New Monuments: Iconoclasm, Reenactments, and Alternative Commemorations in the United States since 2000

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  • Fuseau horaire : America/New_York
  • Date : 15 - 16 Mar 2024
  • Heure : Journée entière
15 - 16 Mar 2024
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New Monuments: Iconoclasm, Reenactments, and Alternative Commemorations in the United States since 2000

15–16 March 2024

INHA (Institut national d’histoire de l’art),  2 Rue Vivienne, 75002 Paris, France, Salle Giorgio Vasari

2-day symposium sponsored by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Organized in collaboration with LARCA, Université Paris Cité and HAR, Université Paris Nanterre.

Convenor: Martyna Ewa Majewska, Terra Foundation for American Art Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellow at the Fondation de l’Université Paris Nanterre; Associate Researcher in American Art and Transatlantic Exchanges, HAR, Université Paris Nanterre and LARCA, Université Paris Cité.

Research Committee: Wendy Bellion (University of Delaware), Judith Delfiner (Université Paris Nanterre), Catherine Marcangeli (Université Paris Cité), Martyna Ewa Majewska.

  • Keynote speeches by Wendy Bellion (University of Delaware) and Erika Doss (University of Texas at Dallas).
  • Opening remarks by Mechtild Widrich (School of the Art Institute of Chicago).

Screening of Stonebreakers (2022 / 70’ / USA/Italy) and artists’ short films.

All talks will be held in English. Attendance is free and open to all.

Scroll down for a detailed program.

About

As demonstrated by Wendy Bellion’s scholarship, iconoclasm lies at the foundation of the United States. Yet Bellion also shows us that, rather than being sealed in the past, iconoclastic projects continue into the present. Iconoclastic destruction invariably entails creation—whether it is the construction of new monuments to replace the toppled ones, or the coalescence of a new community, movement, or nation.

If in 2010 Erika Doss’s Memorial Mania: Public Feeling in America examined the country’s obsession with memorialization, we have since witnessed a new wave of destruction mania. Confederate statues that for years resisted protests and withstood condemnations have fallen to the ground. The past decade has seen a surge in destructive attacks on all kinds of publicly sited monuments across the United States, as well as attendant debates on how best to represent American history and society.

Some of the most pertinent questions, and some of the most ingenious solutions, regarding monument-building and memorialization have been put forward by artists. At the same time, as we have repeatedly seen, artists’ ideas can be challenged and thwarted by various actors, stakeholders, and grassroots initiatives. Countermonuments, too, fall prey to iconoclasm.

This symposium brings together scholars interested in monuments and their destruction, public history and public art, historical reenactments, memory studies, and artistic practices across diverse media. It asks how the multiple waves of the Black Lives Matter protests have impacted the American monumental landscape. What can we speculate about the future of monuments and memorials in the United States? What is the relationship between iconoclasm and decolonization? How can artists help us reimagine commemoration?

Presented papers will evaluate recent commemorative projects, examine acts of iconoclasm and their aftermath, and study or propose novel approaches to representing historic events. We will discuss how previously suppressed histories and underrepresented groups can be brought into public consciousness via innovative artistic and community endeavors.

The program is available here.

FILMS SESSION: 

Stonebreakers (dir. Valerio Ciriaci, 2022; 70’, USA/Italy)

  • Short films by:
  • Monument Lab
  • Diana Solís, Teresa Magaña, Delilah Salgado and Hinda Seif
  • Jillian McManemin
  • Ryan Woodring
  • Marisa Williamson

Speakers :

Wendy Bellion is Professor of Art History and Sewell C. Biggs Chair in American Art at the University of Delaware. She currently serves as Associate Dean for the Humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences. Bellion’s research and teaching focuses on eighteenth and nineteenth-century art and material culture in North America and the Atlantic World. She is the author of two monographs: Iconoclasm in New York: Revolution to Reenactment (Penn State University Press, 2019) and Citizen Spectator: Art, Illusion, and Visual Perception in Early National America (University of North Carolina Press, 2011), which was awarded the Charles Eldredge Prize by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. She is the co-editor of two volumes of essays: Material Cultures of the Global Eighteenth Century: Art, Mobility and Change(Bloomsbury, 2023), and Objects in Motion: Art and Material Culture across Colonial North America (2011), a special issue of the journal Winterthur Portfolio. She is currently at work on a new monograph, Pictures Onstage: Art and Theater in the Early United States.

