Director's Welcome | CrimSL News September 2021

A message from CrimSL Director Audrey Macklin:

Photo of Audrey MacklinI have spent most of my life living according to the academic calendar: The new year begins not in January but in September; sometime in May, I downshift to another phase of the cycle until September approaches again. But since March 2020, I have measured time differently. There is BC (Before COVID) and CT (COVID Time). Thankfully, this September, with the return to in-person classes, feels like more like a resumption of the cycle I know and miss, and makes me feel like AC (After COVID) is within sight.

Life at CrimSL has continued, of course, and we have much to report over the last year and a half. Here are a few of the many reasons to celebrate: We welcomed two new colleagues—Dr. Kamari Clarke and Dr. Mary Mitchell. We also welcomed our new undergraduate administrator, Beatrix Doma, as well as our library technician, Chloe Chaitov. We said a fond farewell to our post-doc Ana Ballasteros Pena, and hello to our new post-docs, Kelsi Barkway, Ayo Akenroye, Trevor Wideman, newly-arrived Fahad Ahmed and soon-to-arrive Jennifer Peirce. Fernando Avila and Jime welcomed their son, Tomas; Valentin Pereda Aguada and Anne welcomed their daughter Camila, Andrea Sterling and David welcomed their son Dante, and we eagerly await the arrival of the newest member of Catherine Evans and Padraic Scanlan’s family. Adam Ellis, Julius Haag and Valentin completed their doctorates, Jacquie Briggs and Grace Tran are begining post-docs at U Ottawa and Cornell respectively, Grant Valentine has taken a position at Okanagan College, Erick Laming has begun an Assistant Professor position in the Department of Sociology at Trent, and our doctoral students continued to make important contributions in their scholarship, and to engage in innovative public-facing work. You can read more about their achievements, and those of our colleagues, in the newsletter.

Our John Ll. J. Edwards lecturer, Prof. Boaventura de Sousa Santos, delivered a wonderful presentation (online) entitled ‘Post-Pandemic Scenarios: A view from the perspective of the epistemologies of the South.’ Thanks to Tony and Rosemary, Criminological Highlights has continued publication uninterrupted, to the delight of thousands of readers around the world.

Along with the pandemic, we have also found ourselves implicated in, confronted by, and working through injustices and crises in our communities and beyond. These include myriad forms of discrimination, such as anti-Black racism, anti-Indigenous racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, the Palestine exception, and anti-Asian racism, as well as the chronic hardship suffered by economically disadvantaged members of our society. As scholars and students, we at CrimSL play a role in investigating, understanding and reforming legal and institutional structures that perpetuate and exacerbate inequality. As members of an academic community, we strive to fulfill our personal and institutional responsibilities to create and sustain a culture of respect and belonging.

This past year, CrimSL also hosted an exciting, publicly accessible series on criminological and sociolegal dimensions of race and inequality in Canada and elsewhere under the theme of ‘Critical Perspectives on Justice and Inequality.’ In March 2021, CrimSL initiated the creation of a Research Cluster for the Study of Racism and Inequality. This Research Cluster aims to build knowledge about the historical and ongoing legacies of racism, colonialism, gendered and sexual violence, exclusion and other forms of structural inequality by providing a graduate student focused research platform for interrogating the roots of social disenfranchisement.

I hope this brief (and partial) review gives you a sense of CrimSL’s vibrancy during a challenging time. I want to extend a special thanks to Scot Wortley, who took over as Acting Director of CrimSL from January–June 2021. His fine leadership was valued and appreciated by all of us. And I also wish to express gratitude to our terrific communications coordinator, Cate MacLeod, who accepted a position at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, begining in October. We will miss you, Cate! To all our staff—Zora, Jessica, Lori, Beatrix, Chloe and Cate—who have worked tirelessly to keep CrimSL running smoothly over these many months, a special thanks.  

As we gradually re-occupy our offices, I look forward to greeting everyone in person soon. For those who are already part of CrimSL, I hope that this community has been a source of support and camaraderie as we moved through this tough period. For those who are new to CrimSL, I know that you will discover an intellectually stimulating, engaging, friendly and lively place. Welcome, and welcome back!

Next story: New Faces

Return to the CrimSL News September 2021 table of contents