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date: 05 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Rather than a “lieu de memoire,” collective memory in Canada is a contested domain which is at once local and global, here and there, a dynamic deriving from the complexities of Canada’s avowedly “multicultural” status. This dynamic emerges in a range of literary works, as well as in the political domain, where national memorialization, as in the Museum of Human Rights, is highly contested both for its inclusions and exclusions, making of cultural memory a paradoxical site of national forgetting as well as remembering. Examining a range of literary works, from Klein’s The Second Scroll and Weinzweig’s Basic Black with Pearls to Adderson’s History of Forgetting and Chariandy’s Soucouyant, as well as the controversies attending increasingly political acts of memorialization, the chapter concludes by arguing the need for an archaeology of the present.

Keywords: cultural memory, collective memory, lieu de memoire, national memorialization, Museum of Human Rights

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