Lauren Erin Brown is an Associate Professor of History and Politics & Human Rights at Marymount Manhattan College, where she also serves as Chair of the Department of History, Philosophy & Religious Studies. She is an expert on American cultural policy; her work on the National Endowment for the Art’s post-Cold War “National Initiatives” can be found in Cold War History (2020) and her case study on the Dance Theatre of Harlem, race, and Ford Foundation funding is in Dance Chronicle (2018). At Marymount Manhattan she teaches a variety of courses, including “Monumental Debates,” which asks students to consider America’s Confederate monuments, other ways America has memorialized, our history of removal/renaming, and ultimately, how we teach American history. Dr. Brown received her doctorate in History from Harvard University and her A.B. from Smith College. Over the years she has been a Jacob K. Javits Fellow, a Joint Fellow at the Smithsonian National Museums of American Art and American History, and a Fulbright Scholar at the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow. Her work has also been supported by the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholar’s Kennan Institute, the Rockefeller Archives Center, and Jacob’s Pillow.

Peter Cole is Professor of History at Western Illinois University (USA) and a Research Associate in the Society, Work and Development Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa). He is the author of Dockworker Power: Race and Activism in Durban and the San Francisco Bay Area (2018), winner of the Philip Taft Labor History Book Prize, and Wobblies on the Waterfront: Interracial Unionism in Progressive-Era Philadelphia (2007). He co-edited Wobblies of the World: A Global History of the IWW (2017) and edited Ben Fletcher: The Life & Times of a Black Wobbly (2007; 2nd edition, 2021). He is the founder and, along with Dr. Franklin Cosey-Gay, a co-director of the Chicago Race Riot of 1919 Commemoration Project (CRR19).

Jeffrey Lamar Coleman is Professor and Chair of the Department of English at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. He is the author of Spirits Distilled: Poems and Words of Protest, Words of Freedom: Poetry of the American Civil Rights Movement and Era. He serves as associate editor and poetry editor of the Journal of Hip Hop Studies. His creative and critical work has appeared in The Cambridge Companion to American Civil Rights Literature, Critical Essays on Alice Walker, Aunt Chloe: A Journal of Artful Candor, The Skinny Poetry Journal, Where We Stand: Poems of Black Resilience, and The Black Intellectual Tradition: African American Thought in the Twentieth Century.

Leena Crasemann is currently a lecturer at the Universität Siegen, Germany and is funded by the Isa Lohmann-Siems Foundation, Hamburg. Before she was research associate within the research network Bilderfahrzeuge: Aby Warburg’s Legacy and the Future of Iconology at the Warburg-Haus in Hamburg. She also was Junior Fellow at the IKKM, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar and worked in the interdisciplinary research groups Sfb Cultures of Performativity and Sfb Aesthetic Experience and the Dissolution of Artistic Limits at the Freie Universität Berlin, where she graduated with a doctoral thesis on postcolonial visual critique in contemporary photography. Selected publications: Unmarkierte Sichtbarkeit? Weiße Identitäten in der zeitgenössischen künstlerischen Fotografie, Munich: Fink/Brill 2021; Hard-Pressed: Textilien und Aktivismus, 1990–2020, ed. by Leena Crasemann and Anne Röhl, FKW, no. 68 (November 2020).

Erika Doss is a Distinguished Chair in the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History at the University of Texas at Dallas. Her multiple 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 (1995), Looking at LifeMagazine (editor, 2001), Memorial Mania: Public Feeling in America (2010), American Art of the 20th-21st Centuries(2017), and Spiritual Moderns: Twentieth-Century American Artists and Religion (2023).

Alison Fields is the Associate Director of the OU School of Visual Arts at the University of Oklahoma. She is the Mary Lou Milner Carver Professor of Art of the American West, Associate Professor of Art History. Fields is co-editor, with Elyssa Faison of Resisting the Nuclear: Art and Activism Across the Pacific (University of Washington Press, 2024), author of Discordant Memories: Atomic Age Narratives and Visual Culture(University of Oklahoma Press, 2020) and is co-author, with photographer Todd Stewart, of Picher, Oklahoma: Catastrophe, Memory, and Trauma (University of Oklahoma Press, 2016). Her publications also include articles in American Studies, American Indian Quarterly, The Public Historian, Journal of Genocide Research, Religions, and The Journal of Arizona History. Fields serves as the Associate Editor of the Western Historical Quarterly.

