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Curator (Temporary full-time position)
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) is the first museum in the world solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration and future of human rights. It is the first national museum in Canada to be built outside the National Capital Region. Located in the heart of Canada in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the CMHR rises from the Prairie earth at The Forks, which has been a meeting place for over six thousand years.
The CMHR delivers an immersive, interactive and memorable experience for visitors of every background, age and ability. Each visitor has access to a fully reinvented museum experience that reflects a design approach that sets new Canadian and world standards for inclusion and universal accessibility.
We are seeking talented individuals who are motivated to share their passion and commitment to join our team. Together, we aim to enhance the public’s understanding of human rights, to promote respect for others, and to encourage reflection and dialogue.
Reporting to the Manager, Research and Curation, the Curators are subject matter experts in their fields relevant to human rights. The Curator is an experienced scholar who plays an important role within and beyond the museum, informing and influencing a wide variety of programs, products, and services.
The Curator informed by corporate objectives, and the strategic plan, creates content through research to be communicated to a broad array of audiences and through various media including exhibitions (physical, online, and digital), events and programs, and public and scholarly engagement. This may include conducting primary, secondary, and oral history research. The Curator may be asked to propose research plans and undertake major research projects. The Curator in collaboration with other departments and divisions supports and provides subject matter expertise across the museum; and performs other related duties as reasonably assigned.
- Proposes and curates exhibitions on human rights issues from a variety of disciplines on topics of interest to the CMHR (in–house, online, digital, and/or in cooperation with other cultural institutions or human rights organizations);
- Proposes and develops content for exhibitions (in-house, external, online, and digital), including the oversight of contractors if required; including archival, artefact, image, and related forms of research, asset selection (image, artefact, other digital and AV), text writing, and related forms of exhibition development; in keeping with Museum processes and practices, collaborates with design, interpretation, programs, and related functional areas across departments and within the division;
- In keeping with best practices in ethical human rights research, and when appropriate, in collaboration with the Museum’s stakeholder relations function, consults with individuals and communities whose stories will be shared in Museum projects and programs and maintains these relationships on an ongoing basis;
- Works with other internal departments to develop exhibition plans, budgets and schedules;
- Participates in the dissemination of information on exhibitions, including staff training, media promotion, visitor inquiries, and contributes to social media and programming.
Contributes to the development of Museum collections:
- Undertakes research and fieldwork to develop CMHR collections relating to human rights issues and the lived experience of human rights;
- Plans and conducts oral history interviews and practices other methods of researching and documenting lived experiences and other aspects of Canada’s intangible heritage;
- Contributes to the ongoing development of the oral history program and associated activities;
- Engages in the acquisition of artefacts, photographs and archival material related to their area of expertise in accordance with established procedures including documentation, and presentation of acquisitions proposals to the appropriate CMHR committee(s);
- Negotiates/liaises as required regarding collections acquisitions with donors or vendors;
- Provides advice as appropriate on proposed acquisitions;
- Undertakes research as appropriate to further document and increase knowledge of existing CMHR and other collections related to the field of human rights.
Contributes to building and maintaining the CMHR’s national and international reputation by sharing existing Museum research and when appropriate planning and conducting additional research and communicating results to appropriate audiences:
- Plans and conducts research (primary, secondary, and oral history) on human rights issues using various methods and sources;
- Critically analyzes and synthesizes research findings for CMHR publications and digital platforms and for scholarly and popular publications in print format or in a variety of other media;
- Responsible for ensuring a high degree of scholarly rigor and integrity, including participation and oversight of formal academic processes including peer review;
- Presents research results at professional meetings, conferences and other gatherings of groups with special interest in the subject;
- May be asked to be a spokesperson to media, public, and scholarly audiences regarding specific museum exhibits, programs and activities.
Informs and influences a wide variety of audiences about human rights issues:
- Provides expert advice to the CMHR executive and other CMHR departments on the subject of human rights, including risk assessment and issues management;
- Participates, as required, in the Museum’s content review process and assists with responses to visitor or stakeholder feedback related to the Museum’s programs or approaches;
- Participates on relevant committees and working groups, including operational and project-specific groups, to provide subject matter expertise;
- Determines and informs the scope and parameters of the information required for content development of Museum programs;
- Participates in training internal staff and awareness building on human rights-specific subject matter.
