Monica Eileen Patterson is Assistant Director of Curatorial Studies in the Institute for the Comparative Study of Literature, Art, and Culture, and Associate Professor in the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She received her PhD in Anthropology and History from the University of Michigan. She is coeditor and contributing author of two books: “Curating Difficult Knowledge: Violent Pasts in Public Places” (Palgrave, 2011) and “Anthrohistory: Unsettling Knowledge, Questioning Discipline” (University of Michigan Press, 2011). Currently, she is completing a manuscript that examines the multiple and contested understandings of childhood in late-apartheid South Africa. As a scholar, curator, and activist, she is particularly interested in the intersections of memory, childhood, and violence in postcolonial Africa, and the ways in which they are represented and engaged in contemporary public spheres.
Her current research project, “A New, Critical Children’s Museology” identifies and develops approaches to producing exhibit content not just for or about children, but by and with children across the globe. Patterson is also an investigator on the SSHRC-funded Partnership project, “Thinking through the Museum: A Partnership Approach to Curating Difficult Knowledge in Public” brings together researchers, curators, artists, and community members seeking new terms of engagement for learning from histories of violence and conflict.