1st Edition

Fallen Monuments and Contested Memorials

Edited By Juilee Decker Copyright 2023
    228 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    228 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Fallen Monuments and Contested Memorials examines how the modification, destruction, or absence of monuments and memorials can be viewed as performative acts that challenge prescribed, embodied narratives in the public realm.

    Bringing together international, multidisciplinary approaches, the chapters in this volume interrogate the ways in which memorial constructions disclose implicitly and explicitly the proxy battle for public memory and identity, particularly since 2015. Acknowledging the ways in which the past — which is given agency through monuments and memorials — intrudes into daily life, this volume offers perspectives from researchers that answer questions about the roles of monuments and memorials as persistent, yet mutable, works whose meanings are not fixed but are, rather, subject to processes of continual re-interpretation. By using monuments and memorials as lenses through which to view race, memory, and the legacies of war, power, and subjugation, this volume demonstrates how these works, and their visible representations of entitlement, possession, control, and authority, can offer the opportunity to pose and answer questions about whose memory matters and what our symbols say about who we are and what we value.

    Fallen Monuments and Contested Memorials is essential reading for scholars and students studying cultural heritage, history, art history, and public history. It will be particularly useful to those with an interest in public monuments and memorials; colonial and post-colonial history; memory studies; and nationalism, race, and ethnic studies.

    Introduction: The Post-Creation Life of Monuments and Memorials by Juilee Decker

    1. Following in Father’s Footsteps: Slavery, Imperialism, and the William Ewart Gladstone Memorial Statue in Liverpool City Centre, by Stephen Small
    2. Problematical Benefactors and Founding Fathers: Negotiating Sculptures of MT Steyn and JH Marais at South African Universities, by Brenda Schmahmann
    3. Recasting Columbus: Local Contestations Against the Monumentalization of Settler Colonialism, by Istifaa O. Ahmed, Maggie Unverzagt Goddard, Allyson LaForge, Aura M. Ochoa
    4. "Decolonizing the Streets!" of California through the Removal of Junípero Serra Monuments and Statues, by Shawn Schwaller
    5. A Decolonial and Pedagogic Fall on Tulcan Hill: Between Recasting Public Memory and Place, and Recovering History and Commemoration, by Juan Carlos Guerrero-Hernández
    6. The Politics of Erasure: De-Commemorating "Comfort Women" in the Philippines, by Lila Ramos Shahani
    7. Saving Communist Monuments in the Context of De-Communisation in Ukraine: An Examination of Conflicting Narratives, by Anna Glew
    8. From Civil to Culture War: Confederate Statues and Statutes in Nashville, Tennessee, by Sage Snider
    9. (Re) claiming Public Memory: Confederate Monuments and Memorials as Sites of Contestation in the American South, by Jenna Ann Altomonte
    10. Recontextualizing a Campus Monument of George Washington through Collaborative Engagement in the Arts, by Mary Rogero, Jeffery Kruth, Annie Dell’Aria, Stephanie Danker
    11. "The Disparity Between Us": Rochester’s Frederick Douglass Memorial and its Inscription on the 21st-Century Landscape, by Juilee Decker
    12. Digital Lieux de Mémoire and Milieux de Mémoire: Josephine de Beauharnais and the Digital Afterlife of Toppled Statues, by Rachel Huber
    13. Monuments Cast Shadows: Remembering and Forgetting the ‘Dead Survivors’ of Nazi Persecution in Swedish Cemeteries, by Victoria Van Orden Martínez, Linköping University and Malin Thor Tureby
    14. Sono Persone | Ata Janë Njerëz 8.8.1991: Public Mementos and the Political Agency of Absence, by Francesca Liuni

    Deliberation: The Remembrance of Things Cast, by Juilee Decker


    Juilee Decker is a Professor of history at Rochester Institute of Technology where she directs the Museum Studies/Public History program.