You can now view the five talks and panel discussion from yesterday’s annual symposium, “Lightning Rods of Controversy: Civil War Monuments Past, Present, and Future,” sponsored by the American Civil War Museum in Richmond.
- Christy Coleman: “Controversy Over Civil War Monuments and Memorials“
- Thomas Brown: “Invention of the American Soldier Monument“
- Timothy Sedore: “Context of Civil War Monuments and Memorials“
- Ervin Jordan: “Controversy Over Robert E. Lee Monuments“
- James Loewen: “Confederate Monuments and Memorials“
- Final panel discussion
The symposium is helpful if you are looking for an introduction to the history of monuments and the more recent controversy surrounding their removal/relocation in different places. I particularly enjoyed Thomas Brown’s presentation, which explored the evolution of one type of Confederate monument.
The only disappointment was the presence of the same group of older white people that you see at all of these events. A more diverse audience would have led to a much more interesting Q&A. Some of the more uncomfortable moments between speaker and audience were predictable given the the make-up of the audience. It’s a tough nut to crack and I certainly do not fault the American Civil War Museum.
It would perhaps be more of a problem, but for the fact that Richmond has been quite good about facilitating city-wide discussions about its monument landscape.