Leonora Angeles

Associate Professor

Relevant Degree Programs

Affiliations to Research Centres, Institutes & Clusters


Graduate Student Supervision

Doctoral Student Supervision (Jan 2008 - Nov 2020)
Planning the everyday/everynight: a feminist participatory action research with women nightshift workers (2019)

Most research on planning the night focuses on Western city centers’ ‘night-time economy,’ particularly neo-liberal economic revitalization practices related to leisure and alcohol consumption. Although some studies include gender and race analyses, few challenge the underlying male-centered, hetero-patriarchal, and racist night-time cultures. They also overlook the everyday/everynight needs of those people who due to productive, care, and reproductive work use the city after dark on a regular basis, and disregard night-time cycles outside city centers. This dissertation examines the productive/reproductive continuum of the night economy by studying the everyday/everynight life of women nightshift workers in the Barcelona Metropolitan Area from an intersectional feminist perspective. Using Feminist Participatory Action Research (FPAR), I first analyze the role of contemporary urban planning and mobility practices in shaping women night workers’ everyday/everynight life. Second, I examine the transformational potential of FPAR to promote feminist urban planning for night use. The results reveal that women nightshift workers experience restricted public space access and differentiated right to the city, mainly because of fear of sexual violence rooted in hetero-patriarchal and gender, race, and class oppressive structures. Women continue using more sustainable modes of transport at night as they face several issues while commuting by foot or public transportation due to reduced frequency, irregular service, poor multimodal connections, and fear of sexual violence. This FPAR also highlights how women embody gender inequalities at work, at home, and in the city, carrying an unequal burden of domestic and care work, and paying through their health and wellbeing outcomes the gender inequalities in unpaid care work and gender discrimination in their workplaces. I propose to move from a neoliberal approach of planning the night-time economy to an intersectional feminist approach to planning the everyday/everynight life, and argue that FPAR should be a central method of doing planning research and practice. Engaging the everyday/everynight users of cities and spaces – particularly diverse women – in planning analysis is essential to incorporate grounded knowledge that is often absent in institutional urban planning policies.

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Global wife, local daughter : gender, family, and nation in transnational marriages in Northeast Thailand (2009)

This dissertation explains the emergence and continuous growth of transnational marriages in Northeast Thailand through a gendered and localized analysis of globalization. The Foreign Husband (Phua Farang) phenomenon, or inter-racial/cross national marriages between Thai women and foreign men, has grown substantially in the last ten years, particularly in Isan or the Northeast Region of Thailand. In 2003-2004 as many as 15,000 women from Isan provinces are married to or engaged in romantic relationships with foreign men mainly from Western European countries and the U.S. Transnationally married Isan women send remittances to their families, schools, and temples, thus contributing to the economic and social transformation of agrarian villages in Thailand’s poorest region. The Phua Farang phenomenon among rural Isan women, and the volume of revenue the phenomenon generates, perplex Thai society and stirs nation-wide debates. I demonstrate through combined gender, class and political economic analyses how the Phua Farang phenomenon in Isan is implicated in the interconnected “worlds” between the global and the local, the macro and micro scales, as well as the production and reproduction realms. Exploring localized global processes that take place at various scales—from the individual, the family and community, to the nation-state and the global political economy—this dissertation reveals on-going struggles between structural forces from “above” and everyday resistance on the ground by classed, ethnicized and gendered subjects exercising their agency. Internal struggles within the Thai nation, shown in ethnicized, classed, and gendered moral and nationalist discourses around the Phua Farang phenomenon, further problematize the dichotomy between the “colonizing global capitalism” and the much celebrated local alternatives to modernity.

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Master's Student Supervision (2010 - 2018)
Sustainability meets eco-spirituality : using a qualitative multi-methods approach to explore the Philippine Catholic Churchs potential for watershed governance partnership in the Angat River Basin, Bulacan, Philippines (2017)

No abstract available.

