Instructor: Greg Downs
Americans have been fighting about the memory of the Civil War--what is was about and how it should be memorialized--since Appomattox. But over the past decade, and especially since the massacre of parishioners at Mother Emanuel AME in Charleston in 2015, these debates over statues, curricula, popular culture portrayals, and political invocations of the war have become even more intense. They are places where Americans debate the centrality of slavery, the meaning and limits of emancipation, the causes of the war, the regional divides in the country, and the meaning of the Constitution.
Since 2015 and especially since the murder of George Floyd, many statues have come down; others have been repurposed through public art; others remain at the center of public controversy and debate.
Join author, Professor of History at UC Davis, and University School of Nashville Distinguished Alumnus ('89) GREGORY DOWNS as he class explores some of the major fights over memorials to the Civil War, and through the enormous gap in memorials to emancipation and to Black participation in the war and the death of slavery.
Greg Downs (USN Class of '89) is a Professor of History at UC Davis and the author of three books about the Civil War, Reconstruction, and emancipation. With Kate Masur of Northwestern, he wrote the National Park Service's theme study of Reconstruction that became the basis of President Obama's January 2017 proclamation of the first-ever national park site devoted to Reconstruction around Beaufort, S.C.
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