Are 
museums
 sites 
of 
memory?


Lorena Rivera‐Orraca


Abstract


The 
aim 
of 
this 
paper 
is 
to 
explore 
the 
museum 
as
 possible
 lieu
 de
 mémoire
 (or
 site/realm
 of
 memory)
 as
 articulated
 in
 the
 writings
 of
 French
 historian,
 Pierre
 Nora
 (1989,
 1996).
 My
 effort
 lies
 in
 how
 to
 debate,
 from
 a
 theoretical
 perspective,
 issues
 on
 history,
 past,
 memory
 and
 their
 ongoing
 construction
 in
 cultural
 institutions.
 In 
order 
to 
do 
this
I
 will 
briefly 
account 
for
 the
 creation
 and
 transformation
 of
 the
 modern
 museum,
 then
 I
 will
 concisely
 discuss
 the
 exhibition
 New
 York 
Divided:
Slavery
 and 
the 
Civil 
War 
as 
an 
attempt 
to
 illustrate 
with 
concrete
examples
 the 
main 
exploration
 of
 this
 paper.
 The
 exhibitions
 and
 displays
 alluded
 to
 in
 this
 work
 are
 mainly
 of
 historical
 character
 since
 the
 museum
 as
 part
 of
 a
 historical
 process
 and
 its
 connections
 to
 past,
 memory,
 and
 present
 are
 the
 central
 issues
 addressed 
here.
 


Full Text:

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References


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