Leila Harris

Leila Harris

Associate Professor ,
University of British Columbia

Dr. Leila Harris has trained as a political and socio-cultural geographer (PhD, University of Minnesota), and her work examines social, cultural and political-economic and equity dimensions of environmental and resource issues. Much of her work has focused on key themes of water politics and governance, political ecology and environmental justice, critical development studies, and intersectional and feminist approaches to nature-society studies. Dr. Harris is Associate Professor, Institute of Resources, Environment and Sustainability, UBC; Associate Professor Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, UBC; Faculty Associate, UBC Department of Geography, and Co-Director of the Program on Water Governance. Current projects of the EDGES Research Collaborative (Environment & Development: Gender, Equity and Sustainability Perspectives, www.edges.ubc.ca) include focus on water security and governance, politics associated with the human right to water, urban water resilience, indigenous water governance, and transforming water governance for equity and sustainability (with past and current projects in Canada, Turkey, Ghana and South Africa). As a Wall Scholar, Dr. Harris will be working on a book manuscript related to water access, governance, and narrative in underserved communities of Accra, Ghana and Cape Town South Africa. The book, entitled Human Right to Water: Lived Experience, Narrative and Democracy in the Context of Inequality is the culmination of a multi-sited and multi-year SSHRC funded project, and will address the politics and consequences of the uneven implementation of the human right to water (HRW). The work considers linkages been uneven water access and quality, linking such patterned inequity to a range of socio-political concerns, including theoretical considerations concerning inequity and democracy. A second focus of the Wall residency will be to advance a newer project on non-material dimensions of household water insecurity (HWI), with particular interest in the relationship between HWI and broader socio-political considerations, including community engagement.