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History on Display: How Viewers Respond

Friday, February 14, 2014 - 10:00am - 1:00pm
Columbia University Morningside Campus International Affairs Building, Room 918

History on Display: How Viewers Respond

New Technologies for Measuring Visitors Responses at Historical Museums 

  • Denis Peschanski, History, CNRS, Universit Paris I
  • Yves Burnod, Neuroscience, Universit Paris VI Pierre and Marie Curie


  • Adam Brown, Psychology, Sarah Lawrence College
  • Marianne Hirsch, English and Comparative Literature and Women, Gender and Sexuality, Columbia University

Denis Peschanski and Yves Burnod will present an innovative experiment using eye-tracking technology and Inspot smart sensors to measure what visitors to historical museums look at. Conducted at the Mmorial de Caen, which commemorates the Second World War, the experiment attempts to uncover how memorial and historical sites affectand are affected bythe brain dynamics of memory. This research is part of the MATRICE project, which uses a technological approach to understanding the relationship between individual and collective memory.

The presentation will be followed by a discussion by Adam Brown, a cognitive psychologist who investigates the construction of autobiographical memory, and Marianne Hirsch, celebrated for her work on Holocaust memory.


Part of the research initiative The Politics of Difficult Pasts: Memory in Global Context.

This series of workshops examines the politics and culture of public memory by bringing together scholars of memory from the social sciences and humanities, cognitive science and neuroscience, and curators of historical and memorial museums.

Learn more about The Politics of Difficult Pasts