Though I initially returned to Canada to conduct a cross-country study of major museums, I quickly realized the untenability of conducting a critical project aimed at assembling a national narrative – even one that uses pluralism as its organizing principle. I decided to switch my research focus to engaging with various negotiations between local, national, and transnational frameworks. Ottawa has become a fascinating case study and site for public engagement.
Spurred by the proposed Memorial to the Victims of Communism and the National Holocaust Monument, I have been working with Jerzy Elżanowski (Carleton University, Indigenous and Canadian Studies) to trace a genealogy of importing figurative commemorative forms to Ottawa. We argue that a prefabricated transnational resolution has come at the expense of possible contemporary reconciliation with local and national cultural memory challenges. The article, “Working through the limits of multidirectional memory: Ottawa’s Memorial to the Victims of Communism and National Holocaust Monument”, was published in a special issue of Citizenship Studiesdevoted to Contesting Memory and Citizenship in Canada.