The impetus for the first edition was violent actions---the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017, which was touched off by discussions about removing a statue to Robert E. Lee, and resulted in the death of Heather Heyer. Since the publication of the first edition, both history and democracy are being threatened in ways that we were only seeing small glimpses of in 2018. Today, attempts to elevate new or more complex history has been met with vilification. States across the country have passed legislation to ban critical race theory from being taught in public schools and are seeking ways to limit what teachers are allowed to teach about slavery and race in the United States. These threats are unlikely to abate. As such, our responsibility as historians, community leaders, museum professionals, and citizens is to redouble our efforts to share human stories in relatable ways and to exercise our rights and wield our power whenever and however we can.
The revised edition tackles the great issues of our time against the backdrop of monument culture and historical truth.
David B. Allison is a member of the Arts & History team at the City and County of Broomfield. He is the author of Living History: Effective Costumed Interpretation and Enactment at Museums and Historic Sites (2016) and has worked in museums for almost 20 years.
Getting his start in museums at Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, and with a nine-year tenure at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Allison seeks to connect with people to illuminate important stories.
LIST OF FIGURES
LIST OF TERMS
Charlottesville, Memory and How to Read this Book
Part I: MUSEUMS, CONTROVERSY AND THE PAST
Part II: THE CIVIL WAR, RECONSTRUCTION AND THE INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF RACISM
Part III: NATIVE PEOPLES AND WHITE-WASHED HISTORY
Part IV: IDENTITY POLITICS AND THE RATIONAL AND SYMPATHETIC MINDS
15. Group Behavior, Self-examination and Clearing the Air around Controversial Issues,David B. Allison
16. Confederate Memorials: Choosing Futures for Our Past, A Veteran’s Perspective,George McDaniel
17. Speech upon the Removal of Confederate Statues from New Orleans, May 19, 2017,Mitch Landrieu
18. A Reflection of Us: The Simpsons and Heroes of the Past, Edited for Revised Edition, Jose Zuniga
Part V: COMMUNITY RESPONSIVENESS AND HISTORICAL RE-CONTEXTUALIZATION
19. “The Struggle to Overcome the Negatives of the Past”: Germany’sVergangenheitsbewältigung and South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Program, DavidB. Allison
20. “We as Citizens.…”: Approaches to Memorialization by Sites of Conscience around the World, Edited for Revised Edition, Linda Norris
21. Monumental Relationships: International Monument Culture and the United States in the Early 21st Century, Laura A. Macaluso
22. Listening and Responding to Community: A Long View, David B. Allison
23. Confederate Statues at the University of Texas at Austin, Ben Wright
24. Honoring El Movimiento: the Chicano Movement in Colorado, JJ Lonsinger Rutherford
25. Not What's Broken; What's Healed: Women in El Barrio and the Healing Power of Community, Vanessa Cuervo Forero
26. Telling the Whole Story: Education and Interpretation in Support of #1 in Civil Rights: The African American Freedom Struggle in St. Louis, Elizabeth Pickard
27. Project Say Something’s Whose Monument Project: Not Tearing Down History, But Building Up Hope, Brian Murphy
28. Changing of the Guard: Curating a New Conversation Around Colorado’s Toppled Civil War Monument, Jason L. Hanson
About the Editor and Contributors
It's exciting to imagine the possible audiences and uses for this very readable book. With its multiple perspectives; local, national, and international scope; and blend of primary and secondary sources, it might interest students, instructors, practitioners, scholars, members of the general public, or politicians. The authors address this timely topic with historical knowledge and an understanding of reparative justice, explaining how monuments have often contributed to systemic racism and how they can be removed, replaced, or contextualized without erasing difficult histories.
History is messy and monuments to history are equally so. Are they representative of a community’s history? Do they encapsulate communal memories? Or, are they simply public art? Alison’s book is a reminder that not only do these pieces represent a view of history, but they also have a history of their own. This new edition of Controversial Monuments and Memorials offers museums and public historians a variety of perspectives and potential paths to dealing with monuments and the history that is attached to them.