Call for Papers: Responsibility

Call for Papers
June 18-19 2020 – Quebec City, Québec, Canada

The National Committee for the Critical Perspectives Conference in partnership with the School of Social Work and Criminology at Laval University will be hosting the 2020 National Conference on Critical Perspectives in Criminology and Social Justice (NCCP) in Quebec City on June 18-19, 2020. We encourage and welcome submissions from established and emerging scholars – including students – that address the theme of the conference or engage with any area of critical criminology and social justice. The theme for the tenth annual conference is Responsibility.

There is a responsibility for things that have not
been accomplished; we can be held responsible.

Hannah Arendt


Contemporary times have witnessed core tenets of neoliberalism percolate into just about every area of social life (e.g. rise of individualism, responsibilization, etc.). This logic permeates in much of the criminal justice. In such context, the concept of responsibility is desocialized and decollectivized; this represents a major blind spot within critical criminology research. Although this concept is implied regularly in the backdrop of scholarly research, few researchers address it upfront. Responsibility can be thought of at an institutional, organizational or collective level: responsibility of the law, state responsibility (courts, law enforcement, correctional systems, etc.) and community responsibility.

The increased trend towards individualized responsibility tends to conceal the social, economic, political and structural issues it undergirds. Consequently, this determines the context in which injustices and oppressions take shape and perpetuate colonialism, violence, stigmatization, profiling, harm, suffering, and so on. The prominent risk of such individualization can therefore lead to a lack of collective accountability; releasing institutions, governments, large corporations, and all actors involved (i.e. communities, researchers, social workers, citizens, etc.) from their responsibilities towards vulnerable groups and the professionals who support them. Under these circumstances, what would be the responsibility of the scholars’ community? How can we avoid contributing to the mechanisms associated with stigmatization and the overresponsibilization of individuals?

This is an invitation to tackle the notion of responsibility from a critical perspective in criminology and social justice. The current era demands more than a simple deconstruction of the notion of responsibility; it needs new meanings that can emerge from critical knowledge, capable of asserting its structural and collective origins.

Submission Details

All participants must submit their abstracts to Submissions must include a title and a 250-word summary, along with a 50-word personal biography and contact information. Abstracts should be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Friday, December 13, 2019. All presenters are asked to please limit themselves to a maximum of two first author presentations (no limit on co-author/contributor or participant, if time allows). The conference organizers accept both French and English submissions in the following categories:

Complete Thematic Panels: Please submit a title and abstract for the entire panel, as well as titles, abstracts, and author information for all presenters. Thematic panels should contain three to five papers, and can use novel/non-traditional presentation methods (e.g. Picha Kucha; visual arts; therapeutic play; etc.).

Individual Papers: Please submit a title, abstract, keywords, and author information for all presenters/co-presenters. Individual papers should feature planned, ongoing, or completed research projects.

Roundtable Sessions: Please submit a title, thematic description, and panellist information. Roundtable sessions may include Q&A sessions; partnership facilitation; mentoring (towards graduate students or new scholars), etc. Poster Presentations: Please submit a title, abstract, and author information. Poster presentations can feature theoretical
work or methods, data, policy analyses, or findings in a visually appealing manner.

NOTE: The organizers will reserve panellist slots for students. If applicable, please indicate your student status in your submission. Student support funds will be available.

Additional Information

Please address any questions or concerns to Conference program, accommodation and transportation instructions as well as additional information will be available on after all submissions are collected.

Eye on 10th edition of the NCCP

The 2020 edition of the NCCP will have the honour of hosting guest speakers of international renown.

Marie-Sophie Devresse, professor at the University of Louvain (Belgium), will present the opening lecture. Professor Devresse is known for her long-standing thoughts on the execution of sentences and the responsibilization of convicted individuals and their familiy, particularly in the context of sentence management and penal measures in an open

The feminist activist and author Robyn Maynard will present the closing conference. She is the author of the book Policing Black Lives : State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present (2017), winner of numerous literary awards in Canada. Maynard’s conference will focus on state and communities’ responsibility towards marginalized groups in Canada.


The 10th edition of the NCCP will be hosted in Quebec City, on the Laval University campus, the first francophone university in America. Well known for its historic charm and tourist attractions, Quebec City ranked first among Canadian destinations according to Travel and Leisure Magazine for the fourth year in a row. The city has also been recognized in the 2019-2020 American Cities of the Future on six occasions. Only a 20-minute commute separate Laval University and Old Quebec with all its main tourist attractions. Here’s the perfect opportunity to combine useful and pleasant in one trip!

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