Presentation Description: “Cemeteries and Memory: Confederate Monuments in Cemeteries”
Cemeteries are seen as both sacred spaces and secular tools for articulating and preserving the collective memory a community wants to preserve. The monuments, cemetery design, and gravestones hold a version of a community’s collective memory. When additional monuments are placed in these spaces, they become part of that memory as well. Presented by a nationally recognized scholar in cemeteries and death studies, this lecture will examine the ways Confederate monuments in cemeteries represent a special case for understanding the Lost Cause in the 21st century.
About the Speaker: Jeffrey Smith is professor emeritus of history after 26 years teaching history and a nationally recognized scholar writing about cemeteries and death studies. He is author of The Rural Cemetery Movement: Places of Paradox in Nineteenth-Century America. He has performed first-person presentations portraying Andrew Carnegie, P. T. Barnum, William Clark, George Washington, and George Catlin. He is currently writing a book of narrative cemetery stories titled Grave Mistakes.