The Center for Cultural Studies and the Socialism/Postsocialism Research Cluster presents Joes Segal
Like street names, public monuments tend to celebrate historical heroes and events that are deemed exemplary for the present state and the future direction of society. Taken together, they constitute a canon of collective memory. However, this canon is seldom uncontested, and in times of revolution or regime change the new political leaders often try to redefine history in order to support their worldview and claim to power. Old heroes, symbols and monuments suddenly become obsolete while new ones are created to evoke a sense of historical rupture or a brand new vision of historical continuity. Taking the fate of socialist monuments and their often ultra-nationalistic replacements after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union as a case study, in this lecture I will explore the politics surrounding public monuments.
Joes Segal is Chief Curator of The Wende Museum of the Cold War in Culver City, CA. Segal has published extensively on Cold War culture, German cultural history, and art and politics in the twentieth century. He is chair of the Culture Network of the European Social Science and History Conference (ESSHC) and managing editor of the International Journal for History, Culture and Modernity (HCM).
Winter 2016 Cultural Studies Colloquium Series: