During the last two weeks of my time in Santiago, my research on Chile’s Memory and Human Rights Museum has covered some exciting, new ground. Interviews with key Museum players – specifically those who have participated in the collection of Museum objects and images – have uncovered a new layer of political complexity, while informal meetings with local researchers has introduced me to a still-emerging set of public debates regarding both the functioning of this institution and its political significance in post-dictatorship Chile.
The images and objects that make up the Museum’s collection – including those that are displayed and those that are kept stored in the Museum’s archive – have all been voluntarily donated to the Museum. From the Museum’s perspective, this process of donating personal objects that bear both individual and collective significance as relics of the past is an integral part of the Museum’s ongoing memory work. The act of donating is not only the process through which the Museum collects and stores the past; it is also a process through which individuals can participate in the construction of that past. The donation of objects, therefore, is as much about the immaterial, personal, and emotional processes that accompany the giving and leaving of things as it is about the historical significance of each material object that is placed there. In outlining an institutional objective that includes the collection and storage of material objects and immaterial personal responses, the Museum has opted to serve as a bridge between the past and present and to treat memory as an ongoing social process in the here and now. At the same time, however, it has also established a museological goal – the collection, catalogization, and the storage of intangible emotions – that requires close attention be paid not only to what the Museum exhibits but also the function that it bears as a memory space.
Rachel McCormick, participant of the CLACS Teacher Residency program, in Havana, Cuba
In September 2010, as part of its K-12 Outreach initiatives,
CLACS launched the Teacher Residency Program
. The Residency Program is structured, in part, on feedback from NYC teachers who have emphasized the need for more individualized support to develop their own teaching resources on Latin America. As part of their applications, teachers submitted individual research proposals under the overarching theme of Latin America and the Cold War. Accepted applicants have been matched with appropriate NYU faculty, who will serve as their advisors. Participants have also been provided with an orientation and granted access to NYU’s Bobst library
and its resources.
Selected Teacher Residents for the 2010/2011 Teacher Residency Program are Karen Michels and Lev Moscow, from the Beacon School, and Rachel McCormick, from the Bronx Leadership Academy. Residents, who are also supported by CLACS administrative staff and and graduate students at the Steinhardt School of Education, are expected to produce teaching materials by late December which will then be included in the curricular materials housed on the CLACS website.
All residents will present their materials in the upcoming K-12 educator conference titled Teaching the Cold War and Latin America in a High School Classroom, which is scheduled to take place on January 31, 2011, coinciding with a Professional Development Day for NYC public school teachers.
CLACS wishes the following graduates a celebratory congratulations on the completion of their degrees:
Let us know about your future successes!