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Funded by BCcampus

The Kwantlen Polytechnic University Criminology OER Working Group is in the process of developing the first Introduction to Canadian Criminology textbook as an Open Educational Resource. This book aims to build on the strengths and address the limitations of existing criminology texts, while providing a unique understanding of criminological theory through prioritizing Indigenous authorship and collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars.  While this is not an attempt at the monumental although necessary task of decolonizing criminology, we are asking authors to make efforts to connect Indigenous ways of knowing and being with criminological theory.  We are inviting authors of diverse identities, backgrounds and orientations from across the country to submit a proposal to contribute a chapter included in the table of contents below. 

The KPU Criminology OER group has been successful in securing funding to provide up to a $500 honorarium to all external authors for the completion of a chapter or contribution to a chapter. Authors are also invited to apply for funding opportunities at their respective institutions and/or through BC Campus Open Education. A draft chapter of the introduction shall be available in the coming weeks for review upon request, and some chapters are already underway (these are marked with an asterisk); proposals to collaborate on those chapters already underway will be considered. Please note that project coordinators Drs. Shereen Hassan and Dan Lett shall retain editorial control over this text. 

Part 1 – Crime and Society

  • Introduction & Definitions of What Criminology is *
    • At the outset, we want to talk about the decolonization of this, describe it as a process rather than an event, about why decolonizing and indigenizing the curriculum is crucial in our field, and describe this text as our best attempt at incorporating these ways of knowing.  
  • What is Crime?
    • Here we will explore how crime is defined and how our perceptions of crime are shaped.
  • How we Measure Crime
    • Included here will be a discussion of the UCR, GSS, and Self-report surveys.  This shall include a critical discussion of what does and does not get included in the official stats.
  • Types of Crime
    • Here we will outline some patterns of crime, as per the official stats and definitions, again reminding the reader of why we need to remain critical of these representations of the crime problem. This will include violent crime, property, public order, organized crime, etc.
  • Media & Internet *
    • Again a critical discussion of how the media shapes public perceptions of crime and also of victims. 
  • Victims and Victimology *
  • Restorative/Transformative justice *
    • This chapter will include a discussion of diverse philosophies of justice.

Part II – Theories of Crime** (including but not limited to the following):

  • Classical school
    • Biological *
    • Psychological *
    • Rational choice, deterrence, and routine activities *
    • Sociological theories
      • Chicago School/social disorganization *
      • Strain and anomie *
      • Social control *
      • Labelling theory *
      • Social learning & differential association *
  • Critical/Conflict/Radical criminology
    • Left realism
    • Critical race theory *
    • Feminist criminology
    • Green criminology
    • Postmodern/constitutive criminology
    • Cultural criminology *
    • Crimes of the powerful (white collar, corporate, state-corporate)

*   Indicates a chapter for which contributors have come forward.

** This typology of theories is a suggestion based on typical introductory text contents, but we welcome chapter proposals that combine, reorganize, or make additions to the topics given above. We are particularly open to revision resulting from consultation with and input from indigenous scholars and authors.

If you are interested in contributing to this publication, please let us know.  We would ask that you commit to submitting an abstract (200-300 words) and brief biography(s) (100-150 including institutional/organizational affiliation and position words) by September 30, 2020.  The anticipated chapter length is no longer than 4000 words, with completed chapters due by February 28, 2021.   

When submitting these documents, we ask you to consider and address the following questions your chapter:

  • Who are the original inhabitants of the land you occupy? 
  • Who are you and how does your positionality and privilege impact your understanding and articulation of the theory you are writing about?
  • What local Indigenous and non-Indigenous strength-based examples and initiatives and/or resources can you include in your chapter to help the reader understand the theory?
  • What stories or lived experiences can be used to highlight parts of the theory?
  • What critiques have been or can be raised by Indigenous scholars with respect to the theory?
  • What were the indigenous principles being developed at the same time as these traditional criminological theories? In what ways are the principles the same or different?
  • What discussion questions and/or assignments can be used to promote critical and decolonial thinking with respect to this theory? 

The chapter format shall be as follows:

  • Introduction
  • Learning Objectives
  • Content – organized with subheadings
  • Conclusion
  • Discussion Questions (4-6 questions)
  • Vocabulary
  • References

We hope you will consider being a part of this initiative as it will be a unique and timely contribution to the field of Criminology.  If you have any questions or if you would simply like to discuss the project prior to submitting a proposal, or if there is an area of expertise that you have that is not covered by the table of contents and you would like to propose an amendment, please do not hesitate to contact us.  

Please submit chapter proposals to no later than September 30, 2020.