ljkwak9


Laura J. Kwak

Photo of Laura J. Kwak

Department of Social Science

Assistant Professor

Office: 732 Ross Building South
Phone: 416 736 2100 Ext: 33356
Email: ljkwak9@yorku.ca
Primary website: yorku.academia.edu/LauraKwak
Secondary website: laurakwak.academia.edu

Accepting New Graduate Students


My research and teaching areas are in the nexus of critical race studies, gender studies, socio-legal studies, and Canadian studies. Teaching and researching legal history and contemporary legal directions and debates means challenging common sense ideas about race and gender not only as categories of difference and accommodation but as sites of social and political critique. I continue to conduct interdisciplinary research on processes of racialization, representation, governmentality and the law.

More...

My work can be found in the Oñati Socio-Legal Series (2020), Ethnic and Racial Studies (2019), the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law (2018), Amerasia Journal (2017), Asian Canadian Studies Reader (2017) and At the Limits of Justice: Women of Colour on Terror (2014). I am in the process of developing my first monograph Playing by the Racial Rule(s): Asian Conservatives in Canada’s Federal Legislature, which challenges the supposed incommensurability of racialized identity and Conservative politics by examining Asian politicians who have served as Members of Parliament (MPs) in Canada’s Conservative parties. Contributing to the literatures on political representation, governmentality and critical race theory, the book investigates how paradoxically raced in the name of racelessness, politicians of colour are vital to the state’s narrative of post-racialism as a way to sustain the social order. My current research project "Race and Representation in Canada's Parliament, 2006-2019," which examines the contributions of racialized MPs across Canada's three main federal political parties has been supported by the SSHRC Insight Development Grant (2020-2022).

Degrees

PhD, University of Toronto
MA, York University
BAH, Queen's University

Appointments

Faculty of Graduate Studies

Research Interests

Multiculturalism , Law and Justice, Racialization and the Law, Critical Race Theory, Governmentality, Socio-Legal Histories
Book Chapters

Publication
Year

Kwak, L.J. “Asian Canada: Undone” in In Asian Canadian Studies Reader, Roland Sintos Coloma and Gordon Pon, Eds. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. p. 352-362.

2017

Kwak, L.J. (third author with Gordon Pon, Roland Coloma, Kenneth Huynh), “Asian Canadian Studies Now: Directions and Challenges,” In Asian Canadian Studies Reader, Coloma and Pon, Eds. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. p. 3-28.

2017

Kwak, L.J. “Introduction to Narratives of Torture/Spectacles of Terror.” In At the Limits of Justice: Women of Colour on Terror, Sherene Razack and Suvendrini Perera, Eds. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. p. 19-22.

2014

Journal Articles

Publication
Year

Kwak L.J. with Murdocca, C. eds. Governing the Political: Law and the Politics of Resistance. Special Issue, Onãti Socio-Legal Series Journal. Forthcoming 2020.

2020

Kwak, L.J. “Problematizing Canadian Exceptionalism: A study of right-populism, white nationalism and Conservative political parties” in Special issue: Governing the Political: Law and the Politics of Resistance. Onati, Spain: Oñati Socio-legal Series. https://doi.org/10.35295/OSLS.IISL/0000-0000-0000-1127

2020

Kwak, L.J. “’New Canadians are New Conservatives’: Race, Incorporation and Achieving Electoral Success in Multicultural Canada”. Ethnic and Racial Studies. Vol. 42(10), pp. 1708-1726.

2019

Kwak, L.J. (2018). “Still Making Canada White: Racial Governmentality and the ‘Good Immigrant’ in Canadian Parliamentary Immigration Debates.” The Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, 30 (3), 447-470.

2018

Kwak, L.J. “Race, Apology and the Conservative Ethnic Media Strategy: Representing Asian Canadians in the 2011 Federal Election Campaign”. Amerasia Journal 43, 2 (2017), p.79-98.

