Projet en Vedette: Culture Populaire, Média et Technologie / Featured Project: Popular Culture, Media and Technology

Les dates limites pour postuler aux programmes de doctorat (10 janvier) et de maîtrise (15 janvier) offerts par le département de criminologie à l'Université d'Ottawa approchent rapidement. Dans le mois suivant, vous trouverez quelques-uns des nombreux exemples de projet de recherche conduits par les professeurs dans chacun de nos dix champs de recherche. L'édition d'aujourd'hui expose le projet de Justin Piché dans le champ de recherche «Culture populaire, média et technologie».

The application deadlines for the doctoral (January 10) and master’s programs (January 15) offered by the Department of Criminology at the University of Ottawa are rapidly approaching.  Over the next month you will find a few of the many examples of research projects being led by professors in each of our ten research fields. Today’s edition showcases a project by Justin Piché within the research field of “Popular culture, Media and Technology”. 


Popular Culture, Media and Technology / Culture populaire, média et technologie

  • A Culture of Justice? Meanings of Penality in Canadian Penal History Museums (Justin Piché)

While prison museums have been the focus of academic work in criminology, sociology, tourism studies and related fields, there are other heritage sites where cultural representations of penality are produced, communicated, consumed, and interpreted.  Penal history museums are important because they, like other cultural sites, shape public understandings of, and state responses to, law-breaking. Thus, museum representations can reinforce or challenge the legitimacy of punishment as a means of obtaining justice. It is with this in mind that Kevin Walby (University of Winnipeg) and I established the Carceral Cultures Research Initiative (CCRI), which first studied representations of penality in Canadian lock-up, jail, prison and penitentiary museums.  Extending this work, our new project explores how the notion of punishment as justice is negotiated in policing and court museums in Canada through an analysis of how the dynamics of heritage site emergence, along with curation, tour guide and marketing work, shape penal meaning making, including among visitors.  The insights generated from our field work in policing and court museums will then be compared to our findings concerning prison museums, which is a contribution that has yet to be made in penal tourism scholarship. Current and prospective University of Ottawa students interested in conducting research on cultural representations of penality in museums and other tourist settings as part of the Carceral Cultures Research Initiative are encouraged to contact Professor Piché.

Professor Justin Piché is also participating in other research: