PROFile: The harms that they do

Amelia Curran, instructor, criminal-justice department, U of W

Photo by Callie Lugosi

Before becoming an instructor for the University of Winnipeg’s (U of W) criminal-justice department, Amelia Curran was a student at the university herself.

“I actually did my undergrad at the University of Winnipeg,” she says. “I was really thrilled to be back teaching at the university. It was actually where I always wanted to end up.”

Curran is teaching an intro to criminal-justice course. But in the future, she hopes to once again teach a class on green criminology, the study of environmental crime.

“I really did love teaching that green-criminology class,” Curran says. “A lot of the students who took it mentioned that it was really different from a lot of the criminal-justice classes that we offer.”

Further, Curran believes it’s important to draw attention to environmental crime, especially since it flies under people’s radars.

“When people think about who a criminal is, you think of street crime,” she says. “You don’t necessarily think of these corporations, these huge businesses that are breaking environmental law or doing things that actually are technically legal but should be considered crime when you look at the harm that they do.”

Curran enjoys seeing newfound realization in her students’ eyes when she shares with them the implications of environmental crime. At times, her students will inform her of the shifts they have in their thinking after class. For Curran, that brings a spark of joy.

“It feels like an area where you can change people’s perspectives, and that is rewarding.”

What’s the best thing about your work?

“The best thing about my job right now is the department that I’m in – the criminal-justice department – is so collegial and so supportive.”

What do you like to do in your spare time?

“I like thinking about design and architecture.”

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

“I think I would time travel.”

What do you find especially interesting about environmental crime?

“That we’re so much more willing to see these situations as accidents.”

Published in Volume 76, Number 10 of The Uniter (November 18, 2021)

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