Core Course Offerings

1000-Level Courses

AP/CRIM 1650 6.00 Introduction to Criminology (Required)

This course provides students with a general introduction to the field of criminology. Recognizing that “crime” and “criminal justice” are social products rather than objective facts, and acknowledging the various tensions between the image and the reality of crime and criminal justice in our society, the course examines three key topic areas including: (1) the definition, measurement, and causes of criminal behaviour, (2) the effects of gender, age, class, and race on rates and perceptions of crime and the administration of criminal justice, (3) morality offenses such as drug use, prostitution, and corporate and white-collar crime, and (4) the impact of the media and the political process on representations of crime and the design of criminal justice policies. By challenging these claims and exposing the myths that underlie them, the course will lay the groundwork for a more sophisticated approach to the “crime problem” in Canada.

Note: Students must achieve a grade of at least B (6.0) in this course in order to be permitted to continue as a major in criminology, or to pursue additional criminology courses at the 2000, 3000 and 4000 levels.

Prerequisite: Open to criminology majors only.

2000-Level Courses

AP/CRIM 2650 6.00 Theories of Criminology (Required)

This course introduces students to the different theoretical approaches and traditions that underlie criminology. Classical, biological, psychological, and sociological theories of crime are compared and contrasted as are more contemporary theories including symbolic interactionism, postmodernism, and critical criminology. The course also examines the connections between theories of crime and the design and implementation of different crime prevention programs and criminal justice policies.

Prerequisite: AP/CRIM 1650 6.00 with a grade of at least B (6.0).

AP/CRIM 2652 6.00 Criminal Justice System (Required)

This course is designed to introduce students to the stages of the Canadian criminal justice system, and to selected issues and debates in the administration of justice. Drawing on criminological, sociological and historical resources, the course examines the key stages in the criminal justice process, from how crime is defined to how it is dealt with by the police, the courts, and correctional institutions.

AP/CRIM 2653 6.00 Research Methods in Criminology (Required)

This course introduces students to the methods commonly employed in criminological research. These include: surveys and questionnaires; field studies and ethnographic research; interviews; archival research; and documentary and textual analysis. The strengths and limitations of each of these methods are considered along with essential questions such as how to design and execute a research project and deal with issues such as research ethics and the analysis and reporting of research findings.

Prerequisite: AP/CRIM 1650 6.00 with a grade of at least B (6.0).

3000-Level Courses

Students are required to take any four of these courses for a total of 12 credits.

AP/CRIM 3652 3.00 Ethnographies of Crime and Policing

This course reviews the application of the ethnographic method to the study of crime and policing from the mid-20th century to the present. The course is designed to provide students with an understanding of: (1) the method and practice of ethnography; (2) ethical and political issues that arise as a result of, or during, such research; (3) theoretical explanations of crime and policing that have been developed on the basis of ethnographic study; and (4) the changes in crime and policing over time as revealed by this research tradition.

AP/CRIM 3654 3.00 The Politics of Crime Prevention

This course considers the politics at stake in the crime prevention enterprise. A number of specific crime prevention and security initiatives will be examined with a view to exposing their political foundations. These include: situational crime prevention; crime prevention through environmental design; neighbourhood watch; “broken windows” policing; crime prevention through community development; and social crime prevention. Attention will also be devoted to key challenges surrounding the crime prevention enterprise ranging from implementation, to evaluation, to funding.

AP/CRIM 3655 3.00 Policing

This course explores questions and debates about the relationships between policing, regulation and contested meanings of order. Centrally, the course explores the relationships between state-based policing, policing-at-a-distance, emerging community practices and private regulatory initiatives to ask what it means to talk about policing in a neoliberal risk society. Topics of discussion may include plural policing, risk management, zero tolerance policing, home surveillance, CCTV and the regulation of financial markets. Students can expect to become familiar with a range of criminological debates about policing in Canada as well as with a variety of policing strategies that emanate from diverse sites and locales.

AP/CRIM 3656 3.00 Punishment

This course examines theory and research on punishment. Notwithstanding the emergence of alternative visions of justice in western industrialized nations, when we think of punishment we tend to think of prisons. The nexus between prisons and punishment is remarkably resilient. The course will examine the prison-punishment nexus through critical engagement with a range of interdisciplinary empirical and theoretical literatures. Integral to any understanding of the way we punish is an understanding of the underlying assumptions relating to why we punish, how we punish, and how systems of punishment change over time and place. It is these broader analytical questions that frame this part of the course. Using this backdrop, the course will examine the emergence of alternative forms of justice which unsettle the prison-punishment nexus including community measures, restorative justice approaches, and abolitionism.

