Passings: Lisa Drummond


The Department of Social Science mourns the loss of Associate Professor Lisa Drummond (now Welch) who passed away on Jan. 19, after a long illness.

After living and working in Hanoi, Vietnam in the early 1990s, Lisa completed a degree in human geography at the Australia National University and held a postdoctoral fellowship at the National University of Singapore.  She joined the Division of Social Science in 2001, and was also an active member of the CITY Institute, the York Centre for Asian Research, and the Graduate Program in Geography.

Lisa Drummond
Lisa Drummond

Described by colleagues as a “cultural geographer through and through,” Lisa’s research, published in English and Vietnamese, focused primarily on urban social life in Vietnam, including analyses of popular culture, women’s roles in Vietnamese society, and the application of western concepts such as public and private to the use of space in Vietnamese cities.

She most recently collaborated with Urban Studies colleague Douglas Young on Socialist and Post-Socialist Urbanisms: Critical Reflections From a Global Perspective (UTP 2020) and co-edited five other collections of writings on cities and urbanism. She was also an enthusiastic supporter of the arts, and curated, or co-curated, a number of art exhibitions in Hanoi and at the Goethe-Institut.

For 20 years, Lisa was an integral member of the Urban Studies program, playing no small part in its delivery of a high-quality undergraduate education. She was program coordinator for several years and was actively involved in curriculum renewal and development. Courses she created included “Cities in Film” and “Seminar in Urban Theory.”  She was an adept student advisor who could comfort anxious students by plotting for them their route to graduation.

She is survived by her son, Chester, as well as by west-coast cousins, nieces and nephews, and will be remembered and missed by her many friends in Toronto, Vietnam and around the world.