingwall, R. Quah, S.R. (Eds) The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Health, Illness, Behavior and Society. Wiley-Blackwell: New York

Wilton, R. DeVerteuil, G. and Evans, J. (2014) ‘No more of this macho bullshit’: Drug treatment, place and the remaking of masculinity. Transactions: Institute of British Geographers, 39(2), 291-303

Evans, J. (2014) Painting therapeutic landscapes with sound: ‘On Land’ by Brian Eno. In Andrews, G., Kearns, R., and Kingsbury, P. (Eds) Medicinal Melodies: Places of Health and Wellness in Popular Music. Ashgate, Aldershot, U.K

Andrews, G. Evans, J., and McAlister, A. 2013. ‘Creating the right therapy vibe’: the relational performance of holistic medicine. Social Science & Medicine, 83, 99-109

Andrews, G., Evans, J., and Wiles, J. 2013. Re-spacing and re-placing gerontology: relationality and affect. Ageing & Society, 33, 8, 1339-1373

Andrews, G., Evans, J. Dunn, J., Masuda, J. 2012. Arguments in Health Geography: On Sub-Disciplinary Progress, Observation, Translation. Geography Compass, 6(6): 351-383

Evans, J. 2012. Supportive measures, enabling restraint: governing homeless 'street drinkers' in Hamilton, Canada. Social & Cultural Geography, 13(2): 175-190

Evans, J. 2011. Exploring the (bio)political dimensions of voluntarism and care in the city: The case of a ‘low barrier’ emergency shelter. Health & Place, 17: 24-32

Kidd, S. and Evans, J. 2011.Home is where you draw strength and rest: The meanings of home for houseless young people Youth & Society, 43(2): 752–773

Evans, J. and Garvin, T. 2009. You’re in Oil Country: Moral tales of citizen action against petroleum development in Alberta, Canada. Ethics, Place and Environment, 12(1): 49-68

Evans, J., Kingsbury, P. and Crooks, V. 2009. Theoretical Injections: On the Therapeutic Aesthetics of Medical Spaces. Social Science & Medicine, 69(5): 716-21

Andrews, G. and Evans, J. 2008. Reproducing health care: towards geographies in health care work. Progress in Human Geography, 32: 759-780


Title: From streets to homes: mapping the rise of housing first policies and programs in Canada.

Funder: SSHRC ($36,097)

Grant Period: March 15, 2011-March 14, 2013

Principal Investigator: Dr. Joshua Evans

Co-Investigators and Collaborators: Dr. Jeffrey Masuda and Dr. James R. Dunn

Description: Over the past three decades Canada has experienced a growing problem with homelessness. In recent years, major changes have occurred with respect to how governments are responding to this issue.  Many of these changes reflect how Canadian policymakers have looked outside Canada’s borders for new policy approaches. The introduction of the ‘Housing First’ (HF) models is one example. HF is a relatively new model for alleviating street homelessness. It has rapidly spread from the United States to parts of Western Europe and Canada. HF models ambitiously seek to ‘end’ street homelessness by directly providing the ‘chronically homeless’ with immediate access to independent and subsidized housing accompanied by professional supports. Through HF programs ‘hard-to-house’ individuals by-pass housing hurdles that exist within traditional shelter orientated systems. In Canada, HF models have featured prominently in recent federal and provincial strategies and have spread swiftly among cities.

With this research project our aim is to examine the learning practices and policy pathways that have contributed to the rapid rise of HF policies and programs in Canada. In doing so, we aim to answer five questions: Where and when have HF policies and programs found implementation in Canada? How has the HF model been discursively constructed abroad and within Canada? What pathways have permitted the flow of HF policies and programs to Canada and aided in their circulation among Canadian cities?  How has the HF model been adapted to particular places? How do these local examples compare on a national and international level?

By answering these questions, we hope to better understand how Canadian policymakers are learning from abroad and experimenting at home with regard to housing policy. More broadly, these insights will enrich our understanding of the urban policy landscape in Canada.

Title: Creating alternative spaces of employment for people with mental health problems

Funder: SSHRC ($99,000)

Grant Period: March 2010-March 2013

Principal Investigator: Dr. Robert Wilton

Co-Investigator: Dr. Joshua Evans

Description: In recent years government policies in countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States have emphasized moving disabled persons into ‘mainstream’ paid employment. Access to mainstream employment is viewed as a route to social inclusion for disabled people; however, existing research suggests that moving disabled persons into ‘mainstream’ work environments is problematic. A key problem facing disabled people is that the social and spatial organization of contemporary work remains, for the most part, based on non-disabled norms. In this context, understanding how to create accommodating work environments for disabled people is a key challenge.

The purpose of this research project is to examine how social enterprises attempt to create accommodating work environments for people with mental health problems. Social enterprises are entrepreneurial organizations with a social mission that lie between the private and public sector. Social enterprises have received little attention from geographers working on disability who have tended to focus on mainstream workplaces, training programs and other social spaces unrelated to employment. In Canada, there is currently little understanding of the range of social enterprises that exist for people with mental health problems or the lived experiences people involved. This project aims to fill this gap.