Kababayen-an Han Karak-an (Women of Storm Surges): A Feminist Ethnographic Research on Waray Women Survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda (2016)

Two years after super typhoon Yolanda (internationally named Haiyan) ravaged the Visayan region of the Philippines, survivors of Leyte Island who were at the front line of the strongest storm in recorded history persist through waves of disaster. Anthropologists of disaster argue there is a need to trouble the assumed uniformity of disaster experiences in the same manner that feminist scholars argue for an intersectional analysis of vulnerabilities as shaped by racism, sexism, and ongoing projects of colonialism. This ethnographic research inquires: How do Waray women survivors make meaning of super typhoon Yolanda as expressed in their survival testimonies and disaster symbolisms? How do they view their everyday life in relation to the rain, rivers, and the sea? How do they mobilize memories of Yolanda to engage in practises of social repair? This on-site feminist ethnographic research was conducted in the town of Palo in the summer of 2015, with 12 self-identified Waray women interviewed from the three barangays or villages of San Miguel, Salvacion and Cogon. I argue that women survivors employ disaster memory as a cultural practise to repair their worldview, insisting on an ontology that still holds some meaning despite the wrathful destruction of a super typhoon that pounds repeatedly through the everyday violence of poverty. This thesis outlines how the women (a) personify the storm; (b) explain order and safety in cycles and seasons; and (c) explain syncretic theologies pertaining to ideas of justice. Writing as a transnational Filipina scholar-activist, I frame my work to serve a feminist and decolonizing purpose by weaving the women’s survival testimonies together as acts of resistance over the chronic crises of everyday poverty, Yolanda and larger colonial histories. This thesis offers a Waray theory of survivance defined by an ancient ferocity in the Eastern Visayas, which claims a full humanity persisting through disaster deathscapes and the colonial present.

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Sense of place, places of vulnerability : exploring home and resettlement of river-fronting informal settlers using narratives and images (2015)

Informality of housing, micro economies, and social networks have emerged over the last century as the dominant morphology in large cities and urbanizing rural municipalities. In the Philippines, this phenomenon has been exacerbated by colonial influences on urban design and declining rural agricultural livelihoods. Informality has historically been addressed as a planning problem to be solved with social housing and zoning. This research attempts to capture the subjective, human side of informality using images and narratives to examine place-making processes and place attachment of persons living informally along the Angat River in the peri-urban municipality of Plaridel in Central Luzon, Philippines as well as local service providers and a sample of persons who have been successfully relocated to social housing within Plaridel. This study uses Photovoice and ethnography to characterize how informal settlers, relocated informal settlers and service providers make sense of informal spaces and places and Jubilee Homes social housing site in Plaridel in the context of vulnerability and place-making. Through historical and current policy analysis paired with Photovoice images and personal narratives, this research asserts that decentralizing shifts in policy, such as the Local Shelter Plan, create a window of opportunity for transition into a new policy paradigm of meaningful consultation and planning with informality and informal settlers. Informality has been, and will continue to be a part of reality in Plaridel and other peri-urban satellite municipalities to Metro Manila.

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Advances in the evaluation of informal settlement upgrading in Brazil (2014)

This thesis focuses on the practice of evaluation of informal settlement upgrading projects in Brazil. The country experienced a wave of rapid urbanization over the last sixty years, with eighty-four percent of the population now living in cities. As cities lacked affordable housing options commensurate with their burgeoning populations, informal settlements proliferated. Over several decades, policy responses have evolved to promoting the upgrading of these settlements. A wide variety of strategies has been employed to address the material, social, and legal issues associated with informal settlements. The actors have been equally diverse, including federal and municipal government, NGOs, international agencies, and community-based organizations. After more than a generation of concerted trial and error in designing and implementing upgrading programs, how have monitoring and evaluation practices been put to use? Grounded in an understanding of global urbanization trends and current debates around the practice of monitoring and evaluation, this study aims to: 1. Establish the importance of monitoring and evaluation as a critical element in improving the outcomes of upgrading and building an international body of knowl¬edge around effective upgrading programs; 2. Assess the current practice of monitoring and evaluation of upgrading programs in Brazil; 3. Identify the challenges and barriers that currently impede the broad usage of such evaluation systems, and; 4. Identify the national trends that point to increased use of monitoring and evaluation in the future. This research finds that systematic monitoring and evaluation of the development outcomes of upgrading programs rarely occurs. Academics and researchers conduct a wide range of evaluative studies, though these tend to be isolated and non-continuous. International donor agencies, and more recently the federal government, require project evaluations be conducted on particular projects, though these tend to remain at the level of project outputs. Many trends, however, indicate that the nascent practice of monitoring and evaluation is attracting increased interest from policy-makers, practitioners, scholars and stakeholders. It is concluded that M&E practice will continue to be refined and experience broader application in the coming years.

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Do policies of the lowest common denominator bring about system-level change? Examining the success factors of the Toronto Regional Immigrant Employment Council (2012)

No abstract available.

Revisiting Irrigation Management Transfers: A Case Study of a Philippine Municipality's Experience in Transferring Irrigation Management to Farmer Associations (2011)

There is a lack of data and analysis relating to implementation processes and impacts for Irrigation Management Transfer (IMT), particularly at the community level. This is despite the fact that IMT has become one of the most popular trends in irrigation management worldwide.This research fills key gaps in knowledge about IMT in practice, specifically with respect to: (1) the different approaches being used, the constraints to implementation, the impacts on all stakeholders; and (2) the suitability of IMT in different social, political and economic settings, through a case study analysis of the municipality of Plaridel, Bulacan, Philippines. Based on a review of literature focused on the works of the leading experts in IMT, seven 'best practices', with respect to the implementation of IMT, are formulated. Through semi-structured interviews and data collection, the implementation of IMT in Plaridel is then evaluated against these seven 'best practices'. It is found that all seven of the 'best practices' are not currently operational in the municipality and that as a result, there is an extremely high likelihood that Plaridel's farms and Irrigation Associations (IAs) will not be viable in the near future. The main reasons for this being the absence of clearly recognized and sustainable water rights and service and insufficient financial resources provided by the implementing irrigation agency, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA). This study argues that this scenario is likely because NIA is implementing IMT solely to reduce its own financial costs in operating and maintaining Plaridel's irrigation systems and not to improve productivity or the livelihoods of Plaridel's farmers.Plaridel is a cautionary tale to any government that is planning to implement IMT, as it shows how IMT is no quick fix to a financially unviable Irrigation Agency or agricultural sector. Rather it is a difficult, painstaking process that requires substantial financing and commitment.

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The extra-religious functions of Madaris: implications for community planning in Pakistan (2010)

The current mantra of development advocates macro level, top down approaches which largely ignore the potential for change inherent within existing indigenous grass root social structures. One such indigenous social institution prevalent in the Islamic World is that of the religious school locally known as the madrassa. After 9-11, madaris have been prominently featured in the international media as a potential breeding ground for terrorists and fundamentalists and has become a policy concern for both the American and Pakistani governments. Recent policy interventions have included steps to centralize madaris, curriculum revisions along with a renewed interest in improving existing public and private schools as an alternative to religious schooling. Most of these steps have been rejected by the madrassa community and there is ongoing antagonism between madrassa officials and government authorities.This research examines how madrassa mission and mandate intersect with community development goals as well as with the national project of development and modernity, and how they create linkages and multiplier effects within the local culture and institutions particularly in the absence of social support services. It utilizes a mixed method approach based on ethnographic interviews, mapping, content and discourse analyses and participant observations to uncover the daily patterns of the research participants’ lives in two selected research sites in Islamabad, Pakistan. The research develops recommendations based on the perspective of madrassa students, alumni, administrators, teachers and local community members.The study argues that madaris have the ability to reach out to Pakistan’s marginalized and disenfranchised. It is important for the madaris community to get recognized by the state to gain access to state funding and aid agencies. However the government needs to be very flexible with its policy of reforms and needs to allow the madaris to operate in the academic spaces they deem fit. The purpose and intent of madaris should be preserved and allowed to remain intact. This is where planners and development practioners fit in. They need to mobilize a participatory dialogue between the state and the madaris community and exact this crucial integration of indigenous institutions such as the madrassa into mainstream development policy.

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