Craig Fortier

Associate Professor, Social Development Studies

Pronouns: They/Them


Ph.D. York University – Sociology

Research and teaching interests

Settler colonialism; social movements, abolitionist and decolonizing social work; popular culture and radical change; trans-disciplinary social justice pedagogy; urban memorialization; accounting history; Indigenous & settler relationships, colonization/decolonization; Indigenous theory; migrant justice movements; nationalism and sovereignty; queer, trans*, and non-binary participation in sport; and baseball history.

Courses taught in SDS

ARTS 140  Inquiry & Analysis (Social Change & Social Development)

SOCWK 120R  Introduction to Social Work

SDS 331R  Social Inequality, Social Justice, and Social Action

SDS 411R  Decolonization and Social Action

SDS 441R  Popular Culture and the Radical Imagination


Gender and Social Justice department

For a full list of current and historical work, please read Craig's CV here.

Highlighted publications

(2017) Unsettling the Commons: Social Movements Within, Against, and Beyond Settler Colonialism. Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring Publishing.

(2017). “Unsettling Methodologies/Decolonizing Movements,” Journal of Indigenous Social Development, 6(1): 20-36.

(2016). Stealing Home: Decolonizing Baseball’s Origin Stories and their Relations to Settler Colonialism. Settler Colonial Studies 6(1):1-22.

(2016) Wood, Lesley and Craig Fortier. Consent, coercion and the criminalization of dissent in Carroll, William K. and Kanchan Sarkar (Eds) A World To win: Contemporary Social Movements & Counter-Hegemony. Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring Publishing.

Conference presentations

(2018). Fortier, Craig. A Field of Dreamers on Stolen Land: Practices of Unsettling on the Recreational Softball Diamonds of Tkaronto. North America Sports History Conference. University of Manitoba: Winnipeg. Thursday, May 24, 2018.

(2017). Fortier, Craig. The Settler Colonialism of Social Work. Legacies of Social Welfare Work in Canada: A Conference Series. Wilfrid Laurier University: Brantford. Tuesday, October 24, 2017.

(2017). Fortier, Craig and Colin Hastings. A Field of Dreamers: Place, Space, and Belonging in Toronto’s Recreational Softball Leagues. Abolish Border Imperialism: A Convergence. Abolition Conference. Bureau of Indian Works: Minneapolis. Saturday, October 7, 2017.

(2017). Fortier, Craig and Edward Hon Sing Wong. The Settler Colonialism of Social Work and the Social Work of Settler Colonialism. Canadian Association of Social Work Educators Conference - CONGRESS. Ryerson University: Toronto, May 30, 2017.

(2017). Wong, Edward Hon Sing and Craig Fortier. Can Social Work Be Decolonized? Subverting the “Helping” Profession and its Incommensurabilities. Critical Social Work Research Symposium. York University: Toronto, April 21, 2017.

(2016). Fortier, Craig & Lesley Wood To Give it a Name: Rescuing Social Movement Histories from Anonymity. De/Materializing Bodies Symposium. Ryerson University: Toronto, November 12, 2016.

(2016). (Re)Claiming the Commons in a Context of Settler Colonialism. The Work of Settler Colonialism Symposium. CUNY: New York City, April 3, 2016. 

(2016). (Re)Claiming the Commons in a Context of Settler Colonialism. Western Political Science Association: Abolition and Decolonial Politics Conference. San Diego, California, March 24, 2016.

Current research projects

  1. Speaking Fruit (with Farrah Miranda)- a public art installation and new media platform that allows migrant farmworkers in Ontario to communicate their concerns, hopes, and dreams to the general public through a farm-to-shelf community-based gardening initiative and mobile fruit stand.
  1. Home Field Advantage (with Colin Hastings) - This research project will draw upon historical data, qualitative interviews, cultural analysis and contemporary flash point events to interrogate how baseball came to symbolize American identity, how it is taken up as both an imperialist and and counter-national symbol, and how the game continues to be shifted and transformed at the level of recreational play, professional play, and fandom. 
  1. The Settler Colonialism of Social Work and the Social Work of Settler Colonialism (with Edward Hon-Sing Wong) - Through a historical review of the origins of social work and its professionalization in Canada, this project investigates how contemporary social work and social service provision remain circumscribed by the logics of conquest, extraction, apprehension, management, and pacification that advance the settler project and seek to secure settler futurity. 
  1. Unsettling the Commons - investigates what it means to struggle for "the commons" within a settler colonial context, Unsettling the Commons interrogates a very important debatethat took place within Occupy camps and is taking place in a multitude of movements in North America around what it means to claim "the commons" on stolen land. Travelling back in history to show the ways in which radical left movements have often either erased or come into clear conflict with Indigenous practices of sovereignty and self-determination--all in the name of the "struggle for the commons", the book argues that there are multiple commons or conceptualizations of how land, relationships, and resources are shared, produced, consumed, and distributed in any given society. As opposed to the liberal politics of recognition, a political practice of unsettling and a recognition of the incommensurability of political goals that claim access to space/territory on stolen land is put forward as a more desirable way forward.

Grants and awards

Social Sciences and the Humanities Research Council, Connection Grant

2017 Speaking Fruit:  Art, Activism & Migrant Justice from a Mobile Fruit Stand

University of Waterloo Research Office - SSHRC Matching Funds

2017 Speaking Fruit:  Art, Activism & Migrant Justice from a Mobile Fruit Stand

University of Waterloo Faculty of Arts - SSHRC Matching Funds

2017 Speaking Fruit:  Art, Activism & Migrant Justice from a Mobile Fruit Stand

Renison Research Grant - Winter 2018

2018 Home Field Advantage: Settler Colonialism, Nationalism and Baseball as a site of political contestation.

Renison Research Grant - Winter 2017

2017 The Settler Colonialism of Social Work and the Social Work of Settler Colonialism

Renison Research Grant - Fall 2016

2016-2017 A Field of Dreamers: Place, Space, and Belonging in Toronto’s Recreational Softball Leagues – An Ethnography

Faculty Spotlight (2018)

Remote video URL