2017



Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Winter 2021 AP/SOSC3395 3.0 M Legal Geography SEMR
Winter 2021 GS/SLST6000 3.0 M Law and Social Theory SEMR
Winter 2021 GS/SLST6000 3.0 N Law and Social Theory SEMR


My research and teaching areas are in the nexus of critical race studies, gender studies, socio-legal studies, and Canadian studies. Teaching and researching legal history and contemporary legal directions and debates means challenging common sense ideas about race and gender not only as categories of difference and accommodation but as sites of social and political critique. I continue to conduct interdisciplinary research on processes of racialization, representation, governmentality and the law.

My work can be found in the Oñati Socio-Legal Series (2020), Ethnic and Racial Studies (2019), the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law (2018), Amerasia Journal (2017), Asian Canadian Studies Reader (2017) and At the Limits of Justice: Women of Colour on Terror (2014). I am in the process of developing my first monograph Playing by the Racial Rule(s): Asian Conservatives in Canada’s Federal Legislature, which challenges the supposed incommensurability of racialized identity and Conservative politics by examining Asian politicians who have served as Members of Parliament (MPs) in Canada’s Conservative parties. Contributing to the literatures on political representation, governmentality and critical race theory, the book investigates how paradoxically raced in the name of racelessness, politicians of colour are vital to the state’s narrative of post-racialism as a way to sustain the social order. My current research project "Race and Representation in Canada's Parliament, 2006-2019," which examines the contributions of racialized MPs across Canada's three main federal political parties has been supported by the SSHRC Insight Development Grant (2020-2022).

Degrees

PhD, University of Toronto
MA, York University
BAH, Queen's University

Appointments

Faculty of Graduate Studies

Research Interests

Multiculturalism , Law and Justice, Racialization and the Law, Critical Race Theory, Governmentality, Socio-Legal Histories

All Publications


Book Chapters

Publication
Year

Kwak, L.J. “Asian Canada: Undone” in In Asian Canadian Studies Reader, Roland Sintos Coloma and Gordon Pon, Eds. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. p. 352-362.

2017

Kwak, L.J. (third author with Gordon Pon, Roland Coloma, Kenneth Huynh), “Asian Canadian Studies Now: Directions and Challenges,” In Asian Canadian Studies Reader, Coloma and Pon, Eds. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. p. 3-28.

2017

Kwak, L.J. “Introduction to Narratives of Torture/Spectacles of Terror.” In At the Limits of Justice: Women of Colour on Terror, Sherene Razack and Suvendrini Perera, Eds. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. p. 19-22.

2014

Journal Articles

Publication
Year

Kwak L.J. with Murdocca, C. eds. Governing the Political: Law and the Politics of Resistance. Special Issue, Onãti Socio-Legal Series Journal. Forthcoming 2020.

2020

Kwak, L.J. “Problematizing Canadian Exceptionalism: A study of right-populism, white nationalism and Conservative political parties” in Special issue: Governing the Political: Law and the Politics of Resistance. Onati, Spain: Oñati Socio-legal Series. https://doi.org/10.35295/OSLS.IISL/0000-0000-0000-1127

2020

Kwak, L.J. “’New Canadians are New Conservatives’: Race, Incorporation and Achieving Electoral Success in Multicultural Canada”. Ethnic and Racial Studies. Vol. 42(10), pp. 1708-1726.

2019

Kwak, L.J. (2018). “Still Making Canada White: Racial Governmentality and the ‘Good Immigrant’ in Canadian Parliamentary Immigration Debates.” The Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, 30 (3), 447-470.

2018

Kwak, L.J. “Race, Apology and the Conservative Ethnic Media Strategy: Representing Asian Canadians in the 2011 Federal Election Campaign”. Amerasia Journal 43, 2 (2017), p.79-98.

2017



Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Winter 2021 AP/SOSC3395 3.0 M Legal Geography SEMR
Winter 2021 GS/SLST6000 3.0 M Law and Social Theory SEMR
Winter 2021 GS/SLST6000 3.0 N Law and Social Theory SEMR