work phone: 6048226494

Ph.D., University of Toronto
Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Toronto

Other Affiliations
Faculty Associate, Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies
Faculty Associate, Green College
Faculty Associate, Liu Institute for Global Issues

No CV information.

Research Topics
Colonial Legal History; Critical Theory, Race and Racism; Affect; Time and Temporality; Oceans and Maritime Worlds; Indigeneity; Colonial India and the Diaspora; Posthumanism

Research Interests
My research is organized along two trajectories.

The first meets at the interface of critical theory and legal history. To date, my work has aimed to write histories of indigenous displacement and non-European migration (from China and India, in particular) as conjoined and entangled colonial legal processes central to British imperial expansion. My first book, Colonial Proximities (2009), details legal encounters between aboriginal peoples, Chinese migrants, Europeans, and those enumerated as “mixed race” along Canada’s west coast. The book considers how state racisms are produced and mobilized in colonial sites of heterogeneity and critically engages Foucault’s formulation of biopolitics and state racisms.

My current book, Across Oceans of Law, traces the mobility of law and the movements of British Indian migrants across the British Empire. Focused on the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-centuries and drawing together the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic Oceans, this book uses oceans and time as conceptual frames to examine colonial migrations through race, globality, and indigeneity. To explore these themes historically the book focuses on the Komagata Maru‘s transoceanic journey in 1914.

My second set of interests, “legalities of nature,” coalesce at the juncture of science, law, and history. To date, I have written a series of articles on law and nature through parks and place. A central concern has been the dispossession of aboriginal peoples and the ways in which colonial violence has been effected through racial, legal, civic, and state claims to nature, identity, and wilderness. My current research pursues the legalities of nature through philosophy and entomology to explore the appropriation of holometabolous insects as laboring bodies in contemporary geopolitics. Focused on global food production, climate change, and forms of war, this project draws from anticolonial writings and postcolonial theory and places them in conversation with the philosophy of time, movement, and change in the work Henri Bergson.

You can access an early version here:


  1. n.d Across Oceans of Law: British Indian Migration in the Time of Empire (In preparation).
  2. 2009 Colonial Proximities: Crossracial Encounters and Juridical Truths in British Columbia, 1871-1921 (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press).

Edited Volumes

  1. “Indian Ocean Circuits of Law,” Forum, Law and History Review, forthcoming November 2014 (Co-edited with Iza Hussin, University of Cambridge)

