History And Memory Essay

By considering historical memory in terms of its significance as a key methodology to both National Historic Sites and gender history, it is possible to more fully understand the potential relationship between these two areas.

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This article is to serve as an introduction to the complex theoretical questions surrounding these concepts and thereby encourage more concrete case study examples to be explored in the future that can aid in the continued development and evolution of both gender history and heritage conservation.

Through the employment of historical memory as a theoretical framework, it is possible to consider crucial questions within heritage conservation as a practice, such as: how does memory function at National Historic Sites?

The second section will introduce the practice of heritage conservation, specifically in relation to historical memory.

From a theoretical examination of heritage conservation, it becomes apparent that the methodology of historical memory is often already employed within the practice.

Historical memory is a significant methodology employed within gender history in order to examine complex questions surrounding the formation of memories and history more generally.

It builds upon the feminist methodology of oral history but presents a more complex set of questions that examines the construction of the memory itself.Elle se fonde sur l’histoire orale, mais présente un ensemble plus complexe de questions qui examinent la construction de la mémoire elle-même.De même, la mémoire historique est une méthodologie clée utilisée dans la conservation du patrimoine car elle sert comme une source importante de documentation et elle est utile dans la « mise en scène » du passé aux Lieux historiques nationaux.In response to this critique, the practice of heritage conservation has transformed to include the history of the ‘other’.Nevertheless, the relationship between gender history and heritage conservation has rarely been examined and is under-represented in academic literature despite a formal recognition by both fields regarding the importance of the connection (Parks Canada, 2000; Dubrow and Goodman, 2003).These questions, and the need to apply them to concrete case study examples, have resulted from the theoretical discussions of this particular paper and continue to inform my ongoing research in this area. The first section will outline the methodology and theoretical framework being considered, specifically historical memory, and its connections with feminist theory.It will trace the development of historical memory from its roots within oral history, recognizing the connections between these important feminist historical methodologies.Which memories are commemorated and performed, which memories are left out, and for what purpose?And, how can memories be used in order to ‘reclaim’ alternative histories not traditionally presented at National Historic Sites?National Historic Sites offer Canadians a tangible representation of a ‘shared past’ that is constructed by site promoters and historians alike.Whether to attract visitors or reaffirm perceived and accepted Canadian values, National Historic Sites are promoted as important symbols of the past.


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