My doctoral research compares three interpretive strategies for presenting difficult heritage in museums: the Critical Narrative Strategy, the Multiple Narrative Strategy, and the Negotiated Strategy. In the Critical Narrative Strategy, a single curatorial voice explicitly draws links between difficult heritage and contemporary injustice in society. The objective of this approach is often to motivate museum visitors to work for progressive social change. In contrast, the Multiple Narrative Strategy dispenses with an authoritative curatorial voice and presents multiple, sometimes contradictory viewpoints in an attempt to de-escalate intergroup conflict and create common ground for promoting understanding among diverse parties. Unlike the Critical Narrative Strategy, it invites visitors to make their own meaning of past events. The Negotiated Strategy represents a middle ground between the Critical and Multiple Narrative Strategies: it presents multiple viewpoints within a clear ethical framework.
I have identified one museum that fits into each of the categories defined above. Using these museums as case studies, I will engage in exhibition analysis and auto-ethnography, as well as conducting semi-structured interviews with museum visitors and curatorial staff. This research presenting a comparative analysis on visitor responses to pedagogical strategies for presenting difficult heritage will provide museum professionals with the information they need to make more informed curatorial decisions when presenting difficult topics.
MAP Tutor 1 May 2019
→ 1 Sep 2019
Archives Intern, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library 1 Aug 2017
→ 10 Dec 2017
Copy/Content Editor, Train to Teach Ministries 1 Jun 2016
→ 1 Jun 2017
English Additional Language Tutor, Cairns Baptist Church 1 May 2016
→ 10 Jan 2017
Archaeology Intern , Monticello 1 Jun 2015
→ 10 Jul 2015