Washington State has a park named after Jefferson Davis and an elementary school named after Robert E. Lee. Until this summer, a monument to Confederate soldiers sat in Lakeview Cemetery. Though far away from the Civil War, our state contains numerous commemorations to a war fought to preserve the grotesque institution of slavery.
What purpose do these memorials now serve? Do these statues remind us of what should never happen again, or do they glorify injustice and racism? Would removing them help with healing, or encourage forgetting? How do cultures use public art to remember, and how should we approach memorials going forward? And where should we draw the line in removing monuments, when so many people we’ve memorialized do not conform to the moral standards of today?
In the wake of a summer where statues have been toppled or removed throughout the US, join us to discuss our year of monuments, memory, and reckoning. How do we confront a racist past without mythologizing it?
Featuring Reiko Hillyer, history professor at Lewis & Clark College; Jasmine Mahmoud, arts leadership professor at Seattle University; and Josh Reid, professor of history and American Indian studies at the University of Washington. Moderated by Marc Carpenter, PhD candidate in history at the University of Oregon.
- December 9, 2020
- Humanities Washington