Kelly Struthers Montford

Assistant Professor

Phone: 250.807.8694

Graduate student supervisor

Research Summary

Critical prison studies; critical animal studies; philosophy; social theory; food studies; climate change

Courses & Teaching

Environmental sociology; sociology of food; critical animal studies; social theory; feminist theory


My research interests lie at the nexus of captivity, power, and political ontology as manifest in carceral locations such as prisons and animal agriculture. 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 also continue to work in the areas of human rights and incarceration as I remain 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.

My work has been published in 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.


Kelly S. Montford’s Website


PhD, University of Alberta
MA, University of Alberta,
BSocSci, Honours, University of Ottawa

Research Interests & Projects

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: Foucault and the Politics of Food, with Chloë Taylor, under advanced contract with McGill-Queen’s University Press (anticipated completion in 2019). I am also in the final stages of co-editing two volumes, Decolonizing Critical Animal Studies and Cripping Critical Animal Studies that proceed from a SSHRC-funded conference. The books take up human-animal relations from decolonial and critical disability perspectives.

Beginning in the Fall of 2019 I will embark on my next major research project, Agricultural 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.  I will approach Canadian penal agribusiness as a colonial mechanism and analyze it using environmental, critical food, and animal studies approaches. The project will include archival research, comparative case studies, and semi-structured interviews, and will analyze the data from an ecological and environmental framework.

Selected Publications & Presentations

  • Struthers Montford, K. (2019). “Land, agriculture, and the carceral: The territorializing function of penitentiary agriculture.” Radical Philosophy Review, vol. 22(1): 113-141.
  • Struthers Montford, K. (2019). “Coda: Toward an analytic of agricultural power,” in Messy Eating: Conversations on Animals as Food, edited by King, S., Carey, S., MacQuarrie, I., Millious, V., & Power, E. M., Fordham University Press, 223-232.
  • Struthers Montford, K. & K. Hannah-Moffat. (forthcoming). “The Promises and Perils of Gender-Responsivity: Risk, Incarceration, and Rehabilitation,” in The Routledge Companion to Rehabilitative Work in Criminal Justice, edited by Raynor, P., McNeill, F., Taxman, F., Trotter, C., Ugwudike, P., and Graham, H., Routledge.
  • Hannah-Moffat, K & Struthers Montford, K. (2019). “Unpacking sentencing algorithms: Risk, racial accountability, and data harms,” in Predictive Sentencing: Normative and Empirical Perspectives, edited by de Keijser, J. Roberts, J., & Ryberg, J., Hart Publishing Oxford, 175-196.
  • Struthers Montford, K. & D. Moore (Fall 2018). “The prison as reserve: Governmentality, phenomenology, and Indigenizing the prison (studies).” New Criminal Law Review, vol. 21(4): 640-663.
  • Struthers Montford, K., Hannah-Moffat, K., Hunter, A. (2017). “‘Too wicked to die:’ The enduring legacy of humane reforms to solitary confinement,” in Punishment and the Limits of Law: Cruel and Unusual, edited by Amy Swiffen and Joshua Nichols, New York: Routledge, 141-163.
  • Struthers Montford, K. (Winter 2016). “Dehumanized denizens, displayed animals: Prison tourism and the discourse of the zoo.” philoSOPHIA: A Journal of Continental Feminism 6(1): 73-92.
  • Struthers Montford, K. (2015). “Transforming choices: An analysis of the marginalization of gender-specific policy making in Canadian approaches to women’s federal imprisonment.” Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 27(2): 284-310.
  • *MacDonald K. & K. Struthers Montford (2014). “Eating animals to build rapport: Conducting research as veg*ns,” Societies 4(4): 737-52. *denotes equal credit co-authorship.
  • Struthers Montford, K. (2013). “The present referent: Nonhuman animal sacrifice and the constitution of dominant Albertan identity.” PhaenEx Journal of Existential and Phenomenological Theory and Culture, 8(2): 105-34.

Selected Grants & Awards

2018-2021 Collaborator: Kule Institute for Advanced Study, University of Alberta, research cluster grant on “Prisons, Teaching, and Social Justice” ($70, 000).


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