Articles and Book Chapters

  1. 2015 “Insects, War, Plastic Life.” In Brenna Bhandar and Jonathan Goldberg-Hiller (eds.). Plastic Materialities: Politics, Legality, and Metamorphosis in the Work of Catherine Malabou (Durham: Duke University Press, forthcoming January 2015).
  2. 2015 “Law and Migration Across the Pacific: Narrating the Komagata Maru Outside and Beyond the Nation,” Adele Perry, Karen Dubinsky, and Henry Yu (eds.), Thinking Inside/ Outside the Nation (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, forthcoming Winter 2015).
  3. 2015. “Law and Colonialism: Legacies and Lineages.” In Austin Sarat and Patricia Ewick (eds). Law and Society Handbook (Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming).
  4. 2014 “The Travels of Law: Indian Ocean Itineraries,” Introduction to Forum Issue, Law and History Review, Forthcoming November 2014 (co-authored with Iza Hussin, Cambridge University).
  5. 2014 “Patterns of Empire and the Politics of Comparison,” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, Forthcoming November 2014.
  6. 2014 “The Times of Law.” Law and Social Inquiry, forthcoming.
  7. 2014 “Law as Temporality: Colonial Politics and Indian Settlers,” University of California Irvine Law Review, 4(1), 2014, 101-130.
  8. 2014 “Sovereignties in Dispute: The Komagata Maru and Spectral Indigeneities, 1914,” Shaunnagh Dorsett and John McLaren (eds.), Legal Histories of the British Empire: Laws, Engagements, and Legacies (London: Routledge), 107-123.
  9. 2012 “Racial Violence and the Cosmopolitan City,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 30(6), 1083-1102.
  10. 2012 “Law’s Archive,” Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 8, 337-365.
  11. 2012 “Specters of Indigeneity in British Indian Migration, 1914″ Law and Society Review, 46(2), 369-403.
  12. 2010 “‘Half-Breeds,’ Racial Opacity, and Geographies of Crime: Law’s Search for the ‘Original’ Indian,” Cultural Geographies, 17(4), 487-506.
  13. 2010 “On Postcolonialism and Criminology” (co-authored with David Sealy). In Kirsten Kramar (ed.), Criminology: Critical Canadian Perspectives (Toronto, Pearson).
  14. 2009 “The Sociological Imagination and its Imperial Shadows,” (co-authored with Thomas Kemple), Theory, Culture, and Society, 26, 228-249.
  15. 2008 “Cross Racial Encounters and Juridical Truths: (Dis)Aggregating Race in British Columbia’s Colonial Contact Zone,” BC Studies (Special Issue on ‘Refracting Pacific Canada’), 156/157, 141-171.
    • Reprinted in Ashok Mathur, Jonathan Dewar, & Mike DeGagne (eds.), Cultivating Canada. (Aboriginal Healing Foundation Research Series, 2011).
  16. 2007 “Legalities of Nature: Law, Empire, and Wilderness Landscapes in Canada,” Social Identities, 13(6), 715-734.
  17. 2006 “Screening out Diseased Bodies: Immigration, Mandatory HIV Testing and the Making of a Healthy Canada,” in Alison Bashford (ed) Medicine at the Border: Disease, Globalization, and Security, 1850 to the Present (London & New York: Palgrave), 136-158.
  18. 2005 “Genealogies of the Land: Aboriginality, Law, and Territory in Vancouver’s Stanley Park,” Social and Legal Studies, 14(3), September 2005, 315-340.
    • Reprinted in Eve Darian-Smith, Ethnography and Law (London: Ashgate, 2007).
  19. 2004 “From Colonialism to Multiculturalism?: Totem Poles, Tourism, and National Identity in Vancouver’s Stanley Park,” ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature, (Special Issue on Law, Literature and Postcoloniality) 35(1-2), 2006, 31-57.
  20. 2004 “‘Cleansing the Conscience of the People’: Reading Head Tax Redress in Multicultural Canada,” Canadian Journal of Law and Society, 19(2), 2004, 127-151.
  21. 2003 “Imperial Legacies (Post)Colonial Identities: Law, Space, and the Making of Stanley Park, 1859-2001,” Law/Text/Culture, 7, 2003, 98-141.
  22. 2003 “Island of the Unclean: Race, Colonialism, and ‘Chinese Leprosy’ in British Columbia, 1891-1924,” Journal of Law, Social Justice, and Global Development, 2003(1), 21pps.
  23. 2003 “Legal Geographies of Aboriginal Segregation in British Columbia: The Making and Unmaking of the Songhees Reserve.” In Carolyn Strange & Alison Bashford (eds), Isolation: Places and Practices of Exclusion (London & New York: Routledge), 173-190.
  24. 2002 “In Between and Out of Place: Mixed-Race Identity, Liquor, and the Law in British Columbia, 1850-1913.” In Sherene H. Razack (ed.), Race, Space, and the Law: Unmapping a White Settler Society (Toronto: Between the Lines), 47-69.
  25. 2002 “‘The Iniquitous Practice of Women’: Prostitution and the Making of White Spaces in British Columbia, 1898-1905.” In Cynthia Levine-Rasky (ed.), Working Through Whiteness: International Perspectives (New York: SUNY Press), 43-68.
  26. 2002 “Regulating the Respectable Classes?: Venereal Disease, Gender, and Public Health Initiatives in Canada, 1914-1935.” In John McLaren, Robert Menzies, & Dorothy E. Chunn (eds.), Regulating Lives: Historical Essays on the State, Society, and the Individual (Vancouver: UBC Press), 170-195.
    • Winner of the Hilda Neatby Prize (best article contribution to Women’s History) from the Canadian Historical Association, 2003
    • Reprinted in A. Glasbeek (ed) Moral Regulation in Canada, (Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press, 2006).
  27. 2000 “In Between and Out of Place: Racial Hybridity, Liquor, and the Law in Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century British Columbia,” Canadian Journal of Law and Society, 15(2), 2000, 9-38.
No teaching information.