The Atlantic Highlands Historical Society is pleased to present Barbara Seater, PH.D to lecture at our monthly meeting to examine this topic through numerous lenses.
We are living in a period of time where monuments seem to be ubiquitous. Many, if not most, monuments are political even if the political message is not blatant. They commemorate people, events, and eras and are a representation of the past. But whose past? Debates about monuments concern the narrative of history, and the relationship between history, memory, and individual biographies..
Monuments convey a narrative that reflects the deeper experiences of how they were created, by whom, and the purpose of erecting them. The situating of these monuments in public spaces, by their mere presence, privileges a particular interpretation of history and events and portends to legitimize that interpretation.
Recent events in Charlottesville have prompted consideration about these monuments and what they represent. As ideologies change, groups become more or less powerful in privileging the commemorated and as new information comes to light, new monuments are created and/or old ones are removed.
This presentation examines the rise of Confederate monuments, the successful and unsuccessful demands to remove them, the rise of Civil Rights monuments to counter the justification of white supremacy and the Lost Cause, and the rise of new Confederate monuments in response.
This program has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.