Brenda Trofanenko, Ph.D.
Canada Research Chair & Associate Professor in Education, Culture & Community

Phone: (902) 585-1381

Research Interests

My research focuses on the development of disciplinary knowledge in public institutions including museums and archives, both in how each seeks to advance their historically-defined pedagogical purpose while remaining relevant to their respective publics. I examine specifically how the concepts of history and culture, both of which are dynamic concepts, are often rendered static within such institutions.

This research focus has prompted my further examination of public displays of memory. More recently, I am engaging in understanding how past events involving war and death are memorialized. Of particular interest is examining how youth come to grapple with the explicit purposes of institutions displaying difficult events and the emotional response prompted by such events.

Other areas of research interest include examining how museums and archives utilize digital technologies to advance the humanities, how institutions are engaging with issues of digital platforms to highlight their public educational purpose, and how all work to create knowledge.

Selected Publications

Trofanenko, B. & Segall, A. (in press). Addressing the pedagogical purpose of indigenous displays: The case of the national museum of the American indian. Diaspora, Indigenous and Minority Education.

Trofanenko, B. (in press). On traumatic history displayed: The pedagogical challenges of interminable learning. Museum Management and Curation.

Trofanenko, B. (2008). More Than a Single Best Narrative: Collective History and the Transformation of Historical Consciousness. Curriculum Inquiry, 38 (5), 579-60.

Trofanenko, B. (2008). Dare We Know the Nation? Considering the Nexus of Discursive Leveraging and Identity. Discourse, 29(3), 259-274.

Trofanenko, B. (2006). Displayed Objects, Indigenous Identities, and Public Pedagogy. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 37(4), 309-327.