Provides professional leadership in the field of human rights:
- Builds and maintains research partnerships
- Maintains contacts and leadership in professional, museum and scholarly associations;
- Provides services to the academic and museum professions through activities that may include, but are not limited to, providing peer reviews for scholarly and Museum publications, promotions or grant applications, participation on thesis or dissertation committees, graduate student and museum studies student supervision, teaching university courses, speaking to certain Museum audiences, mentoring curatorial interns, etc.
Performs other related duties:
- Undertakes special projects as reasonable and requested;
- Provides general supervision for students, contractors, volunteers, and fellows engaged in professional activities at the CMHR;
- Provides specialized tours, presentations, and responses to requests for information within the Museum, in support of the Friends of the CMHR, and to external parties, including support for stakeholder relations;
- Prepares grant applications to support curatorial activities as appropriate.
Skills and Qualifications – Required
- Minimum of a master’s degree in a field relevant to human rights (Indigenous rights, history, political science, sociology, law, cultural studies, anthropology, oral history, etc.) and 3 – 5 years’ experience in conducting in-depth research on human rights related topics or an equivalent combination of education and experience
- Demonstrated in-depth knowledge within the field of human rights issues
- Knowledge of scholarly research methodologies, and critical perspectives in a variety of related disciplines
- Experience in writing for scholarly publications, and in communicating research findings on human rights topics
- 2-3 years’ experience in curation (including research, exhibitions, and collections development)
- Ability to present information from multiple sources through popular writing, lectures and exhibitions suitable to a broad public audience
- Ability to engage in dialogue with people of varying viewpoints and to exercise tact and diplomacy in working on projects of a difficult, specialized or highly sensitive nature
Skills and Qualifications – Desired
- PhD in a field relevant to the history of human rights
- The ability to communicate in both official languages, oral and written, is a significant asset
- Post-secondary education in museum Studies
- Demonstrated superior communication skills, written and oral
- Experience contributing subject matter expertise, e.g., on committees, panels, or editorial boards; by reviewing papers and grant applications; by teaching at the university level and/or supervising students
- Excellent analytical skills, ability to synthesize disparate information in accessible ways
- Excellent interpersonal skills, ability to collaborate with multiple teams within the department and across all divisions
- Excellent communication skills, ability to convey difficult subject matter to a wide range of audiences (scholarly, public, media, etc.)
- Attention to detail, particularly with regard to accuracy, balance, authenticity and integrity of the museum’s subject matter as conveyed through multiple programs
- Integrity and Rigor – focused on producing a high quality and credible outcome.
- Ability to conduct research using a variety of digital sources, basic understanding of various digital, reference, and research platforms used to disseminate content
- Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
- Ability to manage multiple concurrent projects and deadlines; strong organization skills
- Ability to work independently and within a team or on committees; works collaboratively with others to achieve organizational goals
Official Language Proficiency:
Working Conditions and Physical Demands
- Ability to work in an office environment, reading lengthy documents and long periods at a desk and/or computer
- Ability to travel
- Based on the type of work required of this position, individuals in this role may be exposed to high mental and emotional stress due to the difficulty of the subject matter (abuse, torture, death, etc.) and the process of conducting oral history interviews
Conditions of Employment
- Security Screening Level – Reliability Status
- Child Abuse Registry Check
Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and résumé through CMHR’s Careers page at https://humanrights.ca/about/careers by May 14, 2018. The cover letter must provide concrete examples that illustrate how they meet the education and experience factors listed in the Qualifications – Required and Desired (if applicable). Résumés will be used as a secondary source to validate the education and experience described in the cover letter.
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is committed to developing inclusive, barrier-free recruitment processes and work environment. Please advise the HR representative if accommodation measures must be taken to enable you to apply and be assessed in a fair and equitable manner.
All applicants will receive a confirmation of receipt of their application. We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.
Intent / Result of process: An eligibility list of qualified candidates may be created as a result of this process. The list would have a retention schedule of six months.
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