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Monuments, History, and Memory in the United States

AFRI 0840 S01 [CRN: 18227]

In the wake of the killing of George Floyd, monuments tied to the violent histories of slavery, colonialism, and white supremacy have received renewed interest and debate. Protestors and individuals have defaced, toppled, and petitioned for the removal of Confederate monuments and statues to the white male power elite. This symbolic retributive violence and sometimes ritual care signals a challenge to the long-lived monument. This reading course explores public monuments and the ways in which artists and communities have negotiated history and the politics of memory and remembrance in the United States. We will evaluate the meaning and purpose of monuments that define American public spaces, investigating the problematic narratives and historic controversies surrounding such objects. The removal of monuments asks us to question whose histories have been forgotten, ignored, or suppressed, and what monumental justice might look like.
Section specific notes:
1) For syllabus and other course information please go to: 2) This is an online course offered through Zoom that incorporates synchronous and asynchronous elements. The class is scheduled for Fridays at 3:00 - 5:30 pm. Our first online session on Zoom will take place on Friday, September 11, at 3:00 pm. 3) Course content will be accessible through Canvas including all readings, which will be digital and accessible in PDF format or available online through the Brown Library website.
Fall 2020
Credit Hours
Maximum Enrollment
Primary Instructor
15:00 - 17:30 Fri - from Sep 9, 2020 to Dec 11, 2020