The Rise and Fall of Confederate Monuments: Memory and the American Civil War

Oxford University

June 3

In the summer of 2020, following the brutal police murder of George Floyd, debates about the place of the Confederate symbols erupted across the US. Calls for Confederate monuments to be razed followed as did cries for street names or schools bearing Confederate names to be changed. Since that summer more than 120 Confederate monuments had been removed, including those in Charlottesville, home of the University of Virginia. But why does the American Civil War continue to elicit such reactions – some intensely violent – more than a century and a half after its close? In this lecture, Caroline Janney will examine the long history of Civil War memory – of the efforts by Union and Confederate veterans alongside their respective civilians to both remember and forget aspects of the war in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.