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Amy Swiffen, PhD

Associate Professor, Sociology and Anthropology


Amy Swiffen, PhD
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 5299
Website(s): profile


PhD, University of Alberta

Research interests

Dr. Amy Swiffen specialises in the interdisciplinary fields of law and society, socio-legal studies, constitutional and Aboriginal law, and sociological theory. She completed her PhD in Sociology at the University of Alberta and a Master in Studies of Law at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Law.

Dr. Swiffen's publications, including journal articles and edited volumes, reflect her commitment to exploring the legal dimensions of societal issues, such as the legal framing of hate crimes, the biopolitics of HIV criminalization, biopolitics in settler colonial contexts, and the legal narratives surrounding Indigenous sovereignty and governance, particularly in the context of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Her most recent co-edited collection, Indigenous Peoples and the Future of Federalism (UTP, 2024), develops jurisprudence on the possibilities for a nation-to-nation relationship between Indigenous nations and Crown sovereignty. Dr. Swiffen's work not only contributes to academic discourse but also offers insights into the practical implications of law in shaping societal norms and governance. Dr. Swiffen has been recognised nationally through visiting professorships and significant research grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Her most recent project, funded by a SSHRC Insight grant, focuses on the period from 1927 to 1951 when Canada's Indian Act prohibited Indigenous peoples from retaining legal counsel. She is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Journal of Law and Society and has held editorial roles with other journals. In her academic career, Dr. Swiffen has also served as Department Chair and Graduate Program Director.

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