PORTLAND — Alice Greenwald, founding director of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, will give a talk at the Maine Humanities Council’s annual Dorothy Schwartz Forum at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at One Longfellow Square.

The program, “9/11 and the Creation of Collective Memory,” will use 9/11 as a case study to better understand the concept of collective memory, the memory of a group of people that’s typically passed from one generation to the next.

Greenwald has been the museum’s director since 2006 and played a central role in the museum’s creation, which took nearly a decade of intensive work encompassing stakeholder consultations, public outreach and careful consideration of how to tell the stories of Sept. 11, 2001, and Feb. 26, 1993, the date of the first World Trade Center bombing.

Everything from choosing artifacts and preparing exhibits to coordinating architectural designs and educational components took place in a highly charged public environment, with Greenwald and her team navigating the strong emotions of all who experienced those days. Greenwald will discuss the development of the museum and how museums in general function as sources of collective memory.

Other speakers will include William Hirst, Malcolm B. Smith chair and professor of psychology at the New School in New York and co-author of long-term studies on collective memory and 9/11; and Eden Osucha, associate professor of English and member of the American Cultural Studies Program at Bates College, who teaches a course on the literature and film of 9/11.


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