Sunday, June 30, 2013

Report: Lecture for the KHS and the NEH

A good picture cannot be taken in Chao Auditorium at the U of L.
Case in point.
Friday afternoon I presented a lecture "Louisville’s Confederate Monument: Narratives of Commemoration, Loss, and Gender" to participants in the Kentucky Historical Society's NEH-sponsored conference entitled "Torn Within, Threatened Without: Kentucky and the Border States In the Civil War.” 

On the East face of the monument, I am introducing participants
to the process and production of Louisville's Confederate Monument.
The participants attended over 20 separate sessions, which consisted of six lecture gatherings—including one by State Historian and fellow GC faculty member, Dr. Jim Klotter— as well as four breakout/research sessions and ten site visits. 

A question was posed by one of the participants about the blank slabs
of granite facing the monument. Why are there no inscriptions?
My contribution was three-fold: to give a lecture about the history of Louisville's Confederate Monument; to take the participants to the sculpture for a site visit; and, also, to bring the discussion to the present by walking to Freedom Park, the area north of the monument that has nine portraits and narratives about civil rights in the region, as well as a timeline of events from slavery to the present. 

After visiting the Monument, we journeyed northward,
about 30 yards, to Freedom Park.
In the paper that I delivered on Friday, which is part of my larger research project on this monument, I contend that examining the history of the Confederate Monument discloses the ways in which the circumstances of this monument’s commission bear witness to the intricacies of commemoration, loss, and gender in Confederate Kentucky. 

 Freedom Park is, in many ways, an extension and enhancement
to the monument as well as serving as a multi-purpose
nexus—a point of convergence and dialogue-starter.
In addition, I discussed new developments in the arena of commemoration at this site; specifically, I addressed the creation of Freedom Park.

Thank you to Tim Talbott and the Kentucky Historical Society for inviting me to be a part of this program. And, thank you to Dr. Brian McKnight for providing introduction. I enjoyed sharing my research and talking with many of the participants on Friday afternoon. And, of course, I look forward to addressing another group of participants in July. See you at the Monument, then!

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