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Southern Spaces
A journal about real and imagined spaces and places of the US South and their global connections

Iconoclasm and the Confederacy: The Challenge of White Supremacy in the Memorial Landscape

University of Pittsburgh
Published October 30, 2017


In this illustrated lecture, Kirk Savage addresses how monuments "bearing the impress of white supremacy" participate in historical erasure. What happens when societies decide that memorialized landscapes and objects are outmoded or offensive? How to determine which monuments necessitate removal? Acknowledging no easy solutions, Savage clarifies what is at stake when citizens call for revisions to the memorial scene. In accompanying videos, political scientist Andra Gillespie and Daniel A. Pollock respond to Savage's lecture and explore how structural problems, racial politics, and notions of freedom influence memorialization.



About the Speakers

Kirk Savage is a professor of art history and architecture at the University of Pittsburgh. He has written extensively on public monuments within the theoretical context of collective memory and identity. He is the author of Monument Wars: Washington, D.C., the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009) and Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War, and Monument in Nineteenth-Century America (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997).

Andra Gillespie is an associate professor of political science at Emory University. Gillespie, who studies racial and ethnic politics in the United States, is the author of The New Black Politician: Cory Booker, Newark, and Post-Racial America (New York: New York University Press, 2012).

Daniel A. Pollock, a longtime resident of Atlanta, is author of the project "The Battle of Atlanta: History and Remembrance."

Cover Image Attribution:

Lee Removal, New Orleans, Louisiana, May 19, 2017. Photograph by Abdazizar. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Creative Commons License CC BS-SA 4.0

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