The Geography of Penal Labour: Some Thoughts on Penal Politics in Canada and the U.S.


Philip Goodman
Assistant Professor of Sociology,
University of Toronto


Jordan House
Graduate Program in Political Science
York University

Thursday November 17
Ross S802, York University

This talk explores some early thoughts on comparing penal labour and penal politics in Canada and the United States. In particular, after summarizing some of the main findings from two research projects – one on prison fire camps in California, and the other on the socio-politics surrounding the closure of federal prison farms in Canada – several provisional themes and questions that can help analyze and critique penal labour across the U.S. and Canada will be developed.

Philip Goodman is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Affiliated Faculty of the Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies at the University of Toronto. His research focuses primarily on punishment, prisons, race, and the history of penal change. This scholarship has been published in the American Journal of Sociology, British Journal of Criminology, Canadian Journal of Law and Society, Law & Society Review, Social Problems, Theoretical Criminology, and Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society.

Jordan House is a PhD student in the Graduate Program in Political Science at York University. He holds an Honours BA and MA in Political Science from the University of New Brunswick. His research interests include the politics of prison, policing and state repression; the political economy of prison and prison labour; and labour movement renewal and strategy. His doctoral dissertation looks at prisoner labour organizing in the United States and Canada.

Refreshments will be served. All are welcome.

The event is co-sponsored by York University’s Departments of Geography, Political Science, and Social Science.

Event poster (PDF)

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Audio | Philip Goodman


Audio | Jordan House