“Without Limits” series returns with conversation on monuments and history

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at SUNY New Paltz will host a timely panel titled “Contested Memory: Global Monuments, Memorials, and the Making of History,” which explores how communities use memorials to create identity, perform citizenship, define belonging and produce social power.

This event will be held on Tuesday, April 17 from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. in Lecture Center 102. It is free and open to the public.

This discussion arrives at a moment in American history that is rich with debate about the value of historical monuments, especially when they memorialize dark moments in our nation’s past.

It is a conversation that has extended to touch SUNY New Paltz and the surrounding community, as we collectively engage in an ongoing dialogue regarding the naming of campus buildings in the Hasbrouck Complex.

The “Contested Memory” panelists add to this conversation with ideas from a wide slice of human history, drawn from ancient Rome, Buddhist India, postwar Germany, the Jim Crow South and contemporary New Paltz.

Ulster County Poorhouse Monument. Photo courtesy Henry L. Schultz

The panel includes:

  • Andrea Gatzke, assistant professor of history, speaking on “Politics and the Condemnation of Memory in the Roman Empire;”
  • Vanessa Plumly, German lecturer, on “E-Recht-ing German History;”
  • Akira Shimada, associate professor of history, on “The Buddha’s Return: Discovery and Resurgence of Ancient Buddhist Monuments in Modern India;”
  • Reynolds Scott-Childress, assistant professor of history, on “Gray Ghosts and White Supremacy: Confederate Memorials and Twenty-First Century Anti-Racism;”
  • Susan Stessin-Cohn, New Paltz town historian, on “Forsaken in Life, Forgotten in Death: the Ulster County Poorhouse Monument Project.”

The panel is presented by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ “Without Limits: Interdisciplinary Conversations in the Liberal Arts” signature series, which explores contemporary topics through an interdisciplinary lens. This year’s theme is citizenship.

The event is sponsored by The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences; History Department; Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Department; and Campus Auxiliary Services.

Learn more about the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences online.