Clare Fisher is a Research and Teaching Fellow at the University of St Andrews on the digital humanities project “Commemorative Cultures: The American Civil War Monuments Project.” She completed her PhD, “A Conceptual Exploration of the Monument in the United States since the Civil War,” at the same university in 2022 and has worked regularly as a Research Associate for the public art and history studio, Monument Lab, since 2019. Between 2022-23 she was an NEH Public Humanities postdoctoral Fellow at St Mary’s College of Maryland, where her work centred on the Commemorative to Enslaved Peoples of Southern Maryland. Her writing on monuments can be found in Public Art Dialogue, Sculpture Journal, Monument Lab Bulletin, and BLARB.

Susan Garza is a Professor of English at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi where she teaches courses focusing on visual rhetoric and pedagogy as part of the Writing Studies group. Her current research focuses on visualization of victimization in memorial spaces and border rhetorics. She has presented and published her work in these areas at the national and international levels, including the Memory Studies Association, Rhetoric Society of America, International Conference on Border Studies, and Rhetoric Society of Europe.

Francis Gourrier Jr. is a teacher-scholar and Assistant Professor of American Studies and History at Kenyon College in the United States. There, he is also a faculty affiliate in the African Diaspora Studies program. His teaching and research interests are focused on Black social and political life in the U.S. during the 20thCentury. He examines community and family formation in the context of the Civil Rights movement; education and student activism; and Black migration and mobility. Dr. Gourrier received his PhD in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Andrew Houck is a doctoral candidate in American Studies at the Université de Nanterre (CREA), under the direction of Caroline Rolland-Diamond. His thesis explores the sinuous contours of the legacy of Andrew Johnson and East Tennessee’s Civil War memory. His research interests include the historiography and the history of ideas, memorialization and symbolism, especially as concerns monuments and historical sites, and the history of white supremacy in the United States in the Reconstruction era.

Cher Krause Knight is Professor of Art History at Emerson College. Her books include: Power and Paradise in Walt Disney’s World (University Press of Florida; hardcover 2014, paperback 2019); and Public Art: Theory, Practice and Populism (Blackwell Publishing; hardcover/paperback 2008). Knight has served, and continues to serve, on a variety of public art advisory boards and selection committees, and consults with nonprofit arts organizations and civic bodies in Boston on related projects and policies. In 2008 Knight and Harriet F. Senie co-founded the international public art organization (and CAA affiliate) Public Art Dialogue, and co-edited its eponymous peer review journal from 2010-2017. Since then they have served on its editorial board. They also co-edited and contributed to the anthologies A Companion to Public Art (Wiley-Blackwell; hardcover 2016, paperback 2020), and Museums and Public Art? (Cambridge Scholars Press; hardcover 2018, paperback 2021).

David Todd Lawrence, PhD is an Associate Professor of American Culture and Difference at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He specializes in folklore, African American literature and expressive culture, and cultural studies. He is co-author of When They Blew the Levee: Race, Politics, and Community in Pinhook, MO (2018), winner of the 2019 Chicago Folklore Prize. An ethnographer, folklorist, and literary scholar – his work sits at the intersection of identity, narrative, community, and culture. David Todd Lawrence and Heather Shirey are co-directors of Urban Art Mapping, an interdisciplinary research team based in Minneapolis & Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA. The Urban Art Mapping research team created the George Floyd and Anti-Racist Street Art Database, and their research on street art has been published in Urban Creativity Scientific Journal (2020), Art and Gentrification in the Changing Neoliberal Landscape (edited by Tijen Tunali, May 2021), NUART (May 2021), and the Journal of Folklore Research (2023).

Ashleigh Lawrence-Sanders is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Colorado Boulder where she teaches courses on African American history and U.S. history. She received her PhD from Rutgers University in History with a specialization in African American History. Her research encompasses Civil War memory, Black women’s history, Black Southern history, Black radicalism, and public memory in the United States. Her work has been featured in The Journal of African American History, The Washington Post, Black Perspectives, and NPR. She has also appeared on Al Jazeera, Colorado Public Radio, and the BBC World News as well as various podcasts including American History Tellers, Plot of Land, and the Gilded Age and Progressive Era Podcast. She was recently awarded a 2023 American Council on Learned Societies (ACLS) fellowship and is completing her first book project tentatively titled The Knew What the War Was About: African Americans and the Memory of the Civil War which explores Black Americans’ long engagement with the memory of the Civil War and the myths of the Lost Cause.

