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ERIC Number: EJ1064963
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-1071-4413
Human Rights and/or Market Logic: Neoliberalism, Difficult Knowledge, and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Milne, Heather
Review of Education, Pedagogy & Cultural Studies, v37 n2-3 p106-124 2015
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) has been plagued by controversy since before its construction even began. Outcries regarding perceived oversights in the museum's programming and objections to the cost of construction, curatorial development, and staffing have erupted frequently in local media. Critical analyses of public responses to the museum have focused predominantly on objections raised regarding the content of the museum and its perceived failure to represent all human rights struggles or stories of marginalization equally (Moses 2012; Blumer, this issue). Rarely examined in critical analyses of public opposition to the CMHR, however, are objections regarding the financial cost of the museum. This article aims to show the museum's engagement with human rights ultimately accommodates aspects of neoliberal thinking. It considers the ways in which neoliberal thinking informs both the perception of the museum among a local public as well as the museum's own presentation of its mandate and vision. Although there has been support for the museum among the public, there has also been a fair amount of opposition and skepticism. For the purposes of this article, the author focuses primarily on opposition to the museum. She begins by exploring how local opposition to the CMHR articulated by the fiscal and social conservative readership and editorial stance of the "Winnipeg Sun" might be understood in part as a manifestation of neoliberal sentiment. She then examines the relationship between the museum and difficult knowledge, first by suggesting that populist opposition to the museum could be read as a defense against difficult knowledge, and second by suggesting that the framework of difficult knowledge can offer a useful alternative to arguments that understand the museum's use value in largely economic terms. She concludes by examining the museum's own presentation of its mandate and vision, suggesting that the museum participates in a branding and commodification of human rights that is consistent with neoliberalism and ultimately incompatible with frameworks derived from difficult knowledge.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada (Winnipeg)