Research in Carceral Cultures
UWinnipeg Associate Professor and Chancellor’s Research Chair Dr. Kevin Walby (Criminal Justice) leads the Carceral Cultures research initiative with Justin Piché at the University of Ottawa. Carceral Cultures will generate knowledge about Canada’s culture of punishment and related penal policies and practices. This includes exploring representations of crime, law, order, and state power, in the context of prison, jail, police, and court museums across Canada. Carceral Cultures is part of UWinnipeg’s Cultural Studies Research Group (CSRG) led by Dr. Angela Failler (Women’s and Gender Studies).
“Carceral Cultures is part of an exploration of how museums and cultural productions help foster public views of criminal justice,” said Walby. “Ultimately, we need to understand the messages communicated in museums and in other cultural productions if we hope to change the way prisons and jails are used in Canada in the years to come.”
Failler is enthusiastic about the affiliation with CSRG and noted, “Dr. Walby is engaged in an exciting and multi-faceted program of research that fits really well with the aim of Cultural Studies as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry into how formations of knowledge, power, material, and psychical life come to circulate in and as ‘culture.’ I’m inspired by his Carceral Cultures project, which will involve members of the CSRG carrying out research alongside Dr. Walby on military museums in Manitoba.”
The research will explore how museums shape public views of punishment in Canada; more specifically, it will examine museum histories, spatial and architectural features of museums, tour guide styles, tourist perceptions, curation, museum marketing and policy, as well as links between these museums and operational criminal justice agencies.
“Carceral Cultures is a great collaboration between University of Winnipeg and the University of Ottawa,” said Dr. Justin Piché, Criminology, the University of Ottawa. “UWinnipeg is really good at creating links between disciplines and areas of study and it is all very exciting”.
For more information on the initiative please visit the project website Carceral Cultures.
Naniece Ibrahim, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg
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