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The Past in Public: Museums and Memory

May 2, 2014 • 10AM-1PM

Columbia University, Kent Hall, Room 403

Part of the Politics of Memory in Global Context series, this international panel of museum curators discussed the challenges of public exhibitions that deal with a difficult past: political constraints, conflicting narratives, material culture, and traumatic events.

  • Clifford Chanin, National September 11 Memorial and Museum
  • Stephane Grimaldi, Mémorial de Caen
  • Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Performance Studies, New York University, and Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw
  • Valerie Paley, New York Historical Society
  • Jacqueline Eidelman, Department of National Heritage, French Ministry of Culture and Communication, France
  • Andreas Huyssen, German and Comparative Literature, Columbia University

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About the Politics of Memory in Global Context

Bringing together scholars of memory from the social sciences and humanities, cognitive science and neuroscience, and curators of historical and memorial museums to examine the politics and cultures of memory.

Politics of Memory in Global Context bannerThe Politics of Memory in Global Context is a Franco-American collaborative project that brings together scholars in the social sciences and humanities who work on collective or public memory; cognitive scientists, psychologists, and neuroscientists who work on individual memory; and curators of historical and memorial museums who present the past to the public.  The main museum partners are the Mémorial de Caen, the national World War II museum in France, and the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York.

Led by Professor Carol Gluck at Columbia, the project combines diverse disciplinary approaches and insists on considering its topics comparatively in global context in order to discern commonalities among them,  develop new analytic perspectives on the formation and operation of public memory, and  suggest policies for better political management of divisive memories within and between countries.

Learn more about the Politics of Memory in Global Context.