Sabeen Kazmi

PhD Candidate

Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

  • Critical Race Studies
  • Post-Colonial/Subaltern Studies
  • Urban Development; Security Studies
  • Decolonization
  • Area Studies: South Asia
  • Non-Permanent Settlements
  • Property Law and Land Rights

Working Dissertation


"‘Drawing’ Out the Threads of Property, Colonial Law, and Inequality Through the Prism of Non-Permanence and In-Security in Storytelling"


Professor Beatrice Jauregui


I am a Critical Race and Postcolonial Legal scholar currently pursuing my combined PhD in Criminology and Sociolegal Studies with a specialization in South Asian Studies at the University of Toronto.  

My doctoral research, "‘Drawing’ Out the Threads of Property, Colonial Law, and Inequality Through the Prism of Non-Permanence and In-Security in Storytelling," drawing on narrative-storytelling and art based methodological approach to research, my work uses art and storytelling to draw out the intricacies of colonial property law and land rights in Karachi. My focus is on the marginalized muhajir communities (internally displaced refugees), offering fresh perspectives on post-colonial Pakistan's social and legal dynamics.

Prior to pursuing my doctoral research, my Master’s research focused on the experiences of Canadian-Muslim Women and their access to justice within the Canadian legal system.

In the classroom, I bring my passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to life. As a Course Director, I've designed advanced courses in Law, Society, focusing on race, ethnicity, indigenity and post-colonial legal systems, fostering inclusive discussions and engaging students in vital dialogues. I've also been a dedicated Teacher's Assistant, ensuring that courses on subjects like Indigenous People and Criminal Justice; Youth Justice, Race; Ethnicity and Crime; Punishment and Human Rights and Security among others to promote transformative learning.  Beyond research, my commitment to social justice is unwavering. I've volunteered extensively and these experiences underscore my dedication to creating a fairer world. My involvement in social justice transcends the streets into academic spaces, with roles such as a Re-Elected Board Member of the University of Toronto's Race and Inequality Research Cluster. I've advocated for inclusive admissions, crafted resources for marginalized students, and worked tirelessly to shape a more equitable future. I was also a co-organizer of a graduate student conference entitled “Transformative Justice within Academia.”

Selected Publications

Book Chapter. Kazmi, Sabeen (2023) ‘Colonial Legal Continuities in Post-Colonial Pakistan: A look at the construction of law, ownership and crime’ in Criminal Legalities and minorities in the Global South: Rights and Resistances in a Decolonial World, edited by George Radics and Pablo Ciocchi, Pelgrave Press.

Co-authored: Rahman, Karimah and Kazmi, Sabeen  (2023) ‘Decolonizing Self-Reflexivity Social Location and Positionality: Situating Racialized Personhood within the Question of Decolonizing Knowledge Production in Critical Policy Studies’ in Critical Policy Studies.


MA (Socio-Legal Studies), York University
BA Hons. (Social Psychology & Political Science), McMaster University


Presenter: Law and Society Association (2023)
Presenter: Works in Progress at the Centre for Transnational Diaspora (2023)
Presenter: Global Law and Policy Association Summer Academy (2022)
“Decolonizing Self-Reflexivity and Positionality: Situating Racialized Personhood within the Question of Decolonizing Knowledge Production” Co presenter: Karimah Rahman International Policy Conference in Montreal: Concordia University (2019)
“Decolonizing Security and Development Discourse: A Case Study of Karachi’s Qayyumabad” Law Society Association, Washington D.C (2019)
““Be”-Longing: For My Ancestral Land” CONGRESS, University of British Columbia (2019)
“Muslim Women, Resistance and the Law” CONGRESS, Ryerson University (2016)
“Legal Institutions as spaces of inclusion and exclusion: anti-Muslim rhetorics in court decisions” Presenter: Socio-Legal Symposium, York University (2016)
“Transforming Teaching and Learning Environments to Increase Inclusion” Co-Presenter: Accessibility Symposium, McMaster University (2014)

Administrative Service

Board Member, Race and Inequality Research Cluster, University of Toronto, June 2021
Conference Committee Member, University of Toronto, Nov. 2020-Mar. 2021 Orchestrated the “Transformative Justice within Academia” conference, overseeing themes, speakers, and logistics.