The Critical Criminology Working Group at Kwantlen Polytechnic University
We are an association of activist scholars in (or around) the Criminology Department at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey, BC (on unceded Coast Salish Territories).
Working Group members bring an engaged critical perspective to bear on institutions and practices of criminal justice, situating the state as a central institution in the maintenance and extension of capitalist relations of exploitation and oppression. Criminal justice systems in liberal democracies fundamentally uphold gross injustice in society. Working Group members offer anti-statist and anti-capitalist analyses of criminal justice (and criminology) and seek alternative social practices beyond, and in opposition to, states and capital.
It is our aim to organize and host a variety of substantial public discussions, including: panel discussions, book launches, film screenings, spoken word, and mixed media presentations. In the context of Kwantlen, the objective is the engagement of academic work and analysis with issues of broader community concern. It is applied theory in the service of a public criminology-- actively bringing together community members, students, and faculty for conversation. We are working towards a schedule of hosting three events per semester.
All Critical Criminology Working Group events have been and will continue to be open to faculty, students, and the general public. There has been regular attendance from community members from Langley, Richmond, Surrey, and Vancouver. Attendees have been a range of ages and backgrounds. Promotion has occurred on campus and in the broader communities of Metro Vancouver. This includes community postering, print ads, facebook, and media interviews. Our events have been attended by various student media and community newswriters.
It was also an honour and a learning opportunity to have an elder of the Kwantlen First Nation attend and set an opening address for our event regarding 'Cars & Capitalism' and against the encroachments in and along the banks of the Stó:lō (Fraser River) and the delta (farmland/tidal areas) where it meets the Salish Sea. We hope to further deepen the dialogue with the Kwantlen First Nation in our upcoming events.
We are excited to launch the new journal, Radical Criminology, fall 2012. All our content is free online, through our site using Open Journal Systems, register or -->subscribe to new issue announcements. If you prefer, you can also order a paper copy, ($7 in/from the US) where we are published by punctum books ✶ brooklyn, ny.
Past Public Events
February 1, 2010. “Olympic Crimes: Corporate Swindles, Stolen Land & Stolen Dreams.” Panel Discussion.
Featuring: Myka Abramson; Caelie Frampton; Alex Mah; Ben West, Wilderness Committee.
September 20, 2010. “Criticize Israel, Go to Jail? Freedom of Expression on Campuses in Canada.”
Featuring: Dr. Michael Keefer, University of Guelph.
October 25, 2010. “The Voice of the Mapuche: Film and Discussion.”
Featuring: The Mapuche Solidarity Collective.
April 9, 2011. “Delta/Surrey Climate Justice Teach-In”
Featuring: Climate Justice Circle.
June 28, 2011. “Stop Signs: Cars and Capitalism.” Panel Discussion and Book Launch.
Featuring: Yves Engler, internationally recognized author and colleague of Noam Chomsky; Richelle Giberson, anthropologist.
September 15, 2011. “Bling is Dead: Corporate Crimes and Global Economies.” Hip Hop, Spoken Word, and Open Discussion.
Featuring: Sakura Saunders, mining justice organiser, ProtestBarrick.net; Test, hip hop artist of “Test Their Logik.”
October 12, 2011. “Break their Walls of Impunity: On the War Crimes of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.”
Featuring: Gail Davidson, Lawyers Against the War; Special Presentation by Jeff Shantz.
November 16, 2011. “A National Crime: The Canadian Government and the Residential School System.”
Featuring: Dr. John S. Milloy, Trent University.
January 31, 2012. “Crisis, Control, and Resistance: Social Struggles Against Prisons, Surveillance, and Repression.”
Featuring: Joe Bowser, East Vancouver Information Activist; Aiyanas Ormond, Community Organizer with “Homes not Jails”; Test, hip hop artist of “Test Their Logik.”
September 26, 2012. “The History of the Quebec Student Movement and Combative Unionism.”
Featuring: Jerome Raza, CLASSE (Cross Canada Tour organized by the Prairie Struggle Organization along with Common Cause, Union Communist Libertaire and the IWW