Laura A. Macaluso researches and writes about material culture, monuments, murals, and museums. Recent projects include “Street Scene: CETA Murals, New Haven, and the 1970s,” https://explore.publicartarchive.org/new-haven-ceta-murals/  with the Public Art Archive. She is the editor of Monument Culture, International Perspectives on the Future of Monuments in a Changing World (2019) and a contributor to the second edition of Controversial Monuments and Memorials, A Guide for Community Leaders,edited by David B. Allison (2023).

Catherine Marcangeli is Senior Lecturer in Art and Visual Culture, Department of Anglophone Studies, Université Paris Cité, where she teaches Art History since the 1960s. Her research has focused on early UK happenings and on the relationship between action, poetry and music in those events. She has curated Total Art (Liverpool Biennial, 2014), First Happenings (ICA, London, 2015), City Music & City Poems (Whitechapel, London, 2019), and she is presently preparing an exhibition and catalogue on the Happenings of artist and writer Adrian Henri (Tate Liverpool, 2026). She is also editing a new reprint of Adrian Henri’s 1974 Total Art – Environments and Happenings (Thames & Hudson, 2026).

Hilary Meuter is a PhD candidate in the department of American Studies at the Technische Universität Dortmund (Germany). The working title of her dissertation is “Politics of Memorialization: Interpreting confederate monument discourse as a reflection of America’s Vergangenheitsaufarbeitung.” She is an instructor of academic writing and English at TU Dortmund’s Zentrum für Hochschulbildung and is a member of the Ruhr Universities PhD forum in American Studies organizing committee. She presented at the 2021 “Doing Southern Studies” Conference in Berlin, Germany and at the 2020 and 2023 International PhD symposium in Middleburg, Netherlands. Her research interests include the American South, memory studies, the intersection of memory, history and monuments.

Sarah J. Moore is Professor of American Art History at the University of Arizona. Questions regarding the shifting terrain of identities and geographies animate her work as a scholar and teacher of art in the United States. Her research areas intersect with the global interdisciplinary arena of world’s fair studies, considering in particular pre-World War I fairs in the United States, landscape studies, and ecocriticism in visual culture. Recent publications include: “The Panama Canal as a Hybrid Zone: A Case Study,” in Ecocriticism and the Anthropocene in Nineteenth-Century Art and Visual Culture (Routledge, 2020); “The Great American Desert is No More,” in Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition of 1898-99 (University of Nebraska Press, 2018); and ‘Mosquitoes, Malaria, and Cold Butter: Discourses of Health and Progress in the Panama Canal Zone, 1904-1915,” Panorama (Fall 2017). She was the 2021-2022 Terra Foundation for American Art Visiting Professor at Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan.

Jo-Ann Morgan is Professor Emeritus of African American Studies and Art History at Western Illinois University. She authored The Black Arts Movement and the Black Panther Party in American Visual Culture (Routledge, 2019) and Uncle Tom’s Cabin as Visual Culture, winner of the Seaborg Award for Civil War Scholarship in 2008. Since 2020 Morgan has been a full-time fabric artist, creating stitched fabric wall hangings on themes related to social justice and gun violence. She received a Not Real Art Award from Culver City Arts Foundation (2022), a Cultural Commentary/Social Change Grant from Fiber Art Now (2021), and numerous honorable mentions. In addition to over thirty juried shows, her work has been in solo shows at Dalton Gallery, Rock Hill, SC (2022), Park Circle Gallery, North Charleston, SC (2022), Maude Kerns Art Center, Eugene, OR (2023), Rehoboth Beach [DE] Art League (2023), Pittsburg [KA] State University (2023), and Alma [MI] College (2023). Shows for 2024 are planned for Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts, Fond du Lac, WI; Holy Family University, Philadelphia, PA; Rosewood Gallery, Kettering, OH; Public Works Art Center, Summerville, SC; and Fort Worth Community Arts Center, Texas.

Noah Randolph is a PhD candidate in Art History at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University. His current research focuses on the intersections of monuments and public art with issues of memory, race, and politics.

Anne Röhl is a lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of Siegen, Germany. She graduated in 2018 from the University of Zurich, Switzerland, with a doctoral thesis on textile handicraft in US-American Art of the 1970s. Her studies and research have been supported by The German Academic Scholarship Foundation, The Swiss National Science Foundation, The Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich, and the Radcliffe Institute/Harvard University. Selected publications: Bauhaus-Paradigmen. Künste, Design und Pädagogik, ed. Anne Röhl et al. (Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter 2021); Hard-Pressed: Textilien und Aktivismus, 1990–2020, ed. Leena Crasemann and Anne Röhl, FKW, no. 68 (November 2020); Textile Terms. A Glossary, ed. Anne Röhl, Anika Reineke, Mateuz Kapustka and Tristan Weddigen (Berlin: Reimer-Mann/Edition Imorde 2017).

