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Marcus Sibley

PhD Candidate (Legal Studies)

Keep up to date with Marcus.

My dissertation research focuses on a critical examination of the idea of “rape culture” and how this concept seeps into, or is rejected, in political, legal, and social imaginaries.  More specifically, I am interested in the ways legal reform to Canadian sexual violence laws in the late 1970s framed discussions of rape and sexual violence and how these compare to contemporary political and legal interventions attempt to address sexual violence. I am currently conducting archival research which explores how changes in legal language and political framings of sexual violence—namely removing the term rape from the Criminal Code (circa 1978-1983)—informs contemporary debates around sexual violence which are centred around the political and legal limitations of sexual identity politics—namely the affective dimensions of organizing around and contesting the idea that we live in a “rape culture.”

My research also centres on the relationship between affect, risk, and criminalization within a framework of gendered-based violence. I have published in the areas of risk and governmentality in relation to sex work and am currently part of an ongoing SSHRC funded research project aimed at exploring how photographic evidence is collected, curated, and presented in domestic violence trials. In 2015 I was a research assistant on a study related to campus based sexual violence funded by the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services and my research involvement in these fields are ongoing.

Areas of Research

• Affect, risk, and criminalization
• Critical victimology and subjectivities
• Sex work, domestic violence, and sexual violence

PhD Supervisors

Dawn Moore & Dale Spencer


Sibley, Marcus A. (2018) Owning Risk: Sex Worker Subjectivities and the Reimagining of Vulnerability and Victimhood, The British Journal of Criminology, azy010,

Sibley, Marcus A., Wohlbold, Elise, Moore, Dawn and Singh, Rashmee (forthcoming, Fall 2018/Spring 2019). “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.

Book Reviews

Sibley, Marcus A. (2016) Remembering Vancouver’s Disappeared Women: Settler Colonialism and the Difficulty of Inheritance by Amber Dean (review), Canadian Journal of Law and Society 31 (3), 507-509.

Sibley, Marcus A. (2015) EMILY VAN DER MUELEN, ELYA M. DURISIN, and VICTORIA LOVE, eds., Selling Sex: Experience, Advocacy, and Research on Sex Work in Canada. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2013, ix+ 335 p, index. Canadian Review of Sociology/Revue canadienne de sociologie 52 (1), 105-108

Public Commentaries

“Sibley: Now’s the time to stop charging people with pot offences.” Ottawa Citizen, April 14, 2017.

“New marijuana task force should recommend immediate decriminalization.” Montreal Gazette, July 5, 2016 (also reprinted in the Ottawa Citizen, July 12, 2016).

“Amnesty has it right: Decriminalization reaffirms sex worker rights”, September 21, 2015.

“One Year After Bedford: Where Are We Now?.”, January 9, 2015.

Master of Arts, Legal Studies, Carleton University (2015).
B.A (Hons.) Criminology & Anthropology (minor), York University (2013)

Recent Awards and Distinctions
2018- OGS Graduate Scholarship
2015- Senate Medal for Outstanding Academic Achievement
2015- SSHRC – Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarship
2013- SSHRC – Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS (Master’s)