Thursday, March 28
Wren Building, Great Hall
Virginia holds the unenviable distinction of being the only state in which the national controversy over public memorials to the Confederacy cost someone her life. The senseless murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville highlights the battles over memory and memorialization now raging in Virginia, the nation and throughout the world.
Our speakers will grapple with these current issues through a discussion of their research in the field of history and memory.
Dr. Edna Greene Medford, “Facing Inconvenient Truths”
Dr. Medford is Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of History at Howard University, where she has taught for 32 years. Dr. Medford received her undergraduate degree in Secondary Education (history emphasis) from Hampton Institute; a M.A. in United States history from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research focuses on slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction, and her publications include Lincoln and Emancipation (2015); The Emancipation Proclamation: Three Views (with Harold Holzer and Frank Williams) (2006); and Historical Perspectives of the African Burial Ground Project: New York Blacks and the Diaspora (2009), which she edited. She serves on several national advisory boards and is a frequent contributor to historical documentaries.
Dr. Fitzhugh Brundage, “Frozen: Southern Legislatures and Confederate Memorialization”
Dr. Brundage is William B. Umstead Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has written extensively about historical memory and American mass culture. His research also has focused on on racial inequality and violence, from segregation to lynching. In The Southern Past: A Clash of Race and Memory (2005), he traces the contests over memory that divided white and black southerners during the past century and a half. In his most recent book, Civilizing Torture: An American Tradition, he examines debates about torture, democracy, and civilization from the age of contact to the twenty-first century. He is the author of several other books, including Beyond Blackface: African Americans and the Creation of American Popular Culture, 1890-1930 (2011), Lynching in the New South: Georgia and Virginia, 1880-1930 and Where These Memories Grow: History, Memory, and Southern Identity.
This event is the last of a three-part series this year focusing on the ongoing controversy over Confederate memorialization. The first event, a symposium in October, featured Joseph Genetin-Pilawa of George Mason University; Ashley Atkins Spivey of the Pamunkey Indian Tribal Resource Center; Robert C. Watson of Hampton University; and Cameron Patterson of the Moton Museum. Christy Coleman, CEO of the American Civil War Museum, was our second featured speaker, co-sponsored by the Lemon Project, during the Lemon Symposium, which took place on March 15.