History Summer School

Sherbrooke derrière les barreaux


Université de Sherbrooke, Cégep de Sherbrooke, the Musée d’histoire de Sherbrooke, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec – Sherbrooke, the Société de sauvegarde de la vieille prison de Sherbrooke, Séminaire de Sherbrooke


The summer school Sherbrooke derrière les barreaux is an academic offering jointly organized by Cégep de Sherbrooke and Université de Sherbrooke. For one week during the summer of 2020, twenty students enrolled in the DEC in history and civilization at Cégep de Sherbrooke and the bachelor’s degree in history at UdeS will come together to explore a variety of themes that connect with key social issues of the past and present.

The main focus will be on Sherbrooke’s common prison (known as the Winter Jail) and the prison world at large. Participants will discover Sherbrooke’s prison as an encapsulation of the North American penal philosophies and techniques dating to the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th. Subjects of study will include the evolution of correctional institutions’ architectural forms, women’s roles in prisons, connections between correctional institutions and their urban environment, correctional measures for young offenders, highly publicized trials, the geography of crime, the execution of criminals, etc.

The summer school seeks to immerse students in the practical dimension of the historical discipline and to use a variety of instructional modes. During this intensive week, participants will acquire academic historical knowledge, develop research expertise and build personal skills thanks to an approach centred on collegiality, peer learning and teamwork.


Sophie Abdela, History Department Professor, Université de Sherbrooke

Frédéric Moisan, History Department Professor, Cégep de Sherbrooke

This project has received $20,000 in financial support from PRESE under its winter 2019 funding competition.