Date Thesis Awarded

5-2015

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

Modern Languages

Advisor

Michael Leruth

Committee Member

Ronald Schechter

Committee Member

Loïc Bourdeau

Abstract

This thesis examines the complex mechanics of collective memory in France through a study of museums dedicated to World War II. Through a chronological analysis of museums that have emerged over the past seventy years, I endeavor to connect the evolution of the French war museum to the creation, propagation and ultimate disintegration of the ‘Resistance Myth,’ a national wartime narrative propagated by the French government in the postwar period. This study concludes with an analysis of the current status of the WWII museum as an educative and commemorative institution that presents the Resistance in a restructured though not entirely unprecedented light.