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Dr. Kelly Struthers Montford

Assistant Professor


Kelly Struthers Montford, Assistant Professor

My research interests lie at the nexus of captivity, power, and political ontology as manifest in carceral locations such as prisons and animal agriculture. Prior to joining Ryerson, I was a tenure-track professor at University of British Columbia Okanagan. From 2016 to 2019 I was a postdoctoral fellow in Punishment, Law, and Social Theory at the Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies at the University of Toronto where my work included civil liberties cases on solitary confinement in Canada, research projects examining the links between child welfare apprehensions and the criminalization of Indigenous women, the SSHRC-funded Prisons Transparency Project, and various work on risk assessment, gender, and race. I have previously worked as the Senior Advisor to the Independent Expert on Human Rights and Corrections for the Province of Ontario.

I hold an Honour’s Bachelors of Social Sciences with a Specialization in Criminology from the University of Ottawa, as well as a Master’s of Arts in Sociology from the University of Alberta where I focused on feminist criminology. My PhD in Sociology was obtained from the University of Alberta where my research focused on socio-legal studies and critical theory. I held multiple awards during my graduate career, including the Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship, the SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship, and was named the 2013-2014 Institute for Critical Animal Studies Hilda Scholar of the year.

I am the co-editor of Colonialism and Animality (Routledge 2020) and Disability and Animality (Routledge 2020). My work has also been published in Aggression and Violent Behavior, the Journal of Food Law and Policy, Radical Philosophy Review, the New Criminal Law Review, philoSOPHIA: A Journal of Continental Feminism, the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, Societies, and the PhaenEx Journal of Existential and Phenomenological Theory and Culture, as well as in various edited collections.

Research Interests

Critical prison studies, green criminology, feminist criminology, critical animal studies, continental philosophy, social theory, Anthropocene studies, socio-legal studies.

I am currently working on research on food and dietary normalization in prison settings based on data from the Prisons Transparency Project. I am also working on a monograph, Agricultural Power: Food, Life, and Law in Settler Spaces, where I develop a theoretical account of agricultural power as evinced in projects of colonial settlement, contemporary litigation that pivots on the distinction between real and fake foods, and the emergence of in vitro and synthetic meats. In the book, I suggest a contextual ontology of food.  I am also currently drafting a co-authored book, Abnormal Appetites: Food Politics in the Anthropocene, with Chloë Taylor, under advanced contract with McGill-Queen’s University Press (anticipated completion in 2020). I am also in the final stages of co-editing Building Abolition: Decarceration and Social Justice, stemming from a SSHRC-funded conference held in the Fall of 2019.

Beginning in the Fall of 2020 I will embark on my next major research projectAgricultural Power/Carceral Power. The overall goal of this project is to understand, within the context of settler colonialism, our current return to penal agribusiness in Canada. This will be first sustained investigation of penitentiary agriculture in Canada, and will investigate this practice at the nexus of colonialism, the environment, food production, and carceral labour. 


Year Univeristy Degree
2017 University of Alberta PhD
2012 University of Alberta MA
2008 University of Ottawa BA


Course Code Course Title
CRM 205 Gender, Law, and Sexuality
CRM 310 Qualitative Research Methods