Although it was organized last minute, I thought some of you would like to know that I will be co-moderating a discussion on the ongoing controversy surrounding Confederate iconography at the annual meeting of the American Association for State and Local History in Louisville, Kentucky next month. The other moderator for this discussion will be Bob Beatty, who is the chief operating officer for the AASLH. A few years ago I took part in an AASLH roundtable discussion on the Civil War sesquicentennial and had a wonderful time.
The discussion will be geared specifically for historical organizations that are looking for ways to address these issues in their own communities, including the display of the Confederate flag and presence of Civil War monuments. I envision this as an opportunity for public historians of various stripes to share what they perceive to be the challenges in their respective communities as well as strategies to help move forward. You certainly do not have to live in a community that is currently working through these tough questions. Anyone interested in questions about how communities collectively remember their pasts should consider attending.
As many of you know, I’ve been thinking about this issue all summer and while I admittedly still have more questions than answers, it should be a spirited and hopefully helpful session. Since this is a last minute addition to the conference schedule we don’t as of yet have a time or room, but we are shooting for Friday, September 18.
I arrive late afternoon on Wednesday and will be in town until early Friday evening. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to network over drinks and/or good food. See you in Louisville.