Recent Books by Criminology Faculty

Canada and Colonial Genocide

Edited by Andrew Woolford and Jeff Benvenuto (Routledge, 2016)


Settler colonialism in Canada has traditionally been portrayed as a gentler, if not benevolent, colonialism especially in contrast to the Indian Wars in the United States. This national mythology has penetrated into comparative genocide studies, where Canadian case studies are rarely discussed in edited volumes, genocide journals, or multi-national studies. Indeed, much of the extant literature on genocide in Canada rests at the level of self-justification, whereby authors draw on the U.N Genocide Convention or some other rubric to demonstrate that Canadian genocides are a legitimate topic of scholarly concern. In recent years, however, discussion of genocide in Canada has become more pronounced, particularly in the wake of the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. This volume contributes to this ongoing discourse, providing scholarly analyses of the multiple dimensions or processes of colonial destruction and their aftermaths in Canada. Various acts of genocidal violence are covered, including residential schools, repressive legal or governmental controls, ecological destruction, and disease spread. Additionally, contributors draw comparisons to patterns of colonial destruction in other contexts, examine the ways in which Canada has sought to redress and commemorate colonial harms, and present novel theoretical and conceptual insights on colonial/settler genocides in Canada. This book was previously published as a special issue of the Journal of Genocide Research.

Criminology: A Canadian Perspective (8th edition)

Rick Linden (General Editor) (Nelson Education, 2016)

Now in its eighth edition, this market-leading introductory criminology offers a strong balance of theoretical perspectives composed by an outstanding list of contributing authors. It is the most solid and accessible introduction to the discipline available. Criminology provides students with basic background information about crime as well as a clear understanding of all the major theories of criminology, including sociological and psychological explanations. It concludes with a discussion of the most serious and frequent types of crime. Written by Canadians for Canadians, Criminology, Eighth Edition, continues to present the work of this country’s foremost criminologists in combination with the most relevant research from around the world.


Fragile Settlements: Aboriginal Peoples, Law, and Resistance in South-West Australia and Prairie Canada

Amanda Nettleback, Russell Smandych, Louis A. Knafla, and Robert Foster (University of British Columbia Press, 2016)


Fragile Settlements compares the processes by which colonial authority was asserted over Indigenous people in south-west Australia and prairie Canada from the 1830s to the early twentieth century. This book examines the tensions and contradictions that emerged as colonial actors and institutions—including government officials, police, courts, churches, and philanthropic organizations—interpreted and applied the principle of law in their interactions with Aboriginal peoples on the ground. As a comparative work, Fragile Settlements highlights important parallels and divergences in the histories of law and Indigenous-settler relations across the Anglo-colonial world. It questions the finality of settler colonization and contributes to ongoing debates around jurisdiction, sovereignty, and the prospect of genuine Indigenous-settler reconciliation in Canada and Australia.


Youth at Risk and Youth Justice: A Canadian Overview (2nd edition)

Edited by John Winterdyck and Russell Smandych (Oxford University Press, 2016)


Youth at Risk and Youth Justice offers an engaging and relevant introduction to youth crime and deviance in Canada. Written by experts from across the country to offer a range of perspectives on the patterns, theories, and emerging topics related to youth justice, this text blends empirical research with critical analysis, while incorporating youth voices throughout.





“This Benevolent Experiment”: Indigenous Boarding Schools, Genocide and Redress in North America

Andrew Woolford (University of Manitoba Press and University of Nebraska, Indigenous Education Series, 2015)

At the end of the nineteenth century, Indigenous boarding schools were touted as the means for solving the “Indian problem” in both Canada and the United States. With the goal of permanently transforming Indigenous young people into Europeanized colonial subjects, the schools were ultimately a means for eliminating Indigenous communities as obstacles to land acquisition, resource extraction, and nation building. Andrew Woolford analyzes the formulation of the “Indian problem” as a policy concern in the United States and Canada and examines how the “solution” of Indigenous boarding schools was implemented in Manitoba and New Mexico through complex chains that included multiple government offices, a variety of staff, Indigenous peoples, and even nonhuman factors such as poverty, disease, and space. The genocidal project inherent in these boarding schools, however, did not unfold in either nation without diversion, resistance, and unintended consequences.


The Idea of a Human Rights Museum

Edited by Karen Busby, Adam Muller, and Andrew Woolford (University of Manitoba Press, 2015)

The Idea of a Human Rights Museum is the first book to examine the formation of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and to situate the museum within the context of the international proliferation of such institutions. Sixteen essays consider the wider political, cultural and architectural contexts within which the museum physically and conceptually evolved drawing comparisons between the CMHR and institutions elsewhere in the world that emphasize human rights and social justice. This collection brings together authors from diverse fields—law, cultural studies, museum studies, sociology, history, political science, and literature—to critically assess the potentials and pitfalls of human rights education through “ideas” museums. Accessible, engaging, and informative, the collection’s essays will encourage museum-goers to think more deeply about the content of human rights exhibits.


