The Commemoration of Women in the United States : Remembering Women in Public Space book cover
1st Edition

The Commemoration of Women in the United States
Remembering Women in Public Space

ISBN 9780367729059
Published December 18, 2020 by Routledge
214 Pages

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Book Description

The Commemoration of Women in the United States examines the public memorialization of women in the US over the past century, with a particular focus on the late twentieth century and early twenty first. The analysis centers on six case examples of memorialization, and explores broad themes of cultural representation.

Bergman argues that the construction, or relocation, of a series of prominent national memorials together form a significant moment of change in the ways in which women are commemorated in the US. The historic and present-day challenges facing such commemoration are examined, with reference to broader political debates. The case examples explored are the Women in the Military Service for America Memorial; the Women’s Rights National Historic Park; the Vietnam Veterans Women’s Memorial; the Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park; the Eleanor Roosevelt Statue in the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial; and the Portrait Monument of Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Providing insightful and grounded analysis of the history and practice of the commemoration of women in the US, this book makes useful reading for a range of scholars and students in subjects including heritage studies, communication studies, and history.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Beyond Allegory: Actual Women Enter the Commemorative Landscape  1. Eleanor Roosevelt as Coda  2. The Portrait Monument’s Radical Message  3. The Politics of Optimism at the Women’s Rights National Historic Park  4. Women’s Patriotism in War: Vietnam Women's and Women in Military Service for America Memorials  5. Rosie the Riveter/World War II Homefront National Historic Park and the Social Construction of Power  Conclusion: After Absence, the Complications of Presence

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Teresa Bergman is Professor and Chair of the Communication Department at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, USA. Her research incorporates an interdisciplinary methodology that includes memory studies, rhetoric, documentary film theory, and critical/cultural studies. Her articles have appeared in Text and Performance Quarterly and the Western Journal of Communication. Her book Exhibiting Patriotism: Creating and Contesting Interpretations of American Historic Sites (2013), won the 2013 Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Book Award.


"This book should be useful to public historians looking to engage with the theoretical literature surrounding memorials—an important project at a time when they are the focus of such intense activism and political debate... It seems likely that women’s representation in monuments will expand significantly over the next several years. This book can aid the project of understanding how and why such shifts occur." - Ella Wagner, The Public Historian