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November 15, 2019 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm

Dodson Room, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 1961 East Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Canada

Please RSVP here to attend the talk. A faculty and UBC-employee only reception will follow after.

There is nothing novel in thinking about the city of Paris as a kind of museum, nor in paying attention to the many museums the city is known for. Wikipedia has the most extensive listing of such institutions, at 130; the Paris Museum Pass provides free access to over 50, allowing cardholders to jump the lines at all the top attractions and make whirlwind tours of art, history, science, and splendour, as well as sewers and crypts beneath the city streets. These sites tell many stories, offering diverse perspectives, engaging in various conversations about the city and the nation, though no single museum takes on either of these subjects directly. This presentation examines some of these stories, but more than focusing on individual exhibitions or institutions, it explores how these are situated in dialogue through an urban geography that establishes a framework mirroring a dominant image of French national society both expressing and containing difference within it.

Caitlin Gordon-Walker - As an interdisciplinary scholar, my work draws together perspectives from anthropology, museology, political theory, history, sociology, geography, literature, and visual and material culture studies. My recent research explores how museums represent cultural identity and difference, examining in particular the implications of various representational practices for their effects on hegemonic and counter-hegemonic understandings of cultural identity and difference in relation to nationalism. My book Exhibiting Nation: Multicultural Nationalism (and Its Limits) in Canada’s Museums, examines these themes in the Canadian context. This research is part of my longer term interest in the politics of museums and other forms of public cultural representation, both in Canada and elsewhere, in relation to nationalism, colonialism, and difference.