Robyn Maynard is a Toronto-based author and scholar. She is the author of Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from slavery to the present (Fernwood 2017). The book is a national bestseller, designated as one of the “best 100 books of 2017” by the Hill Times, listed in The Walrus‘s “best books of 2018”, shortlisted for an Atlantic Book Award, the Concordia University First Book Prize and the Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-fiction, and the winner of the 2017 Errol Sharpe Book Prize. In fall 2018 the book was published in French with Mémoire d’encrier, titled NoirEs sous surveillance. Esclavage, répression et violence d’État au Canada. Translated by Catherine Ego, it recently won the 2019 Prix de libraires in the category of “essais.”
Her current project, co-authored with Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, is titled Rehearsals for Living, forthcoming in June 2022 with Knopf (Canada), Haymarket: Abolitionist Paper Series (US/UK), and Memoire D’encrier (French translation). An author interview on the book, “Every day we must get up and relearn the world” was recently published in Interfere journal, and Simpson and Maynard shared excerpts from the text at Simon Fraser University Library Dean’s Lecture on Information + Society (video here).
Maynard is the winner of the “2018 author of the year” award by Montreal’s Black History Month and was nominated for Writer’s Trust Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers. She has published writing in the Washington Post, World Policy Journal, the Toronto Star, TOPIA:Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, Canadian Woman Studies, Critical Ethnic Studies Journal, Scholar & Feminist Journal, as well as an essay for Maisonneuve Magazine which was the “most-read essay of 2017”. Her writing on borders, policing, abolition and Black feminism is taught widely in universities across Canada and the United States, including her most recent peer-reviewed publication “Police Abolition/Black Revolt”, published in TOPIA. Her expertise is regularly sought in local, national and international media outlets and she has spoken before Parliamentary subcommittees, the Human Rights Committee of the Senate, and the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent.
Maynard contributed to the research and writing for the Defund the Police website and recently authored two toolkits: “Building the World We Want: A Roadmap to Police-Free Futures in Canada”, and “What is Prison Abolition in Canada?”