Explores how the process of memorialization keeps the past alive in the present and shapes the way we imagine our possible futures.
"The past is never dead. It's not even past. " — William Faulkner
The three thought-provoking essays in Memory Matters explore how the process of memorialization keeps the past alive in the present and shape the way we imagine our possible futures. The product of a one-day symposium hosted by the Humanities Center at Miami University of Ohio, it focuses on issues of commemoration in the contexts of U. S. history, Native America, and museums. In "From Lexington and Concord to Oklahoma City: The Perils and Promise of Public History," Edward T. Linenthal offers a fresh perspective on creating national memorials. In "The Remembered/Forgotten on Native Ground," Daniel M. Cobb draws upon Benedict Anderson's notion of the "remembered/forgotten" to explore the work of memory at the sites of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, the Wounded Knee Massacre, and the Miami Removal. And in "Museums Matter," Helen Sheumaker explores how museums function as repositories and creators of cultural memory. The volume also includes a transcript based on the question-and-answer session following the original presentations. Stemming from a two-year scholarly project, "Memory and Culture: Engaged Scholarship, Multidisciplinary Connections, and the Public Humanities," Memory Matters provides scholars and those interested in such fields as museum studies, memorial studies, and cultural history with provocative discussions of the ways in which representation, power, and memory intersect.
Daniel M. Cobb is Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of Native Activism in Cold War America: The Struggle for Sovereignty and the coeditor (with Loretta Fowler) of Beyond Red Power: American Indian Politics and Activism since 1900. Helen Sheumaker is Visiting Associate Professor of American Studies at Miami University of Ohio. She is the author of Love Entwined: The Curious History of Hairwork in America and the coeditor (with Shirley Wajda) of Material Culture in America: Understanding Everyday Life.