CRIM 3657 3.00 Youth Crime

This course examines the problem of “youth crime” as it has been defined over time and across different national jurisdictions. It focuses on a series of key topics including: (1) the social construction of “youth crime” in both historical and contemporary contexts; (2) the historical emergence of the “juvenile delinquent” and “young offender;” (3) classical and contemporary theories of youth offending; (4) the strengths and limitations of youth justice legislation; and (5) alternatives to the youth justice system ranging from boot camps and scared straight to counseling and restorative justice.

CRIM 3658 3.00 Crime, Science, and Technology

This course examines how science and technology have altered the terrain of criminology and criminal justice. It focuses not only on the ways in which criminology has been constructed as a science, but also the ways in which technology has created new crimes, new forms of identity (e.g. data doubles), and new spaces that need to be policed (e.g. cyberspace). Students will critically examine the connections between science and technology on the one hand, and crime, criminality and criminal justice on the other. Using key themes from Science and Technology Studies, the course encourages students to think about the processes through which certain forms of knowledge and practice gain the status of ‘scientific fact’ within criminal justice and come to be perceived as uncontested ‘truths.’ Students are also introduced to the concept of ‘risk society’ whereby crime has been translated into the scientific, probabilistic language of risk. Topics in the course include fingerprinting, DNA testing, biometrics, surveillance technologies, the regulation of mobilities, the use of robots, and cybercrime.

4000-Level Courses

Students are required to take one 4000-level course from the list below. Students may also take a second 4000-level course in fulfillment of their “extended list” requirement. All 4000-level courses are structured as three hour seminars with a maximum of 25 students. Access to 4000-level courses is restricted to fourth year Criminology majors (i.e. a minimum of 84 credits).

AP/CRIM 4650 6.00 Criminology Honours Seminar

This course engages in an in-depth analysis of a particular topic or theme relevant to criminology. The focus of the course will vary from year to year depending upon student and faculty interest.

AP/CRIM 4652 6.00 Contemporary Issues in Criminology

This seminar course provides an advanced discussion of a particular issue in the field of crime and criminal justice. The focus of the course will vary from year to year depending upon student and faculty interest.

AP/CRIM 4653 6.00 Transnational and Comparative Criminology

Crime is increasingly understood as a global phenomenon and has come to assume a number of different forms across a range of national as well as transnational contexts. These transformations have posed a series of distinct challenges to criminology with respect to the very nature of ‘globalization’ and what it means to think about crime, policing, and governance in not only a ‘global’ but also a ‘local’ context. This includes questions relating to the implications of globalization for the evolution of traditional forms of criminality (e.g. drug trafficking), the creation of new opportunity structures, and the emergence of new crime types (e.g. transnational bribery and corruption; and the trade in counterfeit goods). There are also important differences in the ways that international, national, and regional bodies respond to crime and address the challenges of policing, regulation, and governance. This course introduces students to transnational and comparative criminology as two vital strands of inquiry that are essential to understanding these shifting forms, definitions, explanations, and responses to crime in a global context. It considers a range of issues that go under the headings ‘transnational’ and ’comparative’ criminology and examines the difference between the two. It is divided into four segments. The first examines various methodological perspectives that arise from research on transnational and comparative criminology including the use of cross-national comparative study as a unique conceptual and methodological tool. In the second section criminology will be looked at from a variety of regional perspectives, those regions being Europe, the Americas, and The Antipodes. The third examines a different set of regional perspectives, those being Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The final section explores transnational crime issues and control responses including the distinct challenges associated with the policing, regulation, and governance of crime at the ‘transnational,’ ‘national,’ and ‘regional’ level.

