After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, a general sense that the world was different—that nothing would ever be the same—settled upon a grieving nation; the events of that day were received as cataclysmic disruptions of an ordered world. Refuting this claim, David Simpson examines the complex and paradoxical character of American public discourse since that September morning, considering the ways the event has been aestheticized, exploited, and appropriated, while “Ground Zero” remains the contested site of an effort at adequate commemoration.
In 9/11, Simpson argues that elements of the conventional culture of mourning and remembrance—grieving the dead, summarizing their lives in obituaries, and erecting monuments in their memory—have been co-opted for political advantage. He also confronts those who labeled the event an “apocalypse,” condemning their exploitation of 9/11 for the defense of torture and war.
In four elegant chapters—two of which expand on essays originally published in the London Review of Books to great acclaim—Simpson analyzes the response to 9/11: the nationally syndicated “Portraits of Grief” obituaries in the New York Times; the debates over the rebuilding of the World Trade Center towers and the memorial design; the representation of American and Iraqi dead after the invasion of March 2003, along with the worldwide circulation of the Abu Ghraib torture photographs; and the urgent and largely ignored critique of homeland rhetoric from the domain of critical theory.
Calling for a sustained cultural and theoretical analysis, 9/11 is the first book of its kind to consider the events of that tragic day with a perspective so firmly grounded in the humanities and so persuasive about the contribution they can make to our understanding of its consequences.
Accounting for Violence offers bold new perspectives on the politics of memory in Latin America. Scholars from across the humanities and social sciences provide in-depth analyses of the political economy of memory in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay, countries that emerged from authoritarian rule in the 1980s and 1990s. The contributors take up issues of authenticity and commodification, as well as the “never again” imperative implicit in memory goods and memorial sites. They describe how bookstores, cinemas, theaters, the music industry, and television shows (and their commercial sponsors) trade in testimonial and fictional accounts of the authoritarian past; how tourist itineraries have come to include trauma sites and memorial museums; and how memory studies has emerged as a distinct academic field profiting from its own journals, conferences, book series, and courses. The memory market, described in terms of goods, sites, producers, marketers, consumers, and patrons, presents a paradoxical situation. On the one hand, commodifying memory potentially cheapens it. On the other hand, too little public exposure may limit awareness of past human-rights atrocities; such awareness may help to prevent their recurring.
Contributors. Rebecca J. Atencio, Ksenija Bilbija, Jo-Marie Burt, Laurie Beth Clark, Cath Collins, Susana Draper, Nancy Gates-Madsen, Susana Kaiser, Cynthia E. Milton, Alice A. Nelson, Carmen Oquendo Villar, Leigh A. Payne, José Ramón Ruisánchez Serra, Maria Eugenia Ulfe
In the wake of unthinkable atrocities, it is reasonable to ask how any population can move on from the experience of genocide. Simply remembering the past can, in the shadow of mass death, be retraumatizing. So how can such momentous events be memorialized in a way that is productive and even healing for survivors? Genocide memorials tell a story about the past, preserve evidence of the violence that occurred, and provide emotional support to survivors. But the goal of amplifying survivors’ voices can fade amid larger narratives entrenched in political motivations.
In After Genocide,Nicole Fox investigates the ways memorials can shape the experiences of survivors decades after mass violence has ended. She examines how memorializations can both heal and hurt, especially when they fail to represent all genders, ethnicities, and classes of those afflicted. Drawing on extensive interviews with Rwandans, Fox reveals their relationships to these spaces and uncovers those voices silenced by the dominant narrative—arguing that the erasure of such stories is an act of violence itself. The book probes the ongoing question of how to fit survivors in to the dominant narrative of healing and importantly demonstrates how memorials can shape possibilities for growth, national cohesion, reconciliation, and hope for the future.
For more than one hundred years, people have come to the Ludlow Massacre Memorial site to remember the dead, to place themselves within a larger narrative of labor history, and to learn about what occurred there. Communities of Ludlow reveals the perseverance, memory, and work that has been done to enrich and share the narratives of the people of Ludlow and the experiences of those who commemorate it.
