Graduate Student Conference


Borders and Barriers: Understanding Criminalization and Challenges to Human Rights

The University of Toronto’s Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies is pleased to announce its one-day graduate conference entitled Borders and Barriers: Understanding Criminalization and Challenges to Human Rights

Register now

Conference date: March 8, 2019 (9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)

Location: Room 117, Ramsay Wright Laboratories (25 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON)

The simplest way to imagine borders is to think of a territorial divide. However, socio-legal narratives have continuously challenged and broadened our familiar conceptualization of borders and boundaries. They have also come to represent invisible yet concrete barriers that affect different communities, identities, and individuals, particularly those in conflict with the law and those affected by it. This conference provides the opportunity for emerging scholars to critically understand, rethink, and reconcile our common conceptualization of borders. Our goal is to explore not only the human rights barriers they erect through policy and practice, but also their dire consequences on individuals and societies at a global, humanistic level.

Critical issues this conference will cover include, but are not limited to:

    • Prisoner rights and experiences of incarceration
    • Reintegration and rehabilitation for individuals with criminal records
    • Asylum, refugees, and resettlement
    • Accountability, oversight and legitimacy
    • International law, global displacement and migration control
    • Racism and discriminatory practices in the criminal justice system
    • Big data, cybersecurity, and predictive justice
    • Justice-related technologies and digital borders
    • Criminal justice activism efforts to ensure access to justice

Participation: We invite you to join us in discussing these critical issues. As this is an interdisciplinary graduate conference, we also welcome submissions from graduate students involved in research outside of, but related to, the disciplines of criminology, sociolegal studies, and sociology. Registration is free and lunch will be provided. Students who do not wish to present but would still like to attend are encouraged to register at the conference’s Eventbrite page.

For further inquiries, please contact

(Call for papers – please note January 25th deadline)

Previous Graduate Conferences


Rethinking Law, Criminal Justice Policy, and Regulation

We invite you to join the 2018 Annual Graduate Student Conference hosted by the University of Toronto’s Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies. Our school is on territories governed by the Dish With One Spoon Treaty, home to the Anishinaabe, Mississauga, and Haudenosaunee peoples. We are grateful to work and learn on this land.

The conference provides graduate students an opportunity to present their academic research in an interdisciplinary context and network with others doing work on related issues.

With the spread of extreme nationalism and populism across Canada and beyond, disputes over social exclusion, immigration and refugee policies, and shifting modes of regulation have captured public attention. The current political climate has contributed to the further marginalization of subaltern groups, while calls for progressive reform have failed to produce, or meet demands for, substantive change. It is essential, perhaps now more than ever, that we map the current criminological and sociolegal landscape in Canada, to examine how we define and respond to current events, emergent trends in governance, and question if and how individuals and the institutions that regulate the already marginalized are held accountable.

Graduate Student Conference Program, 2018

11:00 am – 11:20 am: Registration

11:20 am – 11:30 am: Opening Remarks from Prof. Audrey Macklin, Director of the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies

11:30 am – 1:00 pm: Session I – Canadian Carceralities and Penology Facilitator: Samantha Aeby

Presentations: A Questionable System of Penal Reform in Canada: A historical approach to understanding rehabilitation for ex-offenders, Kadija Lodge-Tulloch, Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto

A Comparative Analysis: The wrongful convictions of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and Australia, Ferdouse Asefi, Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto

Life After Wrongful Conviction: Exploring potential aggravating and mitigating factors related to exoneree reintegration, Tyler King, Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto

Loose Coupling and Defining Deviance Down: Correctional Officers’ perceptions of organizational responses to mental health and well-being, Victoria Baker, Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto

1:00 pm – 1:45 pm: Lunch

1:45 pm – 3:30 pm: Session II – In/excluding Bodies through Law: Citizenship, sexuality, and migration Facilitator: Andrea Sterling

Presentations: The Racial Exclusionary Mechanisms of Citizenship, Brianna Garneau, Criminology, University of Ottawa

Contagion and the Public Body: A Re-ordering of Private and Public Spheres in R. v Gowdy, Joshua David Michael Shaw, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University

A Positive Monster born from the Judicial Page: Governing Positive Sexuality through the Criminal Law as a Tool of Public Health Containment, Maxwell Philip Tristan Miller, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa

Humanity, Civilization and Western Modernity: Inquiry into the Colonial Roots of Development, Joaquin Sabat, Sociology, Université Laval

Canada’s Migrants and Affordable Housing, Kunal Variawa, Criminology and Social Justice, Ryerson University

3:30 pm – 3:45 pm: Coffee Break

3:45 pm – 5:15 pm: Session III – Securitization, Surveillance and Regulation Facilitator: Jihyun Kwon

Presentations: The Materialization of Securitization Practices: Living under security certificates, Subhah Wadhawan, Criminology, University of Ottawa

Technology of Surveillance in Crime Control: Foucault Revisited, Subrata Banarjee and Mohammed Jahirul Islam (non-presenting co-author), Criminology, University of Ottawa

Governing the Firearms Privilege: The power dynamics of gun ownership in Canada, Derek Cooper, Sociology, Carleton University

A Gendered Case for Governmentality: Campus governance and the institutionalization of sexual violence, Ravita Surajbali, Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto

5:15 pm – 5:30 pm: Closing Remarks from Prof. Scot Wortley, Graduate Coodinator

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm: Meet and Greet – Prenup Pub (191 College St. West)

Attendance is free, please RSVP to confirm your attendance.

Lunch, coffee, and pub snacks will be provided – please email the organizing committee if you have any dietary restrictions.

The event will be held in an accessible space with a wheel-chair accessible washroom. Please let us know if you have any access needs so we can better accomodate you.

For out of town visitors, Grad House Accomodation is a reasonably priced option that is a 10 minute walk from our Centre. Details can be found here:

If you have any questions or concerns, please email the organizing commitee at

We look forward to meeting you soon!

2018 – Rethinking Law, Criminal Justice Policy, and Regulation (Call for Papers)


Surveillance, Resistance, and [In]Justice in a Time of Unrest

(Call For Papers) (Schedule)


Social Justice in the City Graduate Student Workshop

(Call for Papers) (Schedule)