History in the News: Whose Monuments? Whose Memory?

A panel discussion with Reiko Hillyer, José-Antonio Orosco, and Elisabeth Walton Potter

September 21, 2017 | 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. | Willamette Heritage Center

1313 Mill St. SE, Salem OR 97301

As national controversy rages over whether and how to remove statues memorializing the Confederacy, communities across the country are beginning to consider the meaning and significance of public memorials, buildings, streets, schools, and teams in their own places. Oregon State University, for example, is in the process of conducting community meetings to reevaluate buildings named after a pro-slavery newspaperman, a Confederate army soldier, and a coach who resisted desegregation of the basketball team. 

This History in the News panel discussion considers these debates over historical monuments and memory and the broader questions they raise about the complex history of colonialism, racism, and white supremacist imagery in American culture. When and what was the process to establish these memorials in the first place? Does removing statues or renaming buildings erase history? What do historians, preservationists, and educators have to say about this? Is there disagreement in their fields? Does removing statues and renaming buildings and teams begin a “slippery slope,” as some critics have argued?

Panelists include Reiko Hillyer, author of Designing Dixie: Tourism, Memory, and Urban Space in the New South; José-Antonio Orosco, associate professor of philosophy and director of peace studies at Oregon State University and author of Cesar Chavez and the Common Sense of Nonviolence; and architectural historian Elisabeth Walton Potter. Read more.

This event is made possible in part by a Public Program Grant from Oregon Humanities

Event Sponsors

Oregon Humanities

Willamette Heritage Center




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