Colonial Genocide in Indigenous North America

Edited by Andrew Woolford, Jeff Benvenuto, and Alexander Laban Hilton (Duke University Press, 2014)

This important collection of essays expands the geographic, demographic, and analytic scope of the term genocide to encompass the effects of colonialism and settler colonialism in North America. Colonists made multiple and interconnected attempts to destroy Indigenous peoples as groups. The contributors examine these efforts through the lens of genocide. Considering some of the most destructive aspects of the colonization and subsequent settlement of North America, several essays address Indigenous boarding school systems imposed by both the Canadian and U.S. governments in attempts to "civilize" or "assimilate" Indigenous children. Contributors examine some of the most egregious assaults on Indigenous peoples and the natural environment, including massacres, land appropriation, the spread of disease, the near-extinction of the buffalo, and forced political restructuring of Indigenous communities. Assessing the record of these appalling events, the contributors maintain that North Americans must reckon with colonial and settler colonial attempts to annihilate Indigenous peoples.


Criminalizing Women: Gender and (In)justice in Neo Liberal Times (2nd edition)

Edited by Gillian Balfour and Elizabeth Comack (Fernwood Publishing, 2014)

Criminalizing women has become all too frequent in these neo-liberal times. Meanwhile, poverty, racism, and misogyny continue to frame criminalized women’s lives. Criminalizing Women introduces readers to the key issues addressed by feminists engaged in criminology research over the past four decades. Chapters explore how narratives that construct women as errant females, prostitutes, street gang associates and symbols of moral corruption mask the connections between women’s restricted choices and the conditions of their lives. The book shows how women have been surveilled, disciplined, managed, corrected, and punished, and it considers the feminist strategies that have been used to address the impact of imprisonment and to draw attention to the systemic abuses against poor and racialized women.



Locating Law: Race/Class/Gender/Sexuality Connections (3rd edition)

Edited by Elizabeth Comack (Fernwood Publishing, 2014)


A primary concern within the study of law has been to understand the “law-society” relation. Underlying this concern is the belief that law has a distinctly social basis; it both shapes — and is shaped by — the society in which it operates. This book explores the law-society relation by locating law within the nexus of race/class/gender/sexuality relations in society. Recognizing that inequalities exist along these lines raises important questions: What role has law historically played in generating today’s inequalities? Is law part of the “problem” or part of the “solution”? Can we use law as a strategy to achieve meaningful change?





“Indians Wear Red”: Colonialism, Resistance, and Aboriginal Street Gangs

Elizabeth Comack, Lawrence Deane, Larry Morrissette, and Jim Silver (Fernwood Publishing, 2013)

With the advent of Aboriginal street gangs such as Indian Posse, Manitoba Warriors, and Native Syndicate, Winnipeg garnered a reputation as the “gang capital of Canada.” Yet beyond the stereotypes of outsiders, little is known about these street gangs and the factors and conditions that have produced them. “Indians Wear Red” locates Aboriginal street gangs in the context of the racialized poverty that has become entrenched in the colonized space of Winnipeg’s North End. Drawing upon extensive interviews with Aboriginal street gang members as well as with Aboriginal women and elders, the authors develop an understanding from “inside” the inner city and through the voices of Aboriginal people — especially street gang members themselves.




Racialized Policing: Aboriginal People’s Encounters with the Police

Elizabeth Comack (Fernwood Publishing, 2012


“This book delves deep into the psyche of society’s attitudes towards racism, towards the racialization of issues, of social structures, and, importantly, of the police. It exposes the human element of justice, the attitudes and subconscious generalizations that culminate in differential justice, differential treatment, and the imbalance of socio-economic and criminal circumstances between peoples of Canada. Whether the abuse is racism, sexism, or discrimination on any other abhorrent ground, it takes a leap of faith to make the right connections between these and the behaviours of the police, and further still, the courage to expose it. This is a task that we are all challenged with if we value the aspiration of a free and democratic society.” — from the Foreword by Donald E. Worme, QC, IPC.





The Politics of Restorative Justice: A Critical Introduction

Andrew Woolford (Fernwood Publishing, 2009)

This book invites the reader to reconsider restorative justice and its politics. Through an examination of restorative themes, theories and practices, three distinct ways in which politics affect restorative justice are explored. First, restorative justice is situated in a context in which political actors, as well as structural forces, either enable or obstruct its practice. Second, restorative justice is understood as a contributor to political power in that its practice helps govern individual and collective behaviour. Finally, restorative justice is described as a social movement requiring an enabling politics that will allow it to promote a justice that does more than affirm the status quo – it must aspire toward a transformative politics concerned with class-based, gendered, racialized and other injustices.