AP/CRIM 4654 6.00 Representing Crime

Contemporary culture’s preoccupation with the detection and punishment of crime and criminals extends beyond the criminal justice system and into popular culture. Academic criminological work has informed us of the realities of crime and criminal justice, but this research has not penetrated into the popular imagination to the same extent as certain non-academic representations of crime and justice. While cultural constructions of crime, disorder, dangerousness and risk are integral parts of the criminal justice process, often provoking fear and inspiring strategies of control and prevention, they also entertain. Bearing in mind that entertaining representations also implicitly inform the public, this course examines the following questions: how do we imagine ‘crime’ and ‘criminal,’ and what effects do these images have? How do these images implicitly encapsulate representations of a particular law, order, and authority? What types of knowledge are assumed by imagining crime and/or law in such a way? This course offers a number of analytical tools developed within cultural studies, social semiotics, media studies, and sociology to answer these questions. Most criminological work has focused on crime-related representations in the news media, emphasizing that they are misleading and/or inaccurate. In contrast, this seminar course asks students to critically analyze visual, textual and physical representations of crime and law-and-order for more than their ‘accuracy’ and representativeness of reality. Instead, this course explores the techniques used to construct the ‘criminal,’ authority and audience positions, and how these techniques travel across different media, ranging from factual reports to fictional accounts, and from official representations to Hollywood filmic representations of law and order. Students are asked to reflect upon the following four key themes through their course assignments: (1) What kinds of social effects do representations elicit? Here, students explore various theories about media effects and audience reception. (2) How is crime represented? Using semiotics, students examine how representations of crime and law are structured along binary lines in Western culture. (3) Following the use of semiotics and its binary logic of representation, students discuss the mutual constitution of criminal/crime and law enforcement/law. (4) Lastly, students analyze the interplay between fact and fiction across various kinds of representations (e.g. films, TV programs, statues, news items, lawyer jokes, policy reports, etc.), and the ways in which both contribute to the criminological imagination.

AP/CRIM 4655 6.00 Cultures of Violence

This course examines microsocial and macrosocial forms of violence. The course explores how violence operates as a form of social control rather than as a psychological impulse or biological drive. Myths and misconceptions about violence are measured against criminological, cultural and sociological theories of violence. The course examines numerous manifestations of violence including: theories of violence, violent crime, state violence, patriarchal violence and the cultural underpinnings of violence. The course analyzes violence based on four main thematic sections: (1) the origins of violence; (2) criminal violence; and (3) the relationship between competition, conflict and the normalization of violence; and (4) war.

AP/CRIM 4656 6.00 Gender and Crime

This course examines the relationship between gender, crime, and the criminal justice system. Drawing on feminist, historical, criminological, and socio-legal scholarship, the course examines the ways in which gender affects patterns of offending, victimization and imprisonment. Attention is devoted to the intersections between gender, race, class, and sexuality and to the ways that these affect the treatment of women inside and outside the criminal justice system. Particular emphasis is placed on the links between inequality and criminalization. Topics include media representations of women and crime, violence, sex work, drugs, prison, and criminal justice reform. Students are expected to have a familiarity with the workings of the criminal justice system.

AP/CRIM 4657 6.00 Crime and the Corporation

 The Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The sub-prime mortgage crisis. Silicone breast implants. Deteriorating food quality. These are all examples of harmful practices associated with the activities of modern corporations. However, rather than crimes, these harms are usually treated as regulatory, administrative, or ethical breaches, or simply as the costs of doing business, and are thus subject to limited media coverage, public awareness, and legal sanction. This course engages with exactly this tension between the seriousness of corporate harm on the one hand, and the limited societal, legal, and regulatory responses on the other, while exploring four key themes. First, attention is devoted to the question of whether it is even appropriate to define corporate harms as ‘crimes’ and thus include them under the umbrella of ‘criminology.’ Second, the course examines the challenges associated with identifying and documenting these harmful practices and defining them as legitimate legal violations, a challenge of knowledge or knowledgeability rooted in the intersections between law, science, and the media. A third theme is how to account for these practices. While many mainstream, and some academic, accounts focus on notions of individual or systemic greed, the focus is on how these practices are rooted in larger organizational, social, political, and economic contexts ranging from neo-liberalism, to modes of production and consumption, to the forms of governance to which we are all subject on a daily basis. Finally, we will survey different policy responses including public regulation, self-regulation, and consumer campaigns. Each of these themes are examined in reference to four different types of corporate harm: (1) harms against the market; (2) harms against consumers; (3) harms against workers; and (4) harms against the environment. This thus course seeks to challenge the very boundaries of criminology and to examine the merits of expanding the field to include contributions from other disciplines and areas of research while at the same time providing a very different view of the links between law, crime, and power.

