Monumental Battles

College of the Holy Cross

Stephanie Yuhl is the W. Arthur Garrity, Sr. Professor in Human Nature, Ethics and Society and Professor of History at the College of the Holy Cross, as well as Associate Faculty at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in the Critical Conservation Program.  An expert in 20th-century U.S. cultural and social history who specializes in historical memory, social movements, gender and sexuality, Southern history, and the built environment, Professor Yuhl is also a consultant and curator of historical museum exhibits and oral history projects. A popular teacher who was awarded the inaugural Burns Career Teaching Medal for Outstanding Teaching, Yuhl is the author of the award-winning book, A Golden Haze of Memory: The Making of Historic Charleston, and the co-author of LGBTQ+ Worcester for The Record.

 

Overview

Statues toppled. Decapitated heads. Hands cut off. Graffiti slogans splashed on marble. Images like these have captured the headlines recently as activists from various causes have targeted historical monuments as a way to reckon with serious challenges of the imperfect present.  What is the place of monuments and memorials in an ever-changing, democratic society? Is “history being erased” through their removal? Is a new form of history being asserted? What values are driving these actions? Is there a common good in relation to commemoration? Focusing on specific case studies, we will explore together these and other questions academics consider when trying to detangle history from heritage recent monument controversies.

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