In recent weeks we have witnessed civil unrest that has led to the tearing down of public monuments. This story is not unique: history is littered with statues intended initially as commemorative objects, marking historical events, that come to be viewed differently from when the statues were installed. Occasionally the historical lens shifts, and these monuments come under scrutiny and eventually are removed or destroyed.
Join James Young, Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Founding Director of the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies at University of Massachusetts Amherst and author of The Stages of Memory: Reflections on Memorial Art, Loss, and the Spaces Between, as he traces what he calls an “arc of memorial vernacular” from early Holocaust memorials to Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Germany’s “counter-monuments,” Berlin’s Denkmal, and New York City’s 9/11 Memorial.
He will also reflect on his role as a juror for the Denkmal and 9/11 Memorial design competitions and offer context to the undoing of contemporary monuments.