About Wastescapes

Directors and Writers Liz Miller and MJ Thompson


App Design Team

  • Creative Technologist & App Coordinator Kim Grinfeder
  • App Developer Johannes Gundlack
  • App Visual Designer Justine Routhier
  • Photographs Lisa Graves
  • Sound Zaccary Dyck


Web Design Ana Bilokin


Research and Teaching Assistants Emilie Trudeau and Maia Donnelly


Field Course Design Liz Miller & MJ Thompson


Voice-Over Talent & Translation Deb Vanslet, Leeza Karaglanis, Jeanne Hardy


Thanks to Isabelle Boucher, Julia Bourque. Ana Castillo, Megan Clarke, Sebastian Di Poim Jill Didur, Sarah Dorner, Marianne Giguere, Antonia Hernández, Martin Heroux, Satoshi Ikeda, Kelly Jazvak, Laurence Lavigne, Mathew Leddy, Diane Martin, Hugo Martorell, Éric Ménard, Eleni Myravini, Sylvain Oulette, Luc Robinson, Anna Sigrithur, Cameron Swift, Sandrine Tessier Jonathan Verreault, Manon Sorais, Anais Kerric, Arrien Weeks, Sylvie Anne Williams


Special thanks to Faisal Shennib, Concordia Zero Waste


Field course made possible with support from Center for Teaching and Learning, Rob Cassidy and Vice Provost Teaching and Learning, Sandra Gabriel

Research Networks


Selected Bibliography /Mediography





  • Berney, Rachel. (2020). Bicycle Urbanism: Reimagining Bicycle Friendly Cities. Routledge.
  • Douglas, Mary. Purity and Danger. Selected Chapters.
  • Gabrys, Jennifer. (2009). "Sink: the Dirt of Systems." Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 27: 666-681.
  • Lepawsky, Josh. (2018). “Introduction,” Worlding Electronic Waste. MIT Press.
  • Liboiron, Max; Tironi, Manuel; Calvillo, Nerea. (2018).  “Toxic Politics: Acting in a Permanently Polluted World.” Social Studies of Science. 48:3;331-349.
  • McBride, Samantha. (2011) “Introduction,” and Chapter 4: Environmental Justice, Zero Waste. In Recycling Reconsidered: The Present Failure and Future Promise. MIT Press.
  • O’Neill, Katie. (2019). “Understanding Waste.” In Waste. Polity Press.
  • Pezzullo, Phaedra Carmen. (2009). “Introduction.” In Toxic Tourism: Rhetorics of Pollution, Travel and Environmental Justice. University of Alabama Press.
  • Strasser, S. (2000). Waste and Want: A Social History of Trash. New York, NY: Holt Paperbacks.
  • Wiebe, Sarah Marie. (2017) “Introduction.” In Everyday Exposure: Indigenous Mobilization and Environmental Justicein Canada’s Chemical Valley. Vancouver: UBC Press.

Our Story

We, Liz Miller, and  MJ Thompson, initiated WasteScapes with a field course entitled “WasteScapes” (2020). The course was a response to an open call at Concordia University in Montreal to teach an inter-disciplinary course in response  to a “wicked problem.” With environmental justice as a key critical lens, we proposed to explore the many scales of waste from individual to institutional, from local to global, and to consider the role of policy and governance in addressing the complex and inevitable place of waste in our lives. Our initial idea was to lead a cycling tour through our city of Montreal that would stop at waste sites, and would combine our passion for embodied pedagogy and discard studies. While COVID forced us to re-structure the course from a group tour to individual tours– cycling remained core to our mission. The following year we taught a variation of the course with an emphasis on writing in place, “Place Under Pressure (2021). We then developed the WasteScapes App to be able to work with other Montreal educators. Creative media technologist and professor Kim Grinfeder generously invited us to re-skin his code from his walking tour in Miami, “Know Your Grove.” 

The 41 sites and six tours that make up the WasteScapes App were developed with the talent and support of many graduate and undergraduate students at Concordia.


Elizabeth (Liz) Miller is a professor at Concordia University (Montreal) and a documentary maker with an expertise in environmental media. She uses collaboration and interactivity as a way to connect personal stories to larger social issues such as water privatization, gender & climate change. She is the co-author of Going Public: The Art of Participatory Practice (2017 website.)

MJ Thompson (PhD., New York University 2008) is a writer and professor working on performance and embodiment. Her articles have appeared in Ballettanz, Border Crossings, The Brooklyn Rail, Canadian Art, Dance Current, The Globe and Mail, and more. Her essays have appeared in several anthologies, including Performance Studies Canada (McGill-Queen’s Press, 2017).

WasteScapes was created by students and faculty at Concordia University in Tioh:tiáke/ Montréal with additional support from a Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council, Connection Grant