Carceral Studies Research Collective

Posted on Wednesday, September 1, 2021

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) consolidates and further develops research expertise across the University of Ottawa and elsewhere, facilitating debates, synthesis and the mobilization of knowledge between professors at all ranks, students of all levels and community members 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.

Initially 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.

If you are a University of Ottawa undergraduate or graduate student, post-doctoral fellow, staff member, professor, practitioner or community organizer who is interested in getting involved and/or learning more about this research collective, please contact Professor Justin Piché at

Activities for 2021-2022

Reading Group
Fall 2021
Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crisis (and the Next)
by Dean Spade (2020)

Winter 2022
We Do This ‘Til We Free Us: Abolitionist Organizing and Transforming Justice
by Miriame Kaba (2021)

Community Discussion Series 

Fall and winter events to be announced.

Annual Workshop 

Event theme and date to be announced.

CSRC – Contact
Justin Piché, PhD –
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