Social Sciences - Social Justice and Equity Studies


SJES Alumni Rachel Dietrich receives inaugural Social Sciences Award for Writing


Social Justice and Equity Studies M.A. Information Session - October 24, 2014


SJES Student Kate Paterson Featured in the National Post


Congratulations to the following SJES students on their internal and external scholarships and awards:

 SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships:

 Sarah Mann, “Online university employees’ responses to student disclosures of victimization”
Cara Nightingale, “Racial Segregation, Social Housing, and Othering in Canada”
Kathryn Paterson, “Hungry for a hero?: Gender performativity and teen girls’ responses to female heroism”


Distinguished Graduating Student Award:

Jade Wallace (Spring 2013)

 Menelik Girma (Spring 2014)

 Jack M. Miller Excellence in Research Awards
Laurie Sherry-Kirk

 Youth University Research Prizes
Promoting access to Post-Secondary Education:

Kathryn Paterson









Security, Surveillance, and Migration Speaker Series


March 5, 2014 - 5:00pm - 6:30pm


"Island Detentions: Migration and Asylum in the Enforcement Archipelago"

Presenter: Dr. Alison Mountz, Canada Research Chair in Global Migration, Wilfrid Laurier University

All are welcome to attend.

Co-sponsored by:

Funding support from the Council for Research in the Social Sciences, FOSS, Brock University.

Location of your event: 
Academic South 217


Social Justice alumni speak about their careers at tonight's Research Cafe (November 19, 2013, Pond Inlet) 
Read the story here.


Security, Surveillance, and Migration Speaker Series ~ How Do We Come To Accept That Torture Is OK? The Case of Omar Khadr

Dr. Sherene Razack, Professor
Humanities, Social Sciences, Social Justice Education, University of Toronto
Friday Oct. 4th 2:00-3:30
Academic South 216
Upcoming speakers:
Evelyn Encalada Grez, Justicia for Migrant Workers, Nov 22nd  
11:00-12:30, TH 246
Dr. Peter Nyers, Political Science, McMaster University
Dr. Alison Mountz, Canada Research Chair in Global Migration, Wilfrid  
Laurier University, March 5, 2014 5:00-6:30, AS 217
Co-sponsored by Dept. of Sociology, Centre for Women's and Gender  
Studies, MA in Social Justice and Equity Studies. Funding support from the Council  
for Research in the Social Sciences, FOSS, Brock University
Sherene Razack Bio:
Sherene Razack  is a full professor in the Department of  Humanities,  
Social Sciences and Social Justice Education, the Ontario Institute  
for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. Her research  
and teaching interests lie in the area of race and gender issues in  
the law.  Her courses include: "Race, Space and Citizenship;" "Race and  
Knowledge Production" and "Racial Violence and the Law."  Her most  
recent book is an edited collection with Malinda Smith and Sunera  
Thobani entitled States of Race: Critical Race Feminism for the 21st  
Century (Toronto: Between the Lines, 2010). She has also published  
Casting Out: The Eviction of Muslims From Western Law and Politics.  
(University of Toronto Press, 2008),  Dark Threats and White Knights:  
The Somalia Affair, Peacekeeping and the New Imperialism (University  
of Toronto Press,  2004),  an edited collection Race, Space and the  
Law: Unmapping A White Settler Society (Toronto: Between the Lines,  
2002), Looking White People in the Eye: Gender, Race, and Culture in  
Courtrooms and Classrooms (Toronto: University of Toronto Press,  
1998,1999, 2000) and Canadian Feminism and the Law: The Women's Legal  
and Education Fund and the Pursuit of Equality (Toronto: Second Story  
Press, 1991).  Dr. Razack is a founding member of the feminist and  
anti-racist network of scholars Researchers and Academics of Colour  
for Equality (R.A.C.E.)



