Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts


Art History


Kirsty Robertson


This thesis explores the relationship between memorial museums and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR), Winnipeg. Although the CMHR self-defines as an idea museum, using theories of remembrance, commemorative museum pedagogy, memory, and difficult knowledge, the CMHR is also easily situated in the growing global network of memorial museums. Angela Failler's theory of consolatory hope and my own theory of past-future dissonance suggest that there are several reasons the CMHR has not fulfilled its intended mandate of advocating for human rights in the present. Through a compare and contrast approach, this paper argues that the CMHR should look to memorial museum’s practices of remembrance to better engage visitors with difficult knowledge, especially in exhibitions related to histories of genocide both abroad and within Canada's own borders.