Clare Mitchell

Associate Professor

Room EV1-224, ext. 33285
S2018 office hours: By Appointment Only

Clare’s research explores the shifting economic and demographic structure of rural places. She is particularly interested in how in-migrants help transition communities along new economic trajectories (e.g. tourism), following the decline of their resource base. Her regional focus is Ontario, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Yukon Territory, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Key Areas of Graduate Supervision
Rural geography, internal migration, rural heritage-tourism, agri-tourism, local economic development.

Recent Courses Taught
GEOG 202: Geography of the Global Economy
GEOG 222: Canada
GEOG 340: Settlements of Rural Canada
GEOG 454: Retail Landscapes

Research Interests

My main research area is rural geography. I am most interested in exploring the relationship between demographic and economic change in small settlement areas. I have a particular fascination with places that have experienced a decline in their dominant economic activity (e.g. fishing, agriculture, or mining), and with understanding how in-migrants are helping to reposition these communities as tourist destinations. Most of my field work, and that of my graduate students, has been undertaken in towns and villages of Ontario (e.g. Atikokan, Elliot Lake, Creemore, Elora and St. Jacobs), British Columbia (Ganges, Salt Spring Island), Nova Scotia (St. Peter’s), and Yukon Territory (Dawson City). My last SSHRC-funded research drew me, and a graduate student, back to my home province (Newfoundland and Labrador), where we explored the rise of heritage tourism in formerly fishery-dependent communities (e.g. Brigus and Trinity). My current research grant will be used to analyze recent census data to determine which Canadian rural municipalities are benefitting from the arrival of former urban residents.  I would welcome applications from any graduate students who are interested in exploring the shifting economies of these transitioning places!

Recent Publications

  • Mitchell, C.J.A. and Shannon, M. (2018). Are in-migrant proprietors driving or enhancing cultural heritage tourism in transitioning resource-dependent communities? The case of Trinity, Newfoundland and Labrador. The Canadian Geographer. DOI) - 10.1111/cag.12465 

  • Mitchell, C.J.A. and Shannon, M. (2018). Exploring heritage tourism in rural Newfoundland rural through the lens of the evolutionary economic geographer. Journal of Rural Studies. 59, (21-34).

  • Mitchell, C.J.A. and Shannon, M. (2017). Establishing the routes to rural in-migrant proprietorship in a Canadian tourism region: a mobilities perspective. Population, Space and Place. DOI: 10.1002.psp.2095.

  • Steele, C.E. and Mitchell, C.J.A. 2017. Economic transition in the Canadian north: Is migrant-induced, neo-endogenous development playing a role? Journal of Rural and Community Development. 12(1): 57-75.
  • Mitchell, C.J.A. and O’Neill, K. 2017. The Sherriff Creek Wildlife Sanctuary, Elliot Lake: Further evidence of mine-site repurposing and economic transition in northern Ontario. The Extractive Industries and Society.
  • Mitchell, C.J.A. and O’Neill, K. 2016. Mine site re-purposing in Atikokan, Ontario: An application of the 'transition template.' The Extractive Industries and Society. 3(4), 1018-1030
  • Mitchell, C.J.A. and O'Neill, K. 2016. Tracing economic transition in the mine towns of northern Ontario: An application of the "resource-dependency model." The Canadian Geographer. 60(1): 91-106.
  • Mitchell, C.J.A.  2015. Heritage. In, Jafar Jafari, and Xiao Honggen, X. (Eds.) International Encyclopedia of Tourism. Springer.
  • Mitchell, C.J.A. and Randel, K. 2014. Heritage preservation and the 'differentiated countryside': evidence from southern Ontario. The Canadian Geographer. 58(4): 429-442.
  • Mitchell, C.J.A. and Madden, M. (2014)Re-thinking commercial counterurbanization: evidence from rural Nova Scotia”. Journal of Rural Studies. 36: 137-148.
  • Mitchell, Clare J.A. (2013) "Creative Destruction or Creative Enhancement? Understanding the Transformation of Rural Spaces". Journal of Rural Studies. 32: 375-387.
  • Shannon, Meghan, and Mitchell, Clare J.A. (2012) "Racinos in Rural Canada: Economic Impacts of the Grand River Raceway on Elora, Ontario". Journal of Rural and Community Development. 6 (2): 1-14.
  • Qin Qun,  Mitchell, Clare J.A. and Wall, Geoff (2012) "Creative Destruction in China’s Historic Towns: Daxu and Yangshuo, Guangxi".  Journal of Destination Marketing and Management. 1: 54-64.
  • Shannon, M., Mitchell, C.J.A. (2012) "Deconstructing Place Identity? Impacts of a “Racino” on Elora, Ontario, Canada." Journal of Rural Studies, 28: 38-48.
  • Sullivan, Claire and Mitchell, Clare J.A. (2012) "From Fish to Folk Art: Creating a Heritage-based Place Identity in Ferryland, Newfoundland and Labrador". Journal of Rural and Community Development, Volume 7 (2): 37-56.
  • Halpern, Claire and Mitchell, Clare J.A. (2011) "Can a Preservationist Ideology Halt the Process of Creative Destruction: Evidence from Salt Spring Island, British Columbia." The Canadian Geographer, 55(2): 208-225.
  • Mitchell, C.J.A. and J. Vanderwerf (2010) "Creative Destruction and Trial by Space in a Historic Village." The Geographical Review, 100(3): 356-374.             
  • Mitchell, Clare J.A. and Singh, Tiffany (2010) "Creative Destruction in and Beyond the Rural-urban Fringe: a study of Elora, Ontario" The Rural-Urban Fringe in Canada: Conflict and Controversy. Ken Beasley (ed). Rural Development Institute, Brandon University. Pp. 237-250.
University of Waterloo

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