Hilary Sanders is an Assistant Professor of American Studies, and Assistant Director of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies of the Americas (IPEAT), at the University of Toulouse – Jean Jaurès. She received a doctorate in the sociology of migration and interethnic relations from the University of Paris – Diderot. A specialist of local policies related to immigration and ethnic diversity, she is co-editor of the volume Migrant Protection and the City in the Americas (Palgrave, 2021).

Erika Schneider has taught art history in the Art & Music Department at Framingham State University outside Boston, MA since 2007, where she is also the coordinator of the Museum Studies minor. She received her B.A. in French and art history from Mount Holyoke College, her M.A. in Art History from Boston University, and her PhD in art history from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. Her specialty is nineteenth and early twentieth-century U.S. art and transnational intersectionality on which she has presented professionally both in the United States and abroad, as well as publishing several articles in art history, literary, and history journals. In 2015, her monograph, The Representation of the Struggling Artist in America, 1800-1865 was published by the University of Delaware Press. In the same year, she received the inaugural Fulbright-Terra Foundation Award in the History of American Art to teach and research in the Netherlands. Her current research investigates the international origins of the Harlem Renaissance and the role of race and gender, specifically for the African American sculptor, Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller (1877-1968). In 2022, her article “Asserting Agency: Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller’s Scrapbook,” was published in Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art. She maintains an online Fuller catalogue raisonné.

Harriet F. Senie is Professor Emerita at The City College and Graduate Center, CUNY. She is the author of the following books: Monumental Controversies: Mount Rushmore, Four Presidents, and The Quest for National Unity (University of Nebraska Press; 2022); Memorials to Shattered Myths: Vietnam to 9/11 (Oxford University Press; 2015); The “Tilted Arc” Controversy: Dangerous Precedent (University of Minnesota Press; 2001); and Contemporary Public Sculpture: Tradition, Transformation, and Controversy (Oxford University Press; 1992). She has also served on numerous New York City commissions and advisory committees pertaining to memorials and monuments. In 2008 Cheryl Krause Knight and Senie co-founded the international public art organization (and CAA affiliate) Public Art Dialogue, and co-edited its eponymous peer review journal from 2010-2017. Since then they have served on its editorial board. They also co-edited and contributed to the anthologies A Companion to Public Art (Wiley-Blackwell; hardcover 2016, paperback 2020), and Museums and Public Art? (Cambridge Scholars Press; hardcover 2018, paperback 2021).

Heather Shirey, PhD, is a Professor of Art History at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Her teaching and research focus on race and identity, migrations and diasporas, and monuments, memorials, and street art in relation to public space and communities. Dr. Shirey has published research on monuments in Brazil (African Arts, 2009) and in Great Britain (Open Cultural Studies, 2019). David Todd Lawrence and Heather Shirey are co-directors of Urban Art Mapping, an interdisciplinary research team based in Minneapolis & Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA. The Urban Art Mapping research team created the George Floyd and Anti-Racist Street Art Database, and their research on street art has been published in Urban Creativity Scientific Journal (2020), Art and Gentrification in the Changing Neoliberal Landscape (edited by Tijen Tunali, May 2021), NUART (May 2021), and the Journal of Folklore Research (2023).

Clémentine Tholas is an associate professor of American studies at Université Sorbonne Nouvelle. Originally a specialist in visual studies and American motion pictures, she is now researching the partnerships between French museums and contemporary African American visual artists and covering topics such as the post-colonialism and creolization in art history and museum practices.

Mechtild Widrich researches on art in public space, in particular monuments and performative and participatory practices, architecture and urban planning, and the theory of the public sphere. Widrich is the author of Performative Monuments. The Rematerialisation of Public Art (Manchester University Press, 2014) Monumental Cares. Sites of History and Contemporary Art (Manchester University Press, 2023), and (co)editor of Future Anterior, special issue Ex Situ: On Moving Monuments (2020), Participation in Art and Architecture (2015, paperback 2022), and Krzysztof Wodiczko. A 9/11 Memorial (2009). Widrich is Professor in the Art History, Theory and Criticism Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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