Dr. Cynthia E. Milton


Collaborator - Université de Montréal


Cynthia E. Milton presently works on historical and artistic representations in the aftermath of conflict, in particular contemporary Peru (www.histoireal.ca). She is the editor of Art from a Fractured Past: Memory and Truth-Telling in Post-Shining Path Peru (Durham: Duke Univ. Press, 2014), a co-editor of Curating Difficult Knowledge: Violent Pasts in Public Places (London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2011) and The Art of Truth-Telling about Authoritarian Rule (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2005). Major honours include the Bolton-Johnson Prize for The Many Meanings of Poverty: Colonialism, Social Compacts, and Assistance in Eighteenth-Century Ecuador (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007) and the Alexander Von Humboldt Experienced Researcher Fellowship. She holds a Canada Research Chair in Latin American History at the Université de Montréal and is an inaugural member of the Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars, Artists & Scientists.

Website: http://histoireal.ca

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Cynthia E. Milton, Conflicted Memory: Military Cultural Interventions and the Human Rights Era in Peru, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2018. Critical Human Rights Series

What happens when concepts of “truth,” “memory,” and “human rights” are taken up and adapted by former perpetrators of violence? Peru has moved from the 1980s–90s conflict between its armed forces and Shining Path militants into an era of open democracy, transitional justice, and truth and reconciliation commissions. Cynthia Milton reveals how Peru’s military has engaged in a tactical cultural campaign—via books, films, museums—to shift public opinion, debate, and memories about the nation’s violent recent past and its part in it. Milton calls attention to fabrications of our post-truth era but goes further to deeply explore the ways members of the Peruvian military see their past, how they actively commemorate and curate it in the present, and why they do so. Her nuanced approach upends frameworks of memory studies that reduce military and ex-military to a predictable role of outright denial.