3-part series begins on April 6th. Organized by Tom Laqueur, Helen Fawcett Professor of History Emeritus
Tracing Slavery and Imperialism in England’s Stately Homes
Stephen Small, Professor of African American Studies, Interim Director, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues
Tuesday, April 6, 2021 2 pm via Zoom
Dramatically increased public interest in slavery and its legacies in England are a direct response to the killing of George Floyd by the US police in Minneapolis. There is now a wide range of discussion at universities like Bristol, Oxford and Liverpool over statues, monuments and buildings named after men that were actively involved in or profited from slavery and imperialism. Attention has also been turned to the impressive stately homes that dot the British countryside - homes so representative of the British aristocracy and their elegant lifestyles. Many of these homes, it turns out, were built with funds earned directly or indirectly from slavery and/or imperialism. In this presentation I suggest that the current debates over these homes are an end in themselves, and a means to end. As an end in themselves they seek to identify specific men, homes and activities directly arising from slavery and imperialism. And a means to an end they are prompting a far broader and deeper discussion about the ways in which slavery and imperialism reached and influenced every corner of English society.
Monumentality after Iconoclasm in Twentieth-Century Russia
Aglaya Glebova, Associate Professor of Ηistory of Art
Monday, April 12, 2021 2 pm via Zoom
Twentieth-century Russia experienced two major moments of iconoclasm, first following the Bolshevik Revolution and then again in the early 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Both were succeeded by extensive campaigns of monumental sculpture-building, which remarkably drew on realist conventions, and which continues full force in Russia today. What is the relationship between moments of radical iconoclasm and figuration on a monumental scale?
Memorials and Obligation in Germany, England, and the U.S.
Andrew M. Shanken, Professor, Departments of Architecture and American Studies
Tuesday, April 20, 2021 2 pm via Zoom
This talk explores how we structure our obligations and try to give enduring shape and a lasting place to them, with examples ranging from the Civil War in the U.S. to World War I in England and Germany. It goes on to discuss how commemorative practices become embedded in larger cultural concerns, such as heritage, and how complicated the material manifestations of debt can be.