Prof. Dan Malleck recently recieved a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) grant to research factors that influenced Canada's drug laws.
Most laws are created to shape social behavior and drug laws are no different.
Brock Prof. Dan Malleck wants to know what factors influenced the creation of restrictive drug policy in Canada.
His research project “Baneful influences: The origin of drug control in Canada, 1800-1911,” recently received an Insight Grant worth $79,470 over three years from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) to help him find out.
The Insight program supports excellence in scholarship to advance the collective understanding of individual and societal challenges.
“There is not much research looking at the period before Canada’s federal drug laws were passed,” says Malleck, associate professor in Community Health Sciences.
As a doctoral student in the 90s, Malleck explored the origins of drug laws in the 19th century. His research at the time focused on the development first of provincial then federal drug restriction, but only in Eastern Canada.
With the grant, he can now look at all off Canada identify the country’s complex regionalism.
“The very idea that drugs are bad has social and cultural origins just like the laws do,” Malleck explains. “In my research I explore how we got to the point in Canada where we thought some drugs were so dangerous that federal legislation had to severely limit their use. At the time (the laws were created), such restriction was very rare.
“It helps us to understand what people believe today about the morality of drug use.”
One of the unique aspects of this project is the development of a historical prescription database. Using prescription records of Canadian pharmacies from the mid-19th to early 20th centuries, Malleck hopes to gain insight into the prescribing patterns of doctors and understand how policy change affected them and their patients.
“A law like the Opium Act of 1908 may have caused doctors to change the type of drugs they prescribed” Malleck explains. “Conversely, it may also have driven formerly recreational opium users to seek help from physicians.”
Malleck hopes that this research will enable us to understand not only the social factors affecting drug policy in the past, but also shed light on the cultural and social factors that drive restrictive drug policies today.
“Our ideas about drugs are rooted in the past,” Malleck says. “But those ideas, some of which are simply incorrect, shape current drug policy.”
Understanding this process can help to shape better drug laws in the future, he adds.


Fight the Cut to Community Start Up

Raise OW/ODSP Rates Now!

Town Hall Meeting

to plan action and advocacy in the Region and to the Province


Start Me Up Niagara

17 Gale Crescent

Oct. 16th 4 – 6 pm

Food and child care provided. 

75% of Niagara CSUMB (Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit) recipients used the benefit for basic housing needs like rent and utilities. Other uses include fleeing domestic violence or recovering from bedbug infestations. (Report to Public Health and Social Services, September 4) 

Tell your story. Make your voice heard.Act Now to Save Housing Supports for People on OW and ODSP!

The Community Start-up and Maintenance Benefit is being cut.

The Community Start-up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB) is important because:

  • It assists people on social assistance – people who rely on OW or ODSP are among the most vulnerable in Ontario.
  • It provides people with the direct assistance they need to retain their housing and prevent homelessness – it can help them pay their rent or utility arrears, or help them move to safer or more secure housing.
  • It is a mandatory benefit – people who are denied are able to appeal the decision. This oversight ensures a measure of fairness for Ontarians with low-income and protects them from arbitrary decisions.

These critically important aspects of CSUMB will be eliminated  in January 2013. That's when the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing will transfer  half of current CSUMB funds to municipalities for local housing and homelessness programs, which are meant to serve an even larger pool of low-income people. The other half will be eliminated from social assistance altogether. CSUMB will cease to exist as of January 2013. (Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario)

For more information:


Labour Studies Speakers Series 
The labour studies political economy speaker series has its second event today.  We are proud to present Stephen McBride, who will be giving a talk, "labour in a cold climate," today, October 9, 2012 at 3:30pm in PL 600.  We hope to see you there.

Stephen McBride is the Canada Research Chair in Public Policy and Globalization and professor of political science at McMaster University. He is the author of Not Working: State, Unemployment and Neo-conservatism in Canada (1992) which won the 1994 Smiley prize, and Paradigm Shift: Globalization and the Canadian State (2001; 2nd edition 2005). He is the co-author of Dismantling a Nation: Canada and the New World Order (1993; 2nd edition 1997) and of Private Affluence, Public Austerity: Economic Crisis and Democratic Malaise in Canada (2011). His current research is focussed on the impact of globalization on the state, and the political economy of labour and the welfare state.



Intersectional Feminist Theory & Activism Speakers Series
Gender and the Criminalization of Indigenous people
Keynote Speaker // Christa Big Canoe
Location: TH 247
Date: Thursday October 11th 2012
Time: 5-7pm

Sponsored by: The Centre for Women?s and Gender Studies; the MA Social  
Justice and Equity Studies; Aboriginal Student Services
Supported by Funding From the Council of Research in Social Sciences,  
FOSS, Brock University


Political Science Speaker's Series
The first talk in the labour studies / political economy speaker series will be this Thursday (September 27th), at 2:30pm in the Sankey Chambers. Justin Paulson, from Carleton University, will deliver a talk entitled "Why Do Movements Decline?" All are welcome to attend - light refreshments will be served. Please consider attending, and feel free to distribute this reminder widely.
Justin Paulson teaches in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Institute of Political Economy at Carleton University. His research and teaching focus on questions of Marxian critical theory, social movements, and political economy. This talk stems from his ongoing project surrounding the relationship between radical imagination and social movement development and strategy. He also is also researching neoliberal urbanism in Canada and the uneven reification of capital. Justin has written for such journals as The Socialist Register, Affinities, and Cultural Logic, and is on the editorial boards of Studies in Political Economy, Mediations, and Red Quill Books.


