Carceral Studies Research Collective

Posted on Monday, October 23, 2017

As neo-liberalism deepens in western democracies and governments continue to divest from social welfare, imprisonment and other forms of social control have proliferated at a greater pace inside and outside the penal system as primary strategies to manage the poor and marginalized. It is in this context of mass incarceration and surveillance – distributed unevenly across the world and shaped by class, race, gender, sexuality, and other markers of difference –  that carceral studies has emerged as an interdisciplinary field of research and praxis. 

The Carceral Studies Research Collective (CSRC) will consolidate and further develop research expertise across the University of Ottawa and elsewhere, facilitating debates, synthesis and the transfer of knowledge between professors at all ranks, students of all levels and community stakeholders to:

  1. document shifts and continuities in carceral power and violence;
  2. contribute to the development of analytical and strategic tools to help dismantle exclusionary structures; and
  3. build alternatives that contribute to the work of existing and emerging public policy initiatives and social movements that foster inclusive conflict resolution and social justice in communities, both locally and beyond.

Funded by the Faculty of Social Sciences study and research laboratories program from 2017 to 2020, CSRC’s activities include a community discussion series, reading group, annual workshop and research projects. Together, CSRC contributors generate and mobilize knowledge to affect social change that enhance the collective well-being and safety of the communities we work with.


Reading Group

Fall 2017
Undocumented – The Architecture of Migrant Detention
by Tings Chak (2014)

Winter 2018
Carceral Geography: Spaces and Practices of Incarceration
by Dominique Moran (2015)

Fall 2018
The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability
by Jasbir K. Puar (2017)

Winter 2019
Beyond These Walls: Rethinking Crime and Punishment in the United States
by Tony Platt (2018)

Community Discussion Series

November 13, 2017
Policing Black Lives in Ottawa, Canada and Beyond 
– A Conversation with Robyn Maynard and Dahabo Amed Omer 

April 11, 2018
Dismantling Carceral Power: Visions for Change 
– A Conversation with Community Organizers

September 27, 2018
The Human Faces of National (In)security 
– A Conversation with Abdullah Almalki and Hassan Diab

February 28, 2019
Beyond These Walls: On the Future of Crime and Punishment 
– A Conversation with Tony Platt

Annual Workshops

April 12, 2018
Defining the Carceral

March 1, 2019
Theme to be announced

If you are an undergraduate or graduate student, staff member, professor, practitioner or community advocate who is interested in getting involved and/or learning more about this University of Ottawa based research collective, please contact Professor Justin Piché at justin.piche@uOttawa.


Steering Committee – 2018-2019:

  • Director – Justin Piché, Associate Professor, Criminology
  • Lead, Governance – Maritza Felices-Luna, Associate Professor, Criminology
  • Lead, Reading Group – Dominique Robert, Associate Professor, Criminology
  • Lead, Community Discussion Series – Baljit Nagra, Assistant Professor, Criminology
  • Lead, Annual Workshop – Christine Gervais, Associate Professor, Criminology
  • Lead, Research Partnerships – Jennifer Kilty, Associate Professor, Criminology
  • Lead, Student Recruitment – Sandra Lehalle, Assistant Professor, Criminology
  • Lead, Faculty Member Recruitment – Bastien Quirion, Associate Professor, Criminology
  • Lead, Community and Practitioner Outreach and Recruitment – Geneviève Nault, Field Placement Coordinator, Criminology
  • Post-doctoral Representative – Marianne Quirouette, Law
  • Doctoral Representative – Martha Vargas Aguirre, Criminology 
  • Doctoral Representative – Priyanka Patel, Criminology 
  • Master’s Representative – Lisa Plamandon-Dufour, Criminology 
  • Undergraduate Representative – Katelyn Smith, Criminology

uOttawa Members (2018-2019):

Community Members (2018-2019):

  • Souheil Benslimane, Undergraduate Student, Social Innovation, Saint Paul University
  • Marilou Gagnon, Associate Professor, Nursing, University of Victoria
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