The history of the Ludlow Massacre encompasses the stories of immigrant groups, women, the working-class, and people of color as much as the story of that tragedy, and the continued relevance of these issues creates a need for remembrance and discussion of how to make the events of the Ludlow Massacre available to contemporary society. The book outlines recent efforts to remember and commemorate this important historical event, documenting the unique collaborations in public scholarship and outreach among the diverse group of people involved in marking the 100-year anniversary of the Ludlow Massacre. The chapters relate the tales of the stewards of the Ludlow Massacre—the various communities that rallied together to keep this history alive and show its relevance, including lineal descendants, members of the United Mine Workers of America, historians, archaeologists, scholars, artists, interpreters, authors, playwrights, and politicians. The book also offers tips, strategies, and cautionary tales for practicing engaged public scholarship.
The history of the Ludlow Massacre has been told as a tragedy of striking miners in the West that occurred during a turbulent time in US labor relations, but it is so much more than that. Communities of Ludlow explores the intersections of public scholarship, advocacy, and personal experience, weaving these perspectives together with models for practicing public scholarship to illustrate the power of creating spaces for sharing ideas and information in an environment that encourages creativity, open dialogue, public outreach, political action, and alternative narratives.
Contributors: Robert Butero, Robin Henry, Michael Jacobson, Elizabeth Jameson, Linda Linville, Matthew Maher, Yolanda Romero
In Dissensual Subjects, Andrew C. Rajca combines cultural studies and critical theory to explore how the aftereffects of dictatorship have been used to formulate dominant notions of human rights in the present. In so doing, he critiques the exclusionary nature of these processes and highlights who and what count (and do not count) as subjects of human rights as a result.
Through an engaging exploration of the concept of “never again” (nunca más/nunca mais) and close analysis of photography exhibits, audiovisual installations, and other art forms in spaces of cultural memory, the book explores how aesthetic interventions can suggest alternative ways of framing human rights subjectivity beyond the rhetoric of liberal humanitarianism. The book visits sites of memory, two of which functioned as detention and torture centers during dictatorships, to highlight the tensions between the testimonial tenor of permanent exhibits and the aesthetic interventions of temporary installations there. Rajca thus introduces perspectives that both undo common understandings of authoritarian violence and its effects as well as reconfigure who or what are made visible as subjects of memory and human rights in postdictatorship countries.
Dissensual Subjects offers much to those concerned with numerous interlocking fields: memory, human rights, political subjectivity, aesthetics, cultural studies, visual culture, Southern Cone studies, postdictatorship studies, and sites of memory.
Empty Plinths: Monuments, Memorials, and Public Sculpture in Mexico responds to the unfolding political debate around one of the most contentious public monuments in North America, Mexico City’s monument of Christopher Columbus on Avenida Paseo de la Reforma. In convening a diverse collective of voices around the question of the monument’s future, editors José Esparza Chong Cuy and Guillermo Ruiz de Teresa probe the unstable narratives behind a selection of monuments, memorials, and public sculptures in Mexico City, and propose a new charter that informs future public art commissions in Mexico and beyond. At a moment when many such structures have become highly visible sites of protest throughout the world, this new compilation of essays, interviews, artistic contributions, and public policy proposals reveals and reframes the histories embedded within contested public spaces in Mexico.
Empty Plinths is published alongside a series of artist commissions organized together with several major cultural institutions in Mexico City, including the Museo Tamayo, the Museo de Arte Moderno, and the Museo Experimental el Eco.
Latin Inscriptions in Oxford
Compiled with Translations by Reginald H. Adams Bodleian Library Publishing, 2015 Library of Congress CN595.O9L38 2015 | Dewey Decimal 942
For six centuries following its foundation, Latin was the main language written and spoken at the University of Oxford. Today, one can still find Latin inscriptions carved into many of its monuments, as well those of the city, dating from the medieval period to the present day. But few of us can discern what all of these inscriptions mean.
For Latin Inscriptions in Oxford, Reginald H. Adams, a former scholar at St. John’s College, University of Oxford, has translated a selection of Latin inscriptions. Among them, he finds a great many tributes and memorials—to Queen Anne, Cardinal Wolsey, and T. E. Lawrence, but also to Irene Frude, a “most kindly landlady” on Little Clarendon who “provided each day for almost thirty-five years enormous breakfasts.” Some of the inscriptions offer concise commentary—“Without experiment, it is not possible to know anything adequately.” While others are instructive like the Rhodes House’s warning, “Let no one who is smoke-bearing enter here.”