The second seminar in the Society for Philosophy & Culture and
Institute on Globalization & the Human Condition
2012/13 "Crossing Borders" speaker series is coming up on Friday October the 5th at
McMaster University.
"Haunting Sovereignties: the Border as Enforcement Archipelago" by Alison Mountz (Wilfrid Laurier University, Geography and Environmental Sciences)
Responses by Jane Helleiner (Brock University, Sociology) and Peter
Nyers (McMaster University, Political Science)
Friday 5th October, 3:30pm in Chester New Hall (CNH) 607B. McMaster University
In order to map what many scholars have called the "securitisation of migration," it is essential to begin with the border. Once conceived of as a line drawn by cartographers, the border has undergone dramatic spatial and conceptual transformations. It is transnational, fragmented, biometric, intimate, privatised, contracted out, policed onshore and offshore, haunting. Local enforcement officials internal to sovereign territory take up the work of border enforcement and federal authorities travel abroad to police borders in foreign territory. These vertiginous spatial logics repeat themselves time and again.
This talk maps these largely hidden geographies to show how sovereign powers haunt migrants through the displacement and relocation of the border. States increasingly invest in intimacies of daily life,
exercising biopolitical power through the simultaneous integration of information about the body and isolation of those very bodies through remote practices of interception and detention. The border is reconstituted through this fragmentation.


Sovereign power at once fails and is reconfigured through the performative work of enforcement that plays on what is hypervisible and what is left unseen. Through the blurring of on and offshore, inside and out, intimate knowledge and publicly securitised agendas, haunting sovereignties extend outward like tentacles, moving the border to intercepted bodies, carrying out detention in ambiguous places between states through "third parties." This haunting continues even as those forces made invisible continually reappear, their absence ever-present.John Sorenson will be presenting a talk, as part of the Labour Studies Political Economy Speakers Series, on the Political Economy of Animal Rights. The talk is from 2:30 to 4:00, this Tuesday (March 20th), in the Sankey Chambers. Light refreshments will be served.


John Sorenson is professor and chair of sociology at Brock University, where he teaches courses on critical animal studies, racism, and globalization. He is currently working on a SSHRC-funded project on various ways of representing animals. His previous books, stemming from research on war, nationalism, and refugees, include Culture of Prejudice: Arguments in Critical Social Science; Ghosts and Shadows: Construction of Identity and Community in an African Diaspora; Imagining Ethiopia: Struggles for History and Identity in the Horn of Africa; Disaster and Development in the Horn of Africa; and African Refugees. His most recent books, centering on animals, are Ape and About Canada – Animal Rights.

1812 Panel  

Indigenous Perspectives on the War of 1812: Alternative Histories and Artistic

Alan Corbiere, Ojibwe Cultural Foundation,
Shelly Niro, artist and curator
Carol Jacobs, Brock University Elder in residence
Moderated by Renée Bedard, Tecumseh Centre

PLUS the exhibit:
Four Artists from Six Nations, paintings & photographs by
Haudenosaunee artists

Friday, March 23rd, 3 - 5 pm | Niagara Artists Center | 354 St. Paul Street |

Sponsors: Social Justice and Equity Studies MA, History Department,
Aboriginal Education Council, Tecumseh Centre for Aboriginal Research
and Education, Aboriginal Student Services, Women's and Gender
Studies, Brock University, and the Niagara Artists Centre


Join us for the First Annual African Heritage Lecture Honourable Dr. Jean Augustine “Transcending Ghosts of the Past: The Future
of Black Political Engagement”

February 10, 2012, 1:00 pm
Sankey Chambers, McKenzie Chown A Block
Brock University

Opening Remarks by
Dr. Murray Knuttila,
Vice-President and Provost
Address by
Dr. Wilma Morrison
Presented by
Brock-Niagara African-Canadian Renaissance Group
Sponsored by
International Services, MA in SJES, OHRES, Sociology

Dr. June Corman & Dr. Ann Duffy
Wednesday February 15, 2012
10:00 a.m.‐12:00 p.m. Academic South 427

Personal Troubles, Public Issues: Rethinking the Personal‐Work Connection
We recently gave a presentation at an event hosted by the Niagara Workplace Planning Board. We
stressed that current economic realities (dramatic reductions in good jobs, rapid expansion of
marginalized and non-standard forms of employment) have negatively impacted many Canadian
workers. Managing a suitable work-life balance is becoming increasingly problematic. Even more
importantly, acquiring a secure job is extremely difficult in the Niagara Region. In discussing these
troublesome consequences of the new economy for individuals, families and communities, we
developed concrete suggestions for how to reconceptualize the work-life nexus through a more
cohesive approach to life and work. We suggested that employment support and services might be
effectively embedded in larger conversations about civic involvement and personal well-being. Our
talk for the speakers series summarizes this presentation and then reflects on what it means to do
“public sociology”.
Everyone Is Welcome
Snacks will be provided