 AP/CRIM 4658 6.00 Law, Crime and Borders

From forced sterilization and settler violence to drug laws and mass internment to refugee policies, border policing, detention and deportation, the domains of border governance and criminal justice in Canada intersect in a variety of important, historically specific ways. These intersections can be found at the levels of discourse (‘the criminal foreigner’), material technologies (carceral confinement, bodily violence and expulsion, surveillance technologies) and the specifics of immigration and criminal law and policy. In recent years, the intersections between the domains of immigration enforcement and criminal justice have become particularly pronounced. This course extends the traditional boundaries of criminology to closely examine these intersections of law, crime and borders from the early days of Canadian nation building through to the present. The course is broadly organized around the three major preoccupations that have guided these processes: ‘national purity’, ‘national security’ and ‘criminality.’ Throughout, students engage in in-depth, critical examination of scholarship further guided by a number of prominent conceptual themes including bordering, power, liberalism, discretion, risk, the role of law. Topics to be explored include: nation-building; settler violence, national security; the war on terror; border control, detention and deportation, refuge and rejection and global mobilities.

AP/CRIM 4659 6.00 Indigenous Peoples, Crime, and Criminal Justice

 For many years, indigenous peoples have been over-criminalized and over-incarcerated in the Canadian criminal justice system. Indigenous peoples constitute approximately 20-25% of the male federal inmate population, and 30% of the federal female inmate population, and the numbers are even higher in many provincial institutions. In addition, fully half of all the children currently in the child welfare system nationally are of indigenous decent. This course employs theoretical positions from criminology, post- colonial studies, native studies, history, political science, law, and sociology to explore the reasons for the perpetuation of this crisis. The course engages with several major themes relating to indigeneity and criminal law with a particular focus on the causes of the incarceration of indigenous peoples. These include: (1) colonialism by law including the application of the “Doctrine of Discovery” and the law of terra nullius in Canada; (2) the criminalization of indigenous identities and cultural practices; (3) issues involving government policy including the failure of the Crown to uphold its fiduciary duty towards indigenous peoples and the rise of various forms of indigenous protest and government and police responses; and (4) the causes of crime in and among indigenous communities in Canada. The course also explores proposed “culturally sensitive” solutions to some of the systemic problems that have arisen with regard to indigenous groups and the criminal justice system. In Canada, these efforts have largely been confined to indigenous police services within reserves or across treaty areas and the implementation of “Gladue Courts.” Students evaluate the successes and failures of these institutions, and explore alternatives such as the “tribal court” systems used in some U.S. jurisdictions. Finally, the course concludes with several segments on the usefulness of methods of Restorative Justice as an alternative to incarceration for indigenous offenders. Emphasis is placed on restorative justice in theory and in practice, and its potential as well as its limitations as a solution to indigenous over-incarceration in Canada.

AP/CRIM 4660 6.00 Criminalization of Dissent

What does the criminalization of dissent tell us about the social, political and economic relations of the Canadian state in the context of neoliberalism and interlocking systems of capitalism, colonialism, patriarchy and racism? This seminar interrogates the politics of criminalization processes through a focus on the relationship between the state and political contention in Canada. The seminar surveys different social movements and forms of resistance ranging from indigenous struggles and protests to anti- globalization movements. Adopting a critical criminological perspective and drawing on the contributions of critical race scholars, indigenous scholars, Marxists, Foucauldian, and governmentality scholars, the course examines how those engaged in social movements and forms of resistance are constructed and represented in the political, legal, and cultural realms as threats. How are these constructions of threat informed by, and how do they reproduce, colonial, racialized, patriarchal and class-based relations of power? What are the material implications for how these ‘threats’ are dealt with by the state? How do constructions/representations, and responses to them, (re)produce the Canadian state and national identity through discourses of belonging, citizenship and rights? Central to our inquiry is an analysis of the historical role that law in various forms (e.g. criminal, constitutional, civil rights, property), and practices of law enforcement, governance and control, play in the management of dissent. The course draws on a definition of dissent that goes well beyond street-level protests to include everyday practices that challenge the imposition of dominant/hegemonic forms of order and control. The relationship between dissent and criminalization is understood as an ongoing power dynamic or struggle in which the state – through its institutions and dominant ideologies – has a central role.