Mariana Valverde's current main research interests are: urban law and governance (historically and in the present), and, at the  theoretical level, Foucault, sexuality studies, theories of spatiotemporality, and actor-network theory. A fellow of the Royal Society of Canada since 2006, she is the author of six sole-authored books, six co-edited collections, about 50 refereed journal articles,  and various research reports and popular publications. She has twice won the Law and Society Association’s Jacob award, its main book prize.

As of early 2014 Mariana's main priority has been finishing a book, to be published by Routledge London, entitled “Chronotopes of Law” – a work of social-legal theory showing how Bakhtin’s work on dialogsm and  spatiotemporality can be used to overcome legal studies’ current tendency to separate spatial analyses from theorizations of temporality, and in the process wholly neglecting jurisdiction. The book builds on a number of already published theoretical articles but has been written from scratch.

In addition, she is the principal investigator for a SSHRC-funded project, “Planning by contract?” (2013-1016). The project illuminates how legal tools from private law, such as contracts, as well as the governance structures developed for and by public-private partnerships, are changing local and municipal governance.

Mariana's PhD was in Social and Political Thought, York University (1982), where she continued the love affair with Hegel that started as an undergraduate. Her dissertation, on ‘French Romantic socialism and the  critique of political economy’, did not lead to any publications, in part because she was then immersed in feminist and gay rights activism. Indeed, her first tenure track job (1988) was in Women’s Studies at Trent. A year after that she became an Associate Professor in the Sociology department at York. Since 1993 she has been a professor at the  University of Toronto’s Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies, serving as Director from 2007 to 2013. At U of T, she was one of the founders of the Sexual Diversity Studies program, and currently has  courtesy cross appointments at the Faculty of Law and the Department of Geography and Planning.