Canada at the “Crossroads”

Jennifer Carter
School of Architecture, McGill University, Montråal, Canada

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Ingår i: National museums in a global world. NaMu III; Department of culture studies and oriental languages; University of Oslo; Norway; 19-21 November 2007

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 31:7, s. 81-90

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Publicerad: 2008-07-16


ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


This essay considers the intentions of the twenty-first century narrative history museum in relation to the museological genre’s predecessor in eighteenth-century France. In particular; the example of the newly-founded Canadian Museum for Human Rights; Canada’s first and only museum dedicated entirely to the subject of human rights; and the first federal museum to be erected outside of the nation’s capital in 40 years; signals great change in the contemporary concept of “nation”. The globalized world we inhabit has given rise to a new historiography: one that is transnational and that addresses such universal issues as human rights; oppression; violence; and pandemic crises such as AIDS. In light of the new historiography and political landscape of our shared global community; this essay considers the impact of globalization on the museum institution; by examining the foundations and conceptual development of the most recent type of narrative history museum to appear in Canada. Broadly speaking; this article asks what it means to present the new historiography in the context of the contemporary narrative history museum; while exploring the implications of exhibiting this subject matter and how it engages the critical consciousness and imagination of a universal citizenry.


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Antoine Predock’s website (http://www.predock.com).

Bonnell; Jennifer and Roger Simon. “ ‘Difficult’ exhibitions and intimate encounters.” Museum and Society 5 (2) (July 2007).

The Canadian Department of Justice website (http:/canada.justice.gc.ca)

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights website


Friscolanti; Michael. “Tribute to Human Rights.” National Post; Thursday; April 17; 2004.

Keith; Darcy. “Designer Unveils Vision for Human Rights Museum.” National Post; May 5; 2007.

Manguel; Alberto. The City of Words. Toronto: House of Anansi Press; 2007.

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