From the beginning of time, civilizations have commemorated their collective past with monuments, celebrations and ceremonies. From the Lincoln Memorial monument in Washington, D.C. to the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston to the statue of Diego Maradona in Buenos Aires, public monuments are an important marker of what a society remembers and values. Recently, debates and protests surrounding monuments in South Africa, England and the United States have thrust these issues into public debate.
This course will examine the ways that history and memory intersect in our public commemorations of the past. We will examine questions such as the following: What do public holidays, monuments and historical reenactments tell us about the societies that we live in? About our relationship to the past? What historical figures, events, groups of people and/or issues do we choose to value, remember and commemorate? What historical figures, events, groups of people and/or issues are not typically valued, remembered and/or commemorated?
Dr. Daniel McClure earned his Phd in African American history and has over 10 years experience teaching college and university students. His interests include public history, African American art and culture and futbol — “the beautiful game”.