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It was Very Wrong: A Comparative Examination of Moralization of Residential School Histories at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and in Canadian Comic Books

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It was Very Wrong: A Comparative Examination of Moralization of Residential School Histories at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and in Canadian Comic Books

Abarbanel, Kate (2016) It was Very Wrong: A Comparative Examination of Moralization of Residential School Histories at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and in Canadian Comic Books. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This paper compares how Canada’s residential school histories are discursively framed in Canadian comic books about residential schools and at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR). Specifically, I look at the extent to which this history is framed in terms of “moralization,” defined as a judgement made about “right” or “wrong” conduct. Both Canadian comic books and the CMHR’s treatments of residential school histories are heavily moralized, and in both sources residential schools tend to be moralized as examples of wrong conduct. However, this paper explores key differences between how, and to what degree, the two sources moralize this history, ultimately arguing that the particular “technology” and layout of the museum, as well as the placement of residential school related content allows for a layering of information that diversifies and creates hierarchies among various framings. I then postulate about what these moral judgments and hierarchies of information mean for education about residential schools in Canada and for levels of congruence between Aboriginal and settler narratives of residential schooling. In this paper, I observed moralization through determining the relative likelihood of museum and comic book content provoking sympathy and by analyzing the use of moralized words such as “abuse,” “wrong,” and “genocide.”

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Abarbanel, Kate
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:History
Date:17 August 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Lehrer, Erica
ID Code:981808
Deposited By: KATELYN ABARBANEL
Deposited On:07 Nov 2016 14:53
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:53
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