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Troubling Memorials: Disgraced Monuments and Problematic Public Art in America

Date: 13 March 2019 (Wednesday)
Time: 4:30pm
Venue: Room 4.36, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus

From the toppling of a statue of King George III in New York in 1776 to the recent removal (or relocation) of statues and monuments that pay homage to the Confederacy, the United States has had a long history of “reckoning” with memorials, monuments, and other forms of public art that citizens deem oppressive, shameful, hateful, or simply “out of sync” with current values and ideals.  This lecture traces how, why, and when Americans target public art, and the dilemmas of dissent and historical accountability in public culture.

Speaker: Peter J. Cobb

Erika Doss teaches in the Department of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her books include Benton, Pollock, and the Politics of Modernism: From Regionalism to Abstract Expressionism (1991), Spirit Poles and Flying Pigs: Public Art and Cultural Democracy in American Communities (1995), Looking at Life Magazine (editor, 2001), Memorial Mania: Public Feeling in American (2010), and American Art of the 20th-21st Centuries (2017). The receipt of several Fulbright awards, Doss has also held fellowships at the Standford Humanities Centre, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Centre, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.


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