Evocative mementoes of the past, the inscriptions collected by Adams bring insight to the vivid history of Oxford, the city and the university.
Concern with memory permeated Roman literature, history, rhetorical training, and art and architecture. This is the first book to look at the phenomenon from a variety of perspectives, including cognitive science. There is no orthodoxy in memory studies and the approaches are both empirical and theoretical. A central issue is: who and what preserved and shaped cultural memory in Rome, and how did that process work? Areas and subjects covered include the Romans' view of the changing physical fabric of the city, monuments (by etymology related to memory) such as the Arch of Constantine, memory and the Roman triumph, Roman copies of Greek sculpture and their relation to memory, the importance of written information and of continuing process, the creation of memory in Republican memoirs and Flavian poetry, the invention of traditions, and the connection of cultural and digital memory.
The ten chapters present original findings that complement earlier scholarship from the perspective of memory and open up new horizons for inquiry. The introduction by volume editor Karl Galinsky situates the work within current studies on cultural and social memory, and the concluding chapter by Daniel Libeskind provides the perspective of a contemporary practitioner.
Additional contributors include Richard Jenkyns, Harriet I. Flower, T. P. Wiseman, Karl-J. Hölkeskamp, Gianpiero Rosati, Diane Favro, Jessica Hughes, Anna Anguissola, Lisa Marie Mignone, and Bernard Frischer.
From the sculptured peaks of Mount Rushmore to the Coloradan prairie lands at Sand Creek to the idyllic islands of the Pacific, the West’s signature environments add a new dimension to the study of memorials. In such diverse and often dramatic landscapes, how do the natural and built environments shape our emotions?
In Memorials Matter, author Jennifer Ladino investigates the natural and physical environments of seven diverse National Park Service (NPS) sites in the American West and how they influence emotions about historical conflict and national identity. Chapters center around the region’s diverse inhabitants (Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, African, and Native Americans) and the variously traumatic histories these groups endured—histories of oppression, exploitation, incarceration, slavery, and genocide. Drawing on material ecocritical theory, Ladino emphasizes the ideological and political importance of memorials and how they evoke visceral responses that are not always explicitly “storied,” but nevertheless matter in powerful ways.
In this unique blend of narrative scholarship and critical theory, Ladino demonstrates how these memorial sites and their surrounding landscapes, combined with written texts, generate emotion and shape our collective memory of traumatic events. She urges us to consider our everyday environments and to become attuned to features and feelings we might have otherwise overlooked.
In the 1970s, Argentina was the leader in the "Dirty War," a violent campaign by authoritarian South American regimes to repress left-wing groups and any others who were deemed subversive. Over the course of a decade, Argentina's military rulers tortured and murdered upwards of 30,000 citizens. Even today, after thirty years of democratic rule, the horror of that time continues to roil Argentine society.
Argentina has also been in the vanguard in determining how to preserve sites of torture, how to remember the "disappeared," and how to reflect on the causes of the Dirty War. Across the capital city of Buenos Aires are hundreds of grassroots memorials to the victims, documenting the scope of the state's reign of terror. Although many books have been written about this era in Argentina's history, the original Spanish-language edition of Memories of Buenos Aires was the first to identify and interpret all of these sites. It was published by the human rights organization Memoria Abierta, which used interviews with survivors to help unearth that painful history.
This translation brings this important work to an English-speaking audience, offering a comprehensive guidebook to clandestine sites of horror as well as innovative sites of memory. The book divides the 48 districts of the city into 9 sectors, and then proceeds neighborhood-by-neighborhood to offer descriptions of 202 known "sites of state terrorism" and 38 additional places where people were illegally detained, tortured, and killed by the government.
Memory and the Impact of Political Transformation in Public Space explores the effects of major upheavals—wars, decolonization, and other social and economic changes—on the ways in which public histories are presented around the world. Examining issues related to public memory in twelve countries, the histories collected here cut across political, cultural, and geographic divisions. At the same time, by revealing recurring themes and concerns, they show how basic issues of history and memory transcend specific sites and moments in time. A number of the essays look at contests over public memory following two major political transformations: the wave of liberation from colonial rule in much of Africa, Asia, and Central and South America during the second half of the twentieth century and the reorganization of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet bloc beginning in the late 1980s.
