ELKE GRENZER, PhD
Elke Grenzer holds a doctorate in sociology from York University, Toronto, where she currently teaches as an adjunct professor. Her work on the built environment spans academic research, documentary film-making, cultural event curating, teaching, consulting and writing in a variety of media. She combines her research interests with a desire to build audiences across sectors, disciplines and social classes in order to create a workable new dynamic for social change.
Operating in the rarefied ether between the academy and what academics sometimes derisively refer to as “the real world,”Elke translates seemingly irreconcilable worlds to create new audiences and activate new publics in a culture of innovation. In her eighteen years with the Centre, Elke has engaged health and cultural professionals, activists and social entrepreneurs through conferences and events in North America and Europe. Motivated by her work on the Centre’s six-year research initiative City Life and Well-Being, she served as Vice-President and original signatory of the national charity The Patients’ Association of Canada from 2009-2012.
Elke's research on cities focuses on how artists and architects help reshape collective understandings of the past through public spaces in order to influence new ways of thinking and acting. Her work has been published in Public, The Canadian Journal of Urban Research, and other collected volumes with Intellect Press. In 2000, Elke co-directed the documentary Berlin Topographies. She serves as a member of the Editorial Board of Urbanities, is an executive member of The International Association for The Study of The Culture of Cities (IASCC) and she is also a founding member of The Centre for Memory and Testimony Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo.