Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Ledgerwood, Judy, 1959-

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Anthropology


Cambodia--History--1975-1979--Exhibitions; Remembering the Killing Fields--Exhibitions; Psychic trauma--Exhibitions; Collective memory--Exhibitions


In 2011, the National Cambodian Heritage Museum and Killing Fields Memorial (NCHM) opened an exhibition titled, Remembering the Killing Fields (RKF). The exhibit was formed from the collection and curation of survivor memory in the form of life history interviews and documentary objects representing the period of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia (1975-1979). This research examines the development process of the RKF exhibit, looking particularly at the negotiations, challenges, and decisions that occurred behind-the-scenes between multiple groups involved in the exhibit's design, including first-generation Cambodian survivors, 1.5/2.0-generation Cambodian Americans, as well as non-Khmer museum professionals and scholars. How did NCHM/CAI deal with the multiple, and sometimes conflicting, expectations for the exhibit by the various groups involved in its development? How did the museum balance efforts between goals of memorialization and education in the RKF exhibit? How did politics of memory and representation affect the exhibit design? How does the museum's representation of the Khmer Rouge period compare to other narratives and forms of representation of the period? This thesis explores the ways in which the Cambodian genocide is represented, remembrance is enacted, and how survivors and communities affected by genocide gain power and voice by producing survivor narratives in this memorial museum setting.


Advisors: Judy Ledgerwood.||Committee members: Susan Needham; Mark Schuller.||Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations.


iv, 194 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type