This collection expands the scope of what is considered public history by pointing to silences and absences that are as telling as museums and memorials. Contributors remind us that for every monument that is erected, others—including one celebrating Sri Lanka’s independence and another honoring the Unknown Russian Soldier of World War II—remain on the drawing board. While some sites seem woefully underserved by a lack of public memorials—as do post–Pinochet Chile and post–civil war El Salvador—others run the risk of diluting meaning through overexposure, as may be happening with Israel’s Masada. Essayists examine public history as it is conveyed not only in marble and stone but also through cityscapes and performances such as popular songs and parades.
Contributors James Carter John Czaplicka Kanishka Goonewardena Lisa Maya Knauer Anna Krylova Teresa Meade Bill Nasson Mary Nolan Cynthia Paces Andrew Ross Daniel Seltz T. M. Scruggs Irina Carlota Silber Daniel J. Walkowitz Yael Zerubavel
What is an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia? That was the question posed by the curators, artists, scholars, and students who comprise the Philadelphia-based public art and history studio Monument Lab. And in 2017, along with Mural Arts Philadelphia, they produced and organized a groundbreaking, city-wide exhibition of temporary, site-specific works that engaged directly with the community. The installations, by a cohort of diverse artists considering issues of identity, appeared in iconic public squares and neighborhood parks with research and learning labs and prototype monuments.
Monument Lab is a fabulous compendium of the exhibition and a critical reflection of the proceedings, including contributions from interlocutors and collaborators. The exhibition and this handbook were designed to generate new ways of thinking about monuments and public art as well as to find new, critical perspectives to reflect on the monuments we have inherited and to imagine those we have yet to build. Monument Lab energizes acivic dialogue about place and history as forces for a deeper questioning of what it means to be Philadelphian in a time of renewal and continuing struggle.
Contributors: Alexander Alberro, Alliyah Allen, Laurie Allen, Andrew Friedman, Justin Geller, Kristen Giannantonio, Jane Golden, Aviva Kapust, Fariah Khan, Homay King, Stephanie Mach, Trapeta B. Mayson, Nathaniel Popkin, Ursula Rucker, Jodi Throckmorton, Salamishah Tillet, Jennifer Harford Vargas, Naomi Waltham-Smith, Bethany Wiggin, Mariam I. Williams, Leslie Willis-Lowry, and the editors.
Artists: Tania Bruguera, Mel Chin, Kara Crombie, Tyree Guyton, Hans Haacke, David Hartt, Sharon Hayes, King Britt and Joshua Mays, Klip Collective, Duane Linklater, Emeka Ogboh, Karyn Olivier, Michelle Angela Ortiz, Kaitlin Pomerantz, RAIR, Alexander Rosenberg, Jamel Shabazz, Hank Willis Thomas, Shira Walinsky and Southeast by Southeast, and Marisa Williamson.
“Everyone is occupied, consciously or unconsciously, with identity—one’s origin and the question of one’s place in humankind and society of the past, present, and future. Identity and memory are not stable and objective things, but representations or constructions of reality related to a particular interest, such as class, gender, of power relations. Identity is problematic without history and without the commemoration of history, and of course such remembrance may distort historical events and facts. When dealing with gardens, a substantial part of our physical environment, there are always unspoken questions of identity.”
Places of Commemoration examines commemorative sites of different character, including gardens, landscapes, memorials, cemeteries, and sites of former Nazi concentration camps, detailing the ideas behind the creation of memorials and monuments and the struggles over the narratives they present.
A sustained and rigorous consideration of the intersections of memory, place, and rhetoric
Though we live in a time when memory seems to be losing its hold on communities, memory remains central to personal, communal, and national identities. And although popular and public discourses from speeches to films invite a shared sense of the past, official sites of memory such as memorials, museums, and battlefields embody unique rhetorical principles.
Places of Public Memory: The Rhetoric of Museums and Memorials is a sustained and rigorous consideration of the intersections of memory, place, and rhetoric. From the mnemonic systems inscribed upon ancient architecture to the roadside accident memorials that line America’s highways, memory and place have always been deeply interconnected. This book investigates the intersections of memory and place through nine original essays written by leading memory studies scholars from the fields of rhetoric, media studies, organizational communication, history, performance studies, and English. The essays address, among other subjects, the rhetorical strategies of those vying for competing visions of a 9/11 memorial at New York City’s Ground Zero; rhetorics of resistance embedded in the plans for an expansion of the National Civil Rights Museum; representations of nuclear energy—both as power source and weapon—in Cold War and post–Cold War museums; and tours and tourism as acts of performance.
