2023-24 Symposium

Contested Commemorations: Public Memory in the South and West

A joint symposium held in 2023-24 co-sponsored by the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies at SMU and the Autry Museum in Los Angeles, California, co-organized by Thavolia Glymph (Duke University) and Ari Kelman (University of California, Davis) and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. 

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This two-part symposium will examine commemoration and memorialization across the U.S. South and West, and at the intersection of the two. The conference and resulting volume will engage with the literature on memorialization, broadly defined, and consider how memory informs the historiographies of the South and West as well as the history and ethics of collecting, cataloging, and displaying. While the methodological orientation of the symposium and volume will be historical, the co-conveners and contributors embrace interdisciplinary approaches and an expansive understanding of commemorative canvasses.

Invited participants include:

Stephen Aron, The Autry Museum; Kathleen Belew, Northwestern University; Emily Bingham, Bellarmine University; Dmitri Brown, University of California at Davis; Karen Cox, University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Deborah Gerhardt, University of North Carolina; Hilary Green, Davidson College; Ariela Gross, University of California at Los Angeles; Kelly Lytle-Hernandez, University of California at Los Angeles; Benjamin H. Johnson, Loyola University; Martha Jones, Johns Hopkins University; Beth Lew-Williams, Princeton University; Monica Munoz-Martinez, University of Texas at Austin; Tamika Nunley, Cornell University; Sarah Pearsall, Johns Hopkins University; Julie Reed, Pennsylvania State University; Virginia Scharff, University of New Mexico; and Amanda Wixon, The Autry Museum.

Participants will meet twice to present and workshop their papers: once at SMU’s satellite campus in Taos, New Mexico, in the fall of 2023, and a second time at the Autry Museum, in spring 2024.  Conference co-conveners, Ari Kelman (University of California-Irvine) and Thavolia Glymph (Duke University) will edit the papers and convene the workshops. 

For more information about the symposium, contact the conference co-conveners or the Clements Center for Southwest Studies.