1st Edition

Human Rights Museums Critical Tensions Between Memory and Justice

By Jennifer Carter Copyright 2023
    222 Pages 44 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Human Rights Museums presents case studies that trace how calls for historical and social justice, and the commensurate rise of a rights regime have led to the emergence of a new museological genre: the human rights museum.

    Presenting innovative field research conducted in new and emerging human rights museums across Asia and Latin America, the book adopts a broad museological approach. It does so by including national and community museums, as well as public and private museological initiatives, within its purview. Drawing on in-depth case studies about museums in Taiwan, Japan, Paraguay and Colombia – all discussed within their political and cultural contexts – the book examines the paradigmatic shift that has occurred within the museum field in the wake of the larger global transformations that have shaped contemporary geo-politics over the last 50 years. The diversity of geographical and political contexts, and the attention to lesser-known institutions within the canon of English museum studies literature, presents readers with a valuable opportunity to learn more about innovative museological models in non-English-speaking and non-Western contexts.

    Human Rights Museums will appeal to academics, scholars and students of museum studies and related disciplines, and to museum professionals seeking to know more about the diverse and evolving roles of museums in contemporary society.

    Introduction: Tracing the trajectory of rights in museums; Chapter 1. The duty of memory, the imperative of justice and the rise of human rights museums; Chapter 2. Confronting discrimination with museology: Liberty Osaka and the emergence of human rights museums in Japan; Chapter 3. Memory, symbols and rendering at the National Human Rights Museum in Taiwan: activating cultural approaches to transitional justice; Chapter 4. Human rights museums in Latin America: where memory and human rights coalesce; Chapter 5. Museums, justice and planetary change; Conclusion: reconciling memory and justice in relation to museum work; Index.


    Jennifer Carter is Associate Professor in the Department of Art History and interfaculty graduate Museology programmes at the Université du Québec à Montréal in Canada. A core area of her research investigates the global phenomenon of human rights museology, and considers how historical and social justice are negotiated curatorially and pedagogically in cultural institutions dedicated to human rights in different geo-cultural and political contexts around the world. She earned her PhD at McGill University in Montréal and has published her research widely in English and French.