By focusing on “official” places of memory, the collection causes readers to reflect on how nations and local communities remember history and on how some voices and views are legitimated and others are minimized or erased.
In early imperial China, the dead were remembered by stereotyping them, by relating them to the existing public memory and not by vaunting what made each person individually distinct and extraordinary in his or her lifetime. Their posthumous names were chosen from a limited predetermined pool; their descriptors were derived from set phrases in the classical tradition; and their identities were explicitly categorized as being like this cultural hero or that sage official in antiquity. In other words, postmortem remembrance was a process of pouring new ancestors into prefabricated molds or stamping them with rigid cookie cutters. Public Memory in Early China is an examination of this pouring and stamping process. After surveying ways in which learning in the early imperial period relied upon memorization and recitation, K. E. Brashier treats three definitive parameters of identity--name, age, and kinship--as ways of negotiating a person's relative position within the collective consciousness. He then examines both the tangible and intangible media responsible for keeping that defined identity welded into the infrastructure of Han public memory.
Shifting Memories explores the contours and genealogies of non-Jewish Germans' public memories of the Nazi past in the Federal Republic of Germany, asking how the crimes committed by Nazi Germany are reflected in the present. The study illuminates particular aspects of public remembering by focusing on case studies, telling a number of stories which at times appear parallel and at times intersect.
The case studies address, for example, the legacy of the so-called Celler Hasenjagd (the hunting down of concentration camp prisoners who survived an Allied air raid in April 1945 in a town in Lower Saxony); efforts by the City of Hildesheim to memorialize the Kristallnacht pogrom; attempts by Italian, Jewish, and Sinti survivors to commemorate their suffering in two West German towns; the posthumous reputation of a German communist imprisoned in Buchenwald and credited with having saved the lives of 159 Jewish children; and the public memories of the Ravensbrück and Buchenwald concentration camps in East Germany.
Directed at an audience curious about contemporary Germany, this book will appeal to those interested in issues of public and social memory, and in the legacy of Auschwitz.
Klaus Neumann is a historian who has taught in universities in Germany and Australia and written about social memories in the Pacific Islands, Australia, and Germany. Previous books include Not the Way It Really Was and Rabaul Yu Swit Moa Yet. He lives in Richmond, Australia.
From around the world, whether for New York City's 9/11 Memorial, at exhibits devoted to the arts of Holocaust memory, or throughout Norway's memorial process for the murders at Utøya, James E. Young has been called on to help guide the grief stricken and survivors in how to mark their losses. This poignant, beautifully written collection of essays offers personal and professional considerations of what Young calls the "stages of memory," acts of commemoration that include spontaneous memorials of flowers and candles as well as permanent structures integrated into sites of tragedy. As he traces an arc of memorial forms that spans continents and decades, Young returns to the questions that preoccupy survivors, architects, artists, and writers: How to articulate a void without filling it in? How to formalize irreparable loss without seeming to repair it?
Richly illustrated, the volume is essential reading for those engaged in the processes of public memory and commemoration and for readers concerned about how we remember terrible losses.
As sites of continual change and transformation, cities are fundamentally forgetful places. Yet at the same time, urban areas are also homes to museums and archives that collect and exhibit the past-a key cultural, political, and economic activity. This book looks at that paradox through the example of Berlin to see how the city has responded to challenges to memory created by rapid changes in politics, economics, society, and the built environment, ultimately arguing that the recovery of the experience of time is central to the practices of an emergent memory culture in the contemporary city.
A study of American attempts to come to terms with the legacy of the Vietnam War, this book highlights the central role played by Vietnam veterans in shaping public memory of the war.
Tracing the evolution of the image of the Vietnam veteran from alienated dissenter to traumatized victim to noble warrior, Patrick Hagopian describes how efforts to commemorate the war increasingly downplayed the political divisions it spawned in favor of a more unifying emphasis on honoring veterans and promoting national "healing."