Marie-Anne Gagnon is the Curator at the MEM (the former Centre d’histoire de Montréal), a museum and cultural space dedicated to stories from and about Montreal. Her work consists in managing, conserving and listening to the museum’s historical collections (artefacts, photos and oral history interviews). She also employs her public historian training to develop exhibition contents.
Marie-Anne previously worked as a freelance public historian, providing research, archival, and oral history services to museums, governmental institutions and universities. She has been a COHDS affiliate since 2012 and served as the Centre’s interim Associate Director in 2017.
Marie-Anne studies and values neighbourhood and community memories, stories about daily life, as well as post-colonial and participatory museology. She believes museums have a mandate to tell stories by, with and for communities, educate with empathy, and include unheard voices.
She holds an Honours B.A. in History from Université de Montréal and an M.A. in Public History from Carleton University. Her Master’s research essay explored how settler Canadians appropriated Indigenous foods to construct a national identity. A baker and a cook, she loves culinary history, because food connects us to nature, seasonal cycles, family traditions, cultural diversity and community.
Publication and presentation
« Histoire orale : un trésor muséal. La collection de témoignages du MEM », Histoire Canada, Numéro spécial hors série – 50 Merveilles de nos Musées: Les plus beaux trésors de la francophonie canadienne, mai 2022
« L’archivage de l’histoire orale : obstacles et solutions », Colloque L’histoire orale, une pratique en évolution, 22 octobre 2021