Rashmee Singh

Assistant Professor | Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies, Legal Studies

picture of Rashmee Singh.PhD Criminology and Socio-Legal Studies (Toronto)
MA Criminology and Socio-Legal Studies (Toronto)
BA (London School of Economics)

Research and teaching areas

Research areas:

  • Gender Violence
  • Feminist Legal Theory
  • Criminology and Governance
  • Specialized Courts

Teaching areas:

  • The Sociology of Law
  • Feminist Legal Theory
  • Socio-Legal Responses to Crime 

Graduate Supervision: Feminist Criminology; Gender Violence; Governance & Governmentality

Current research

"My research agenda includes three main projects. One is a SSHRC Seed Grant funded, exploratory study on Cook County, Illinois’ specialized prostitution courts, which were established in 2011 as a “more progressive way” to prosecute cases of felony prostitution. Through capturing the visual and verbal story telling methods the court uses to communicate a moral of “If she can do it, so can you,” I examine how defendants are governed through gendered notions of the sisterly bond, which ultimately enable the court to deploy and justify more coercive and punitive tactics for defendants struggling to comply with program demands. I am currently working on an Insight Development Grant to secure funding for a more extensive project on specialized prostitution courts in the United States, which now proliferate in the wake of the country’s post-mass incarceration crisis.

My second project is a SHHRC-funded study that examines the use and effects of visual evidence in domestic violence investigations and trials. I am a co-investigator on this project with Dr. Dawn Moore at Carleton University. Drawing on the insights of feminist criminology, surveillance studies, and socio-legal scholarship, we explore how evidence in the form of video-taped statements and photographs of injuries generates visual narratives of violence that sometimes support, but often conflict, with the accounts victims relay during trials. Despite the fact that they initiate from the complainant herself and only tell a partial story of the incident, these visual accounts materialize as objective truth and are regularly used to contest the testimonies of victims in instances where they are reluctant to proceed with their cases. In theorizing this process, we contend that visual evidence produces a “data double” of the human victim, a composite that possesses an allure to governing authorities in light of broader legal imaginaries of “the recanting victim.”

My research agenda also includes plans to develop another collaborative project examining university responses to incidents of campus sexual violence. The study will expand on the findings of a government funded project on the same issue in which I was involved with Diana Majury, Doris Buss, Dawn Moore, and George Rigakos from Carleton University. The research team conducted a total of 126 interviews, the findings of which are detailed in a government report entitled, Reponses to Sexual Violence at Ontario University Campuses.  

Research Grants

"2016:  University of Waterloo Gender Equity Grant Co-investigator Project Title: “Health Condition Disclosure Among pre-Tenure Women: What is and isn’t Reported and Why”  Funds: $9,996

2015: Ontario Ministry Of Community Safety and Correctional Services-  Co-investigator Project Title: “Sexual Violence on Ontario University Campuses.”Funds: $236,220              

2014: SSHRC Insight Grant Co-investigator Project Title: “Seeing Crime: Visual Evidence, Victims & Domestic Violence” Funds: $177,254 

2013: UW/SSHRC SEED Grant Project Title: “Exploring Criminal Justice and Community Partnerships: Chicago’s Specialized Courts for Sex Workers “Funds: $5,500"

Recent publications

  •  Moore, Dawn and Singh, Rashmee. (2017) “Seeing Crime, Feeling Crime: Visual Evidence and Emotions in the Prosecution of Domestic Violence.” Theoretical Criminology. [Online ahead of print] DOI: 10.1177/1362480616684194 
  • Singh, Rashmee. (2016) “Importing Feminisms: Racialized Migrants and Gender Violence in Toronto’s Diaspora.”  Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society, 23 (4), 508-530.      
  • Singh, Rashmee (2016). “‘Please Check the Appropriate Box:’ Documents and the Governance of Domestic Violence.” Law and Social Inquiry. [Online ahead of Print] DOI: 10.111/lsi.12202  
  • Sibley, Marcus A., Wohlbold, Elise, Moore, Dawn and Singh, Rashmee (forthcoming). “How She Appears:” Demeanour, Cruel Optimism and the Relationship Between Police and Victims of Domestic Violence” in eds. George Pavlich and Matthew P. Unger, Entryways and Criminalization.  University of Alberta Press.
  • Buss, Doris, Majury, Diana, Moore, Dawn, Rigakos, George, and Singh, Rashmee (2016). Reponses to Sexual Violence at Ontario University Campuses. Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.   
  • Singh, Rashmee (2016). “Domestic Violence and Mandatory Charging: Re-evaluating the Zero Tolerance Approach” in ed., Criminal Justice in Canada: A Reader.
  • Moore, Dawn and Singh, Rashmee (2015). “Seeing Crime: ANT, Feminism, and Images of Violence Against Women” in Dufresne and Robert (eds.), Actor Network Theory and Crime Studies: Explorations in Science and Technology. London: Ashgate, 67-80.
  • Singh, Rashmee (2012). “When Punishment and Philanthropy Mix: Voluntary Organizations and the Governance of the Domestic Violence Offender.” Theoretical Criminology, 16 (3), 269-287.      
  • Singh, Rashmee (2010) “In Between the System and the Margins: Community Organizations, Mandatory Charging and Immigrant Victims of Abuse.” Canadian Journal of Sociology, 35 (1), 31-62. 
  • Singh, Rashmee (2010) “Immigrant and Refugee Women and the Unintended Consequences of Domestic Violence Policy,” in ed. Kirsten Kramer, Criminology: Critical Canadian Perspectives. Toronto: Pearson Education Canada, 191-204.

Government Policy Reports

  • Wortly, Scot, Randy Seepersad, Rashmee Singh, Andrea McCalla, Carolyn Green, Natasha Madon, Nicole Myers, Carolyn Cotes-Lussier and Terry Roswell (2008).  The Root Causes of Youth Violence: A review of Major Theoretical Perspectives.  Ministry of the Attorney General, Government of Ontario.
University of Waterloo

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