Dr. Derek Silva

Dr. Derek Silva

(on sabbatical)

Dr. Derek Silva

Associate Professor

Phone: 4415
Email: dsilva28@uwo.ca


  • Ph.D. in Sociology – University of South Carolina
  • M.A. in Sociology – Carleton University
  • B.A. with Honours in Criminology – UOIT


  • Sociology 1020 – Introduction to Sociology
  • Sociology 2140 – Social Problems
  • Sociology 2205 – Statistics for Sociology
  • Sociology 3336 – Sociology of Sport
  • Sociology 3355 – Sociology of Catastrophe
  • Sociology 3363 – Sociology of Terrorism
  • Sociology/Political Science 3342 – Power & Resistance
  • Sociology/Political Science 3387 – Surveillance and Society
  • Sociology 4409 – Seminar in Criminological Theory and Research
  • Sociology/Political Science 4480 – Critical Security Studies


My latest book, The End of College Football: On the Human Cost of an All-American Game, co-authored with Dr. Nathan Kalman Lamb will be published by UNC Press in Fall of 2024. The End of College Football offers an existential challenge to one of America’s favorite pastimes: college football. Drawing on twenty-five in-depth interviews with former players at some of the country’s most prominent college football factories, the book explores how the sport is both predicated on a foundation of coercion and suffused with racialized harm and exploitation. Through the stories of those who lived it, the authors examine the ways in which college football must be understood as a site of harm. The book reveals how players are systematically denied the economic value they produce for universities in exchange for a devalued education that is supposedly their true ‘compensation.’ By illuminating the plantation dynamics that make this a particularly racialized form of exploitation, the book makes legible the forms of physical sacrifice that are required, the ultimate cost in health and well-being, and the coercion that drives players into the sport and to such abusive conditions.

My areas of interest include sociocultural studies of sport, critical sociology and criminology, labour, racism, and inequality. My work can be found in the peer-reviewed journals Critical Sociology, Punishment and Society, Crime, Media, Culture, Sociology of Sport Journal, Journal of Sport & Social Issues, Policing & Society, Annals of Leisure Research, Social Science & Medicine – Qualitative Research in Health, Sociological Forum, Race & Class, Educational Gerontology, and in media outlets such as TIME MagazineLos Angeles TimesThe GuardianThe Daily BeastThe Chronicle of Higher Education, ​Jacobin Magazineand The Baffler Magazine

In addition to my scholarship, I serve on the Executive Board of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS) and on the editorial board of NASSS’ flagship journal, the Sociology of Sport Journal.

​I am currently working on three SSHRC-funded projects. The first is entitled "How radicalization has become the dominant framework for understanding terrorism." This project is funded by a SSHRC Insight Development Grant (2019-2021) and traces the emergence of radicalization as the primary framework for understanding transitions toward political violence. The second, funded by a SSHRC Partnership Engage COVID-19 Initiative Grant (2020-21) looks at how participants in serious leisure activities make sense of the loss of sport during COVID-19 lockdown and how they perceive risk as they return to activity during and after the pandemic. Recently, Drs. Liam Kennedy, Mark Norman and I were awarded a SSHRC Insight Grant (2023-2026) to explore the policing of sport and recreation during and after COVID-19 lockdowns.

I also co-host a podcast called The End of Sport, which you can find on iTunes, Google Play Music, and Spotify, or simply click the link above for a sneak peek. I teach several courses in sociology and criminology, including introductory sociology and criminology, quantitative and qualitative research methods, sociology of sport, sociology of catastrophe, critical security studies, surveillance, criminological theory, and sociology of terrorism.

Selected Publications


Kalman-Lamb, Nathan and Derek Silva. Forthcoming. The End of College Football: On the Human Cost of an All-American Game. Chapel Hill, NC: UNC Press.

Silva, Derek and Liam Kennedy. 2022. Power Played: A Critical Criminology of Sport. Vancouver, BC: UBC Press.



Luscombe, Alex, Kevin Walby and Derek Silva (eds.). 2022. Changing of the Guards: Private Influences, Privatization, and Criminal Justice in Canada. Vancouver, BC: UBC Press.



Silva, Derek and Mathieu Deflem (eds.). 2022. Diversity in Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies (Volume 27). Sociology of Crime, Law, and Deviance. Bingley, UK: Emerald



Deflem, Mathieu and Derek Silva (eds.). 2021. Media and Law: Between Free Speech and Censorship (Volume 26). Sociology of Crime, Law, and Deviance. Bingley, UK. Emerald.



Silva, Derek and Mathieu Deflem (eds.). 2020. Radicalization and Counter-Radicalization (Volume 25). Sociology of Crime Law and Deviance. Bingley, UK: Emerald.



Deflem, Mathieu and Derek M.D. Silva (eds.). 2019. Methods of Criminology and Criminal Justice Research (Volume 24). Sociology of Crime Law and Deviance. Bingley, UK: Emerald.



Journal Articles

Nathan Kalman-Lamb and Derek Silva. In Press. “’The coaches always make the health decisions’: Conflict of Interest as Exploitation in Power Five College Football.” Social Science and Medicine – Qualitative Research in Health.

Johanna Mellis, Silva, Derek, and Nathan Kalman-Lamb. In press. “’In The Arena’: Reflections on Critical Public Engagements on College Sport.“ Journal of Higher Education Athletics & Innovation.

Norman, Mark, Derek Silva, Liam Kennedy, William Cipolli III. 2024. “’Essential for the soul’?” Leisure as a flashpoint during the COVID-19 lockdowns in Ontario, Canada.” Annals for Leisure Research, 27(1): 167-186.

Kalman-Lamb, Nathan and Derek Silva. 2023. “‘Play’ing College Football: Campus Athletic Worker Experiences of Exploitation.” Critical Sociology. Online first.

Spencer, Dale, Derek Silva, Delphine DiTecco, and Carmen West. 2023. “CrossFit and ‘Cancel Culture‘: Probing practitioners’ responses to the ‘cancelling‘ of Greg Glassman.“ Journal of Sport and Social Issues. Online first.

Spencer, Dale, Rosemary Ricciardelli and Derek Silva. 2022. “’They Call Us for Everything’: Cynicism, Rural Policing, and Youth Justice.” Policing & Society, 32(6): 699-714

Kennedy, Liam and Derek Silva. 2021. “Knuckle-Dragging Thugs”: Civilizing Processes and the Biosocial Revolution in the National Hockey League.” Crime, Media, Culture 17(1): 105-126.

Sardoc, Mitja, C. A. J. Coady, Vittorio Bufacchi, Fathali Moghaddam, Quassim Cassam, Derek Silva, Nenad Miscevic, Gorazd Andrejc, Zdenko Kodelja, Boris Vezjak, Michael A. Peters, and Marek Tesar. 2021. “Philosophy of Education in a New Key: On Radicalization and Violent Extremism.” Educational Philosophy and Theory.

Kennedy, Liam and Derek Silva. 2020. “Discipline That Hurts”: Punitive Logics and Governance in Sport. Punishment & Society 22(5): 658-680.

Castleton, Alex, Alejandro Cid, and Derek Silva. 2020. “For Older Folks Like Me, These Things Are Over Us…”: The Challenge of Embedding iPads in Everyday Life Within a Long-term Care Facility.” Educational Gerontology 46(4): 167-181.

Kennedy, Liam, Derek Silva, William Cipolli, and Madelaine Coehlo. 2019. “We Are All Broncos: Hockey, Tragedy, and the Formation of Canadian National Identity.'' Sociology of Sport Journal 36(4): 189-202.

Silva, Derek, William Cipolli, and Roy Bower. 2018. "In Search of a Five-Star: The Centrality of Body Discourses in the Scouting of High School Football Athletes." Sociology of Sport Journal 35(3): 324-333.

Silva, Derek. 2018. "Radicalisation: The Journey of a Concept Revisited." Race & Class 59(4): 34-53.

Silva, Derek. 2017. "The Othering of Muslims: Discourses of Radicalization in the New York Times, 1969-2014." Sociological Forum 32(1): 138-161.

Book Chapters

Silva, Derek and Liam Kennedy. 2022. “Introduction: Towards a Critical Criminology of Sport.” In Power Played: A Critical Criminology of Sport. Vancouver, BC: UBC Press.

Silva, Derek and Mathieu Deflem. 2020. “Exporting Preemption: The Transnational Diffusion of Counter-Radicalisation Policing Strategies.” Pp. 179-200 in The Development of Transnational Policing: Past, Present and Future, edited by J.L.M McDaniel, K. E. Stonard & D.J. Cox. Albingdon, UK: Routledge.

Silva, Derek. 2019 "Police and Radicalization." Pp. 249-262 in The Handbook of Social Control, edited by M. Deflem. Walden, MA: Wiley Blackwell.

Deflem, Mathieu, Derek Silva, and Anna S. Rogers. 2018. "Domestic Spying: A Comparative Historical Perspective." Pp. 109-125 in the Cambridge Handbook of Social Problems, Edited by A. Javier Trevino. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Silva, Derek. 2018. “Committing Sociology in an Age of 'Fake News': Mass Media, Twitter and the Struggle for Knowledge in the Public Sphere.” Pp. 87-120 in Sociological Theory in Scientific Perspective, edited by J. Michalski. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers.

Deflem, Mathieu and Derek Silva. "Comparative and Historical Analysis." Forthcoming chapter in the Encyclopedia of Research Methods and Statistical Techniques in Criminology and Criminal Justice, Edited by J.C. Barnes and D.R. Forde. Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell.

Popular Writing

 “The Northwestern scandal is evidence that hazing isn’t simply a relic of football’s past.’ The Guardian, July 11, 2023 (w/ Nathan Kalman-Lamb)

“’We told you so’: For Black athletes racism from college fans is a familiar story.” The Guardian, October 6, 2022 (w/ Nathan Kalman-Lamb & Johanna Mellis)

“BYU hit with fresh allegations of racist abuse from crowd at athletic event.” The Guardian, September 30, 2022 (w/ Nathan Kalman-Lamb)

“‘I’m at a money-hungry school”: Athletes angry as colleges shun chance to pay them.” The Guardian, April 20, 2022 (w/ Nathan Kalman-Lamb & Johanna Mellis)

“‘A Slap in the Face’: College Coach Cash Grab Alienates Athletes.” Sportico, December 22, 2021 (w/ Nathan Kalman-Lamb & Johanna Mellis)

“Beyond NIL: 5 areas where the fight for college athletes’ rights continues.” Global Sports Matters, December 14, 2021 (w/ Nathan Kalman-Lamb & Johanna Mellis)

“How can colleges afford to pay outlandish salaries to Lincoln Riley and others?” Los Angeles Times, December 1, 2021 (w/ Nathan Kalman-Lamb & Johanna Mellis)

“Gary Bettman and Don Fehr Must Go.” Hockey in Society, November 30, 2021. (w/ Nathan Kalman-Lamb)

“Race, money, and exploitation: Why college sport is still the ‘new plantation.’” The Guardian, September 7, 2021. (w/ Nathan Kalman-Lamb & Johanna Mellis)

 “There’s never been a better time for college athletes to unionize.” The Guardian, May 27, 2021. (w/ Nathan Kalman-Lamb & Johanna Mellis)

“’I signed my life to rich white guys’: Athletes on the racial dynamics of college sports.” The Guardian, March 17, 2021. (w/ Nathan Kalman-Lamb & Johanna Mellis)

“A ruthlessly exploitative college football season finally draws to a close.” The Guardian, January 11, 2021. (w/ Nathan Kalman-Lamb & Johanna Mellis)

“Players rip a ‘corrupt’ college football season.” The Daily Beast, January 10, 2021. (w/ Nathan Kalman-Lamb & Johanna Mellis)

“College basketball needs to shut down during the Covid-19 pandemic.” TIME Magazine, December 21, 2020. (w/ Nathan Kalman-Lamb & Johanna Mellis)

 “Both football players and fans are sacrificial lambs for money-hungry universities.” Jacobin Magazine, October 28, 2020. (w/ Nathan Kalman-Lamb & Johanna Mellis)

 “College football feels all too normal during the pandemic.” TIME Magazine, October 22, 2020. (w/ Nathan Kalman-Lamb & Johanna Mellis)

“College football in a pandemic reveals our capacity for Trumpism.” The Baffler Magazine, October 19, 2020. (w/ Nathan Kalman-Lamb & Johanna Mellis)

“Red-Scare rhetoric isn’t gone from American sport.” Jacobin Magazine, August 30, 2020. (w/ Nathan Kalman-Lamb & Johanna Mellis)

“Cancelling the college football season is about union busting, not health.” The Guardian, August 12, 2020. (w/ Nathan Kalman-Lamb & Johanna Mellis)

“’We need help’: College football players respond to COVID-19 on campus.” The Guardian, August 3, 2020. (w/ Nathan Kalman-Lamb & Johanna Mellis)

“Canceling the college-football season isn’t enough.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 17, 2020. (w/ Nathan Kalman-Lamb & Johanna Mellis)