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Kevin Walby

Kevin Walby Title: Professor
Phone: 204.786.9105
Office: 3C35B
Building: Centennial Hall
Email: k.walby@uwinnipeg.ca

PhD Carleton University



Kevin Walby is an Associate Professor and former Chancellor's Research Chair (2015-2018) in the Department of Criminal Justice at University of Winnipeg. He completed his doctoral dissertation at Carleton University (2005–2010). His dissertation research was awarded the Governor General’s Medal. Prior to joining the Department of Criminal Justice in 2013, Walby was Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at University of Victoria, a SSHRC Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto, Centre of Criminology, and a lecturer at the Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Carleton University. He is the co-editor for the peer reviewed Journal of Prisoners on Prisons (JPP). For the website, see: http://www.jpp.org

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) have funded his research. Walby’s research interests fall into five areas.

On the topic of (1) policing, security, surveillance, with Randy K. Lippert Walby is working on a SSHRC Insight Development project regarding corporate security and a SSHRC Insight Grant project on paid duty policing and private sponsorship of public police, resulting in Police Funding, Dark Money, and the Greedy Institution (Routledge, 2022) as well as several journal articles. With Randy Lippert he is co-editor of Policing Cities: Urban Securitization and Regulation in a 21st Century World (Routledge, 2013) and Corporate Security in the 21st Century: Theory and Practice in International Perspective (Palgrave, 2014). He is co-author with R.K. Lippert of Municipal Corporate Security in International Context (2015, Routledge) as well as A Criminology of Policing and Security Frontiers (Bristol University Press, 2019). Lippert and Walby are also editors of National Security, Surveillance, and Terror: Canada and Australia in Comparative Perspective (Palgrave, 2017). Walby is also conducting research on conservation officer policing, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) security intelligence work, and public video surveillance. His articles on policing, security, and surveillance appear in Antipode, Alternatives, British Journal of Criminology, Labor History, Security Dialogue, Policing and Society, Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, Current Issues in Criminal Justice, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Law & Social Inquiry, Social & Legal Studies, Crime, Law & Social Change, Law, Culture and the Humanities, Surveillance and Society, Media, Culture, and Society, Security Journal, Sociology, Current Sociology, International Sociology, Social Movement Studies, Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Canadian Journal of Law and Society, Canadian Journal of Sociology, Canadian Review of Sociology, Law & Policy and more. He also received SSHRC funding (2019-2021) to examine police communications and rhetoric in Canada, which led to several journal articles. He is co-editor of Disarm, Defund, Dismantle: Police Abolition in Canada (BTL Press, 2022) and (with Alex Luscombe) Private Influences, Privatization, and Criminal Justice in Canada, forthcoming (UBC Press, 2022).

Walby’s research on (2) representations of crime and criminality has two components. The first component involves theorizing the late 19th-century rise and early 21st-century resurgence of biological theories of crime. These articles appearing in Criminology & Criminal Justice and The Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Criminology concern bio-criminological claims about the etiology of ‘criminal man’. The main component examines representations of crime and punishment in prison, jail, police and courthouse museums. His articles in the British Journal of Criminology, Theoretical Criminology, Crime, Media, Culture, Critical Criminology, Contemporary Justice Review, Tourist Studies, Qualitative Inquiry, and Punishment & Society focus on representations of criminality, penal museums, and prison tours (also see the co-edited special section of the Journal of Prisoners on Prisons concerning prison tours). With Justin Piché, J. Wilson and S. Hodgkinson he is editor of the Handbook of Prison Tourism (Palgrave, 2017). With Justin Piché, he is working on a 5-year SSHRC Insight Grant project that examines prison, jail, police and court museums. For the website, see: https://www.carceralculturescarcerales.ca 

Dr. Walby is also part of the Walls to Bridges Collective at the University of Winnipeg. For the website, see https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/walls-to-bridges/index.html  

On the topic of (3) access to information and freedom of information law, Walby’s research on Canadian access to information (ATI) and freedom of information (FOI) legislation has two components. First, Walby uses interviews and ATI/FOI requests to investigate the application of Canadian federal and provincial ATI/FOI legislation. For example, with Justin Piché he is working on SSHRC-funded research regarding COVID-19 and prisons and jails in Canada using ATI and FOI. He co-edited a volume on ATI/FOI, law, and qualitative research methods entitled Brokering Access: Power, Politics and Freedom of Information Process in Canada (UBC Press, 2012). He co-edited with J. Brownlee Access to Information and Social Justice: Critical Research Strategies for Journalists, Scholars, and Activists (ARP Books, 2015). He is also co-editor (with Alex Luscombe) of Freedom of Information and Social Science Research Design (Routledge, 2019). Articles have been published in Policing Practice & Research, Research Ethics, Government Information Quarterly, Canadian Journal of Law and Society and Qualitative Inquiry. Second, Walby uses ATI/FOI requests to examine information management in criminal justice institutions as well as policy transfer between local police and national security agencies. With Chris Hurl at Concordia University he is working on SSHRC-funded research regarding data activism and digital activism in global context. Walby is Director of the Centre for Access to Information and Justice (CAIJ). For the website, see https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/caij/

On the topic of (4) the body, sexuality, and emotional labour, Walby is author of Touching Encounters: Sex, Work, and Male-for-Male Internet Escorting (University of Chicago Press, 2012). Drawing on interviews with male escorts from Montréal, Toronto, Ottawa, New York (USA) and London (UK), Touching Encounters explores labeling, stigma, and male escort relationships with clients. Findings from this research appear in Qualitative Research. A chapter appeared in an Italian edited collection on sexual scripting theory. Walby is also co-editor of Emotions Matter: a Relational Approach to Emotions with D. Spencer and A. Hunt (University of Toronto Press, 2012). He has also published on emotion work and body work in tree planting and circus aerialism.

He also has a long-standing interest in (5) urban studies. He has published in Urban Studies, Cultural Studies, Topia, as well as in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. His SSHRC Insight Development project “Collective Trauma and Municipal Policymaking in Post-Industrial War Towns: Nitro, Mercury, and Uranium City” examines what happens to purpose-built towns and the people who live there when industries withdraw, leaving behind economic strain and environmental contamination. With Steven Kohm, he has published on urban scrap metal collection and scrounging.

Walby is keen to serve on supervisory committees for graduate and honours student research in the following areas: public policing; private security; corporate security; surveillance; risk; imprisonment and punishment; critical criminology; socio-legal studies; access to information and freedom of information law; social justice; access to justice; urban studies; public culture; qualitative research strategies, including institutional ethnography and narrative analysis.

For more information about publications and projects, please go to:


CJ-1101 Intro Criminal Justice

CJ-2100 Foundations of Criminal Justice

CJ-2120 Policing in Canada

CJ-3184 Surveillance, Information and Criminal Justice

CJ-4102/GCJ-7102 Advances in Qualitative and Visual Methods

CJ-4401 Directed Reading: Media Framing and the Criminal Jusitce System

GCJ-7117 Research Design