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Annual Event Series

Friday, March 24, 2017 to Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Inaugural Symposium of the Center for Cultural Landscapes, “Race and Public Space: Commemorative Practices in the American South,” investigates the intersections between scholarship and practice around race, memory, and commemoration. The event features Dell Upton as a keynote speaker and a half-day workshop program on Saturday with Mabel O. Wilson, John Mason, Sara Zewde, and other speakers on contested sites of commemoration in the southeastern United States. The workshop program kicks off the Institute for Environmental Negotiation’s initiative to develop guidance for communities and institutions seeking to tell a more complete racial history and change their narrative through the representation of their past history, identity and values.

The 2017-2018 Center for Cultural Landscapes Research Roundtable Series will examine the theme of restoration as a theoretical concept and a professional practice spanning disciplines, geographies, and centuries. Through the lens of restoration, phenomena as seemingly unrelated as the election of Donald Trump, the revival of seagrass in the Chesapeake Bay, the reconstruction of slave quarters at Monticello, and the use of 3D printing to resurrect a damaged Rembrandt painting coalesce into a revealing matrix of American identity.

Led by faculty coordinator Lisa Goff (American Studies & English; Director, Institute for Public History), the roundtables will analyze restorations of places, politics, and cultural products, and the acrimonious debates that accompany such decisions. The idea that conflicts over American identity get enacted on the landscape is nothing new. But by focusing on restoration, as opposed to preservation or conservation or political conservatism, these roundtables will attempt to bring together the most recent and most persuasive scholarship about restoration—and to put them in orbit with each other in ways that blur the professional